Marketing Myopia – The Cause of Low Innovation

A recent debate in the class was on the fact that majority of disruptive technologies are made by smaller companies than the bigger/blue chip companies. Incidentally the debate touched upon areas like Marketing Myopia, S-Curve dilemma OR Innovator’s dilemma and process versus agility. This article will web together all the above mentioned concepts and present my inference that marketing myopia is the underlying cause for process orientation and innovator’s dilemma and hence is the major reason for low innovation in the bigger organizations.

NOTE: Paragraphs in italics hence forth are intended as an explanation of concepts for readers non-acquainted with the concepts dealt in the article.

Marketing Myopia: Short sighted and inward looking approach to marketing that focuses on the needs of the firm instead of defining the firm and its products in terms of the customers’ needs and wants. Such self-centred firms fail to see and adjust to the rapid changes in their markets and, despite their previous eminence, falter, fall, and disappear.

Process Orientation & Innovation do not go together: Process Orientation is sometimes a resultant of Myopic View of companies.  Myopic Companies sometimes are so much in love with their products or services (Marketing Myopic Companies) that they design their process in and around for better performance of their product and loose sight of consumer needs especially latent needs which cannot be satisfied by the product in focus and hence we do not find path breaking innovations from these myopic companies. Their innovations are limited to processes and services around their current product only.

S-Curve
S-Curve

S-Curve Dilemma OR Innovators’ Dilemma: The curve is drawn between Growth Rate (Y Axis) and Time (X Axis) for innovations. Each S-Curve represents Growth Rate versus Time Graph for different innovations. It is observed and indicated in the graph after a period of time it is important for an organizations to move on to the newer innovations in order to reap a better ROI in the coming future. In the curve displayed, organization which has adopted innovation represented by Orange Curve should adopt newer innovation represented by Blue Curve. However larger organizations sometimes do not adopt newer innovations, this is called as S-Curve Dilemma or Innovator’s Dilemma.

Innovative companies also sometimes fall prey to marketing myopia. An innovative company which has put in lot of efforts to innovate a product/service and hence the organization’s image is based on that particular innovation would find it difficult to innovate a product/service which will make the earlier innovation non-useable (a disruptive innovation) i.e. becomes myopic with the earlier innovation. Therefore, these myopic companies sometimes either do not adopt or do not innovate newer disruptive technologies. For Example: Microsoft would not like to innovate a new platform which may put Windows into obsolesce as Microsoft’s image is based on Windows.

At the heart of low-innovation is excess of love with product (Marketing Myopia) which inturn causes Process Orientation and Innovator’s Dilemma and hence is termed as THE cause for low innovation in the article.

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