Should an engineer help market a product they designed?

Amy

An engineer knows the product he/she designs, and is in a good position to help with the marketing of the product. Is that a role that engineers should take on, and if yes, how?

Topic: Business
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tswayne
Vote Up (9)

I'm not certain that I fully understand your question, but I'll give it a shot. Marketing is obviously important. Let's say that you have the greatest idea in the world. And I mean literally The Greatest - one that results in world peace, prosperity for all, let's me lose 30lbs and have washboard abs while eating Cheetos and drinking beer on my couch, makes everyone above average, makes work so fun that vacations are no longer necessary, and stops my cat from throwing up. If you come up with The Greatest, and no one knows about it, it has little value. So how do you share The Greatest with the world? Marketing. 

 

Engineers and marketers are rarely the same people. There are exceptions, such as Steve Jobs, but the skill sets are not the same. Very few people go to university and double major in engineering and marketing. Basically, you can either head down to your local library and pick up a bunch of marketing textbooks and case studies and try to figure it out on your own, or you can hire a marketing company (or individual). It is certainly possible to successfully market your own products, as Kickstarter has demonstrated, but the chance of failure is pretty high. You could always give it a shot, and if it doesn't work out, turn to a professional. The obvious downside of the latter approach is that it will cost you money in the short term.   

jimlynch
Vote Up (8)

I think it depends on the individual company. Some companies make sure that their engineering and marketing teams work well together, while other companies do not. I suspect that the former end up being more successful with their products, since they have an advantage over other companies.

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