10.3 Upstream Influence: Marketing

The essence of marketing from the engineer’s perspective is aptly communicated in the film Office Space, where the marketing representative states, “I deal with the . . . customers so the engineers don’t have to.” In some organizations, marketing and engineering sit in tension, each taking credit for the creation of products, and each arguing that it has a more accurate view of customer needs based (according to the former) on sales and marketing data or (according to the latter) on customer feedback, warranty reports, and product tests. A consumer goods firm we worked with expressed this tension: Engineering developed a product roadmap completely independent of marketing’s product roadmap. Although it is plausible ...

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