The dictionary defines myopia as; nearsightedness, lack of imagination or intellectual insight. It happens when a CEO or senior leadership have their intellectual ‘blinders’ on. The result is stagnant growth, missed opportunities, and losing to the competition. Here are a few ways this ugly beast can manifest.
The Know-It-All Syndrome = When a CEO or leadership team thinks they have all the answers – you better run. Nobody has all the answers. I’ve worked with CEOs who just could not conceive that an outsider in their niche could help them come up with winning marketing strategies because after all, those people did not know as much as the CEO. What a shame.
Knowing too much can be the limiting factor. Did you know that back at the start of the personal computer market IBM hired the best consulting firm in the world (Anderson) to make growth projections on the future of the PC market. And, do you know that they told IBM the PC market would never amount to more than a hobbyist market for decades? If Steve Jobs knew what ‘IBM knew’ about the personal computer market he would have never started (and later rescued) Apple computer.
Excess Copycatting = How do you pick the publications you advertise in? How do you choose your trade shows? How do you design your ads? When I was in the industrial camera business one firm I worked with would make decisions based on what their competitors did. “Is Basler in the magazine? Oh boy, I better get my ad in there. I see that Allied has big pictures in there advertising. I think we ought to have big pictures in our advertising, too. Is Imperx at that trade show? Let’s book a booth,” etc.
These are true statements from top executives at the firm I worked for. The sad part is that none of these copycat ideas were based on our target market or any verifiable data. It was all based on a feeling that we had better do ‘x’ because that’s what our competitors were doing.
Requiring a subject matter expert = In my last post I emphasized the importance of a B2B firm hiring a B2B marketing expert for help with B2B marketing. But, sometimes the selection of a B2B marketing professional can actually be too rigid. I’ve had executives require subject matter expertise in extreme niches in order to be trusted with marketing their products. That’s taking it too far. Great ideas come from cross-pollination with outside industries. As long as a marketing professional has the requisite B2B industrial or technical expertise they can usually adapt to most industry verticals.
The main point here is that to get to the next level of growth you need outside ideas from a qualified expert. That’s where we can help you.