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Marketing Myopia: A Critique


Read Marketing Myopia, an article written in 1960 by Theodore Levitt and published in the Harvard Business Review.  Read and consider the ideas suggested by the author.

 Do you agree or disagree with the arguments given?  Are his ideas relevant today?  

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments presented?

 The goal of this assignment is for you to critically assess the ideas suggested by the author using your own knowledge and experience to justify your position.

Clarity of argument while having a focused, concise presentation is key to your success in this assignment. The main themes put forward by the author should be addressed, providing a critical analysis of the hypothesis and the data used to support it. 

The critique should include an introductory paragraph briefly summarizing the article and a concluding paragraph briefly summarizing your position on the value, accuracy and relevance of the article. This assignment should draw from additional readings, your past learnings, and your experiences. 

• All materials must be referenced using APA style. Efforts to reference academic sources located through the library is encouraged.

• The paper should be at least 1500 to 1750 words and should exhibit good writing and analytical skills. 

A few (not a comprehensive list) suggested sources to consider for understanding how to write a critique:

The belief that profits are assured by an expanding and more affluent popula- tion is dear to the heart of every indus- try. It takes the edge off the apprehen- sions everybody understandably feels about the future. If consumers are mul- tiplying and also buying more of your product or ervice, you can face the fu- ture with considerably more comfort than if the market were s    An expanding market keeps the manufac- turer from having to think very hard or imaginatively. If thinking is an intel- lectual response to a problem, then the absence of a problem leads to the ab- sence of thinking. Fyour product has an automatically expanding market, then you will not give much thought to how to expand lt.

One of the most interesting exam- ples of this is provided by the peuoleum indusny Probably our oldest growth in- dustry, it has an enviable record. While there are some current concerns about its growth rate, the Industry itself tends to be optimistic.

But I believe it can be demonstrated that it is undergolng a fundamental yet typical change. It is not only ceasing to be a groMh industry but may actually be a declining one, relative to other busi- nesses Although there is widespread un- awareness of this fact, it is conceivable that in tir0e, the oil industry may find itseF in much the same position of ret- rospective glory that the railroads are now in. Despite its pioneering work in developing and applying the preunt- vaiue method of investment evaluation, in employee relations, and in working with developing countries, the petro- leum business is a distressing example of how complacency and wrongheaded- ness can stubbornly convert opportu- nity into near disaster.

One of the characteristics of this and other industries that have believed very strongly in the beneficial consequences of an expanding population, while at the same time having a generic product for which there bas appeared to be no com- petitive substitute, is that the individual companies have sought to outdo their competitors by improving on what they are already doing. This makes sense, of course, if one assumes that sales are tied to the country’s population strings, & cause the customer can compare prod- ucts only on a feature-by-feature basis. I believe it is significant, for example, that not since John D. Rockefeller sent free kerosene lamps to China has the oil industry done anything really out- standing to cteate ademand for its prod- uce not even in product improvement has it showered itself with eminence. The greatest single improvement the development of tetraethyl lead - came from outside the industry, specifically from General Motors and DuPont. The big contributions made by the industry itself are confined to the technology of oil exploration, oil production, and oil refining.

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