Avoiding Marketing Myopia in Web Design Agencies

Marketing myopia is the mistake of concentrating all the attention on the products while ignoring or relegating the experience and benefits that those products give to the customers (Kotler & Armstrong, 2018). In the article Marketing Myopia, Theodore Levitt provides the railroad business as an example of marketing myopia where management did not adapt to the needs of the customers and waited for outsiders to invent other methods of transportation like cars and airplanes that got them out of business (Chernev, 2014).

I would like to discuss a similar situation of marketing myopia that happens at companies that provides web design and development services. The companies are fully oriented to web design services instead of the needs of the customers and the opportunities available. Similar to the article by Levitt on his example of the railroad companies as not seeing themselves in the transportation business, web agencies have been focusing too much on just web design and forgetting that there is a field of Information Technology and Business that could help them to find new opportunities to satisfy potential customers.

Web design is not enough anymore since other companies like Wix and Squarespace are offering site builder services with premade templates that allow anyone to create a website in minutes. The quality is not the same as a professional custom web design. But, it is good enough to attract most potential customers. In addition, these companies provide a relatively cheap service which is an advantage as they can serve millions of customers at a lower price.

Another threat to the web design business is that a lot of possible customers are using social media to sell their goods. For instance, people that needed to create a custom website to promote their business, now are using Facebook and Instagram. A photographer that needed a website to showcase the work, is using Instagram and Facebook for the same purpose. Also, as they are already on Facebook, with little money they can advertise and get traffic to their Facebook page instead of expending a lot of money on SEO traffic.

Web design agencies need to rethink their customers and evolve so they can survive. As mentioned previously, it needs to avoid the myopia of thinking in terms of web design but in terms of satisfying the customers. Studying what the potential customers want and how to satisfy their needs. The business should focus on the IT and business fields which are everything related to computers and business and see the needs of those companies. For instance, they might not need just web design services but a custom application to manage their sales. Or they could need somebody to manage their social media accounts or any other online presence.

In 2015, Ben Hunt, a well-known web designer wrote an ebook titled “Web Design Is Dead”. In this thought-provoking book, he explains the publishing technology on the web has developed over the years and has taken on web design firms. Also, he mentions that web design companies need to adapt to new conditions to survive. For instance, the web design work needs to be just one part of the overall offering to companies. It should include other services like e-marketing, graphic design, SEO, website administration, mobile development, information systems in general, and other related services.

In conclusion, a lot of organizations make the mistake of this narrow thinking that only the product is important. However, companies should think about how to satisfy the needs of the customers and how to adapt to new needs that might arise over time.


Chernev, A. (2014). Strategic marketing management. Cerebellum Press.
Hunt, B. (2015). Web Design is Dead (1st ed.). Ben Hunt.
Kotler, P., & Armstrong, G. (2018). Principles of Marketing (17th ed.). Pearson Education Limited.

Teylor Feliz
Teylor Feliz

Teylor is a seasoned generalist that enjoys learning new things. He has over 20 years of experience wearing different hats that include software engineer, UX designer, full-stack developer, web designer, data analyst, database administrator, and others. He is the founder of Haketi, a small firm that provides services in design, development, and consulting.

Over the last ten years, he has taught hundreds of students at an undergraduate and graduate levels. He loves teaching and mentoring new designers and developers to navigate the rapid changing field of UX design and engineering.

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