Marketers v/s Engineers

Guy Kawasaki has a series on top ten lies for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and now engineers. For the sake of hitting back – Seth Godin says All Marketers Are Liars ;-). It does sound funny, but it is pretty interesting if we try to gauge the preset mindframes of the marketers and engineers. Does it put them against each other?

I don’t agree with all the lies mentioned, some of them can be genuine on occassions. Some lies can be valid reasons if they can be backed up with justifications and facts. I have witnessed some instances where there is less than trust between the two groups. A couple of my friends are ready for a wild-wild-west cowboy duel to defend themselves (or their profession!). However, with more and more such episodes, I wonder if it has to be like this. Why is there a disparity between marketers and engineers? The reasons I know mostly relate to the sheer size or beureaucracy which inserts layers of humans between them. There are arguments, sometimes blaming games, about everything – right from estimates to features to management, without really understanding what is going on either side.

Marketers are the people who can bring financial and business success to a good product. Similarly, marketers cannot deny that a shoddy job by engineers can make their job a nightmare. More cohesion is required between the two groups, or rather all the groups involved. Jason Fried @ 37signals elevates this to a new level by making them one.

Building and improving Rails is PR. Designing great interfaces is marketing. Providing quick customer support is advertising.

Gautam Ghosh talks of hybrid skills. It will be great if a career for hybrid skill of marketer + engineer comes up soon.

They are too intertwined to lock them in departments. They are all a cohesive unit. The marketers have to understand the problems faced by the engineers and vice versa. Only then will they be able to use each other to sort out issues and make a successful business. I hope Guy doesn’t call this a lie :-).

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Copyright Abhijit Nadgouda.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Anshul said:

    I had also read Guy Kawasaki’s article. If you really ask me, I think we could never have a combined marketing+engineer guy. Even if someone was capable of doing both, no company would allow him/her to do that. Marketing and engineering are huge domains. Asking one person to do both is insane. In todays hyper competitive market, it is impossible to align marketing and engg. What could be done is align the interests of both and ask the 2 depts to work keeping in mind some of the needs of the other dept.

  2. Abhijit Nadgouda said:

    Hi Anshul,

    I agree that a single person cannot do both marketing and engineering. But the marketer+engineer should be the one who can understand both the concerns and bridge the gap between the two. I really liked what Jason Fried.

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
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