Expert's Panel

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    How do you change an engineering driven company into a market driven company, and how do you increase the influence of marketing in such a company?

  1. Use every trick you can think to increase the sensitivity of management to market requirements: use the Market Requirements Statement, bring the customer in, bring trend data in, educate people. All of that depends on your knowledge and reputation as knowing and understanding the applications. If you don't understand the applications, don't take on this task, because you won't succeed. In short, become a high-profile knowledge broker who helps the company make money and move forward.
  2. One of the tactical things you can do is bring the customer into contact with engineering. Sometimes engineering gets a little isolated from the customer. There is nothing more confusing and enlightening than having a "real live" customer talking to engineering and telling them what he wants and doesn't want. The more you do that the more emphasis and prestige marketing has within the company.
  3. A more cynical view is that if you have an engineering driven company and the CEO is an engineer or the architect of key products, which he often is in such companies, you’re not going to change it to market driven. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible. You might be able to modify the "engineeringness," by virtue of being successful in the tasks you pursue. If you are good at what you do, you establish credibility as a marketing person and you may have more influence with the executives who make the decisions.