Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Marketing vs Engineering has a fun little article about how marketing and engineering are often at odds.

I have run across an attitude of "Don't let the engineers talk to the customers they always ruin the deal."
It comes about because engineers are problem-solvers and marketers are deal-makers. The problem is that they are not cross-trained, engineers don't get any marketing training in school and the marketers don't care about how the technology works.

There are plenty of stories out there where a engineer talks to a potential customer and when the problem comes up the engineer solves it in 5 seconds by recommending a mechanical product from another company that has nothing to do with his companies electronic products. Marketing forgets to tell engineering that just because you come up with a solution doesn't mean you blurt it out at the table. You just have to say, "We believe a solution is possible." and if you can get them the solution the next day you can charge them an arm and a leg for it.

And it is true that engineers tend to come down hard on people who ask us to break the laws of physics. Just remind the engineer that the customer is always right and that we can fix that little hitch in negotiations later.

Engineering and Marketing can be a very powerful combination, but they need to learn how to talk each others jargon and see the others sides' goals. Once that happens the engineers can explain in normal terms just how great the product is and marketing can turn that into an education campaign that rocks.

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