Marketing vs. Engineering

Subject: Marketing vs. Engineering
From: Matthew Stern <MAStern -at- PLATSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 18 Nov 1996 09:12:00 -0800

I think we should avoid overgeneralizing about Marketing being the
"enemy" of engineers and technical writers. I've worked with a number of
marketing people who have a great deal of respect for developers and the
development process, who make realistic project plans and stick to them,
and are highly competent in promoting and representing the product.

On the other hand, I've worked with marketing people who are not only
the enemy of development, but the enemy of manufacturing, purchasing,
sales, accounting, management, or anyone who is trying to get the
product out in an efficiently, timely, and cost-effective manner. Here
are some of the "crimes against the corporation" that I've seen such
marketing people commit:

* Do not develop clear and realistic product plans and schedules.
* Cancel nearly completed projects because they didn't plan for changing
marketing requirements.
* See processes and procedures as an annoying restrictions to be
ignored, instead of methods to ensure the efficient completion of a
* Lie to their superiors about delays in project schedules and then put
extra pressure on development to meet dates that were proven to be
* Do not communicate to team members about issues, requirement changes,
or any crucial information that might affect the project.

The problem with such people isn't that they're marketeers; it's that
they are *incompetent* marketeers. A good marketing person sees himself
or herself as part of a team, communicates well with others, and works
to ensure the successful completion and promotion of a product.
Marketing people who don't should be exposed as the inept oafs they are
and should be dealt with through the appropriate disciplinary channels.

Matthew Stern
Sr. Technical Writer
Platinum Software Corporation

The opinions expressed here are solely my own.

e-mail: mastern -at- platsoft -dot- com
Personal web site:

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