Please don't blame it on marketing.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by tracecom, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. tracecom

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 16, 2010
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    Engineers and marketers often are at odds because of the routine adulteration of the very concept of marketing. As some of you know, my primary vocational experience was in marketing in its broadest (and I think, best) sense. I won't attempt to lecture anyone here on the correct definition of marketing, but I will state that marketing is much more than advertising and increasing profitability. What is currently happening here at AAC is not marketing; in fact, it is the antithesis of marketing.

    Proper marketing does not include any activity which intentionally makes major product changes without prior input from the existing customer base, especially when those changes make the product less desirable to them, and when those changes are clearly profit driven. I can't tell you the number of products that I have seen ruined under the guise of "adding value" through cost reductions or other misguided decisions.

    Yes, the owners have the right to do whatever they wish to AAC; maybe it will survive, but it won't be what made it the success that it was.
     
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  2. tcmtech

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    Similar thoughts here as well.

    I really can't wrap my head around how expanding on what is not allowed but was before is considered a good way to bring in more members and viewing audience either. :confused:
     
  3. wayneh

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    There are probably as many definitions of marketing as there are marketers.

    Coming to business after a technical career, I found marketing to be just another optimization problem. You have resources, and you want to utilize them in a way that does the most good. Usually that means meeting satisfying some market need and making money, but there can be other goals as well. The challenge in marketing is finding those market needs, and understanding your own capabilities well enough, that you can put things together to create a business with happy customers, happy management, and befuddled competitors.
     
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  4. tracecom

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    After some Googling, I am convinced there is no real marketing involvement in AAC's new direction. Its business development is lead by sales, which is always a recipe for product mediocrity.
     
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  5. tcmtech

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    Well that is mostly the driving force behind marketing. To give the customer the least amount of whatever they wanted at the highest price they will pay.
     
  6. tracecom

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    Unfortunately, that is often the case, but it isn't supposed to work that way. In a properly organized business, the sales department is a part of marketing communications, but when salespersons are the only point of contact with the customer, they spin every situation to maximize their commission, regardless of the impact on product quality and margins.
     
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  7. cmartinez

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    True... but some businesses don't realize that you can only squeeze so many drops out of a lemon before it goes dry.
     
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  8. Papabravo

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    If only people in marketing weren't so arrogant and dismissive of any other concerns but their own. They would be a great deal more tolerable in polite company.
     
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  9. tcmtech

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    Well they are basically just politicians with the tiniest bit better skill sets.
     
  10. takao21203

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    Apr 28, 2012
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    Marketing is just another price increase. So you get chains like ALDI who dont do much marketing and advertising, basically put boxes on the shelves.

    You can see a difference in pricing.

    Or Louis Vutton handbags, the customer pays for the vacation, hotel, taxi these photo models need all the time.

    In return they show them photographies of these ladies.

    As well the store rent at exclusive high street locations and more staff than needed if any is required at all.

    I am not judging, there are just many different avenues of purchasing.

    For electric parts you can buy lots of junk without further specification, some will be scrap or not sellable, or you can have each small part in antistatic bag even with a datasheet printed.

    Or you do it like me, install yourself somewhere in the middle.

    Look at youtube 1980s TV CMs from Japan, then you know what is marketing.

    Its about something not really happening in daily life, you think eventually when buying the product some day you could have it, but just you exclusively.

    There is also kind of a marketing informing customer about products as such.
     
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  11. cmartinez

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    Marketing is the exploitation of desire... a common human weakness...
     
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  12. wayneh

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    Have any of you (besides tracecom and I) actually studied or worked in marketing? There seems to be a rush to confuse it with advertising, telemarketing, hard sell tactics and all the stuff we hate. That's not what it is, any more than the guy in the gas station squirting oil under your car (to sell you a repair) is a "mechanic".
     
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  13. panic mode

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    I think Dilbert says it all

    dilbert about marketing.jpg
     
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  14. killivolt

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    Yes.

    And more so; in a hope that word of mouth continues to those most interested (Investors or owners?) in whom investments and opportunities might garner the best return.

    Trust is not given; it's earned.

    kv
     
  15. WBahn

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    Frequently engineers don't get paid more than "marketing professionals" (or "salesmen" as they used to be called). Many companies, big and small, glorify their salesforce and lavishing them with commissions, perks, and bonuses because of the apparent correlation between sales and profit and forget that the people designing the product, building the product, servicing the product, stocking the product, shipping the product, billing for the product, and paying the bills associated with the product are also needed.

    When I was about 12 or so my dad and I did janitorial at the place he worked, which was a small company (~15 employees) that designed and built air compressors. The owner believed salesmen were gods and that everyone else was a necessary evil. My dad, who had started out as a mechanic but was, by then, the manager of purchasing and inventory, explained that the only people in the company that made money for the company were the guys turning the wrenches to build the compressors. Everyone else, from the managers (including himself) to the engineer to the secretaries to the salesmen, were parasites in the same way that a water pump or an alternator on an engine is a parasite. Absolutely necessary, but wealth was created only when the mechanic turned the wrench.

    Years and years later I recalled that conversation after hearing Ayn Rand's take on "making money" in Atlas Shrugged. To the best of my knowledge, my dad had never heard of either.
     
  16. wayneh

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    Wealth was created when someone took the risk to start the company, knowing that they could make a product and sell it at a profit. That may have been the last act of marketing by that company.

    The guys on the line are important, critical even (I've been reading about the culture at Toyota), but they aren't the source of value creation.

    Sales guys (and their activities) can be critical too, without really creating value either. Giving "lavish" incentives for sales people works to move more product, it's as simple as that. The wisdom of managing sales comes in knowing how much incentive is appropriate.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2015
  17. tracecom

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    Sales is a very important part of marketing, but only a part, and salesmen are still called salesmen (or more PC, "salespersons.") Good marketing professionals often have outstanding selling ability, but only as part of a much broader set of skills.
     
  18. tracecom

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    Dilbert is the first (and often the only) comic strip I look for in the paper. I am amazed at how much Scott Adams understands about corporate culture in general and engineers' attitudes in particular. I find it amusing that many of the engineers that I have worked with enjoy Dilbert's criticism of marketing and management, but don't find his lack of social skills quite so funny. Personally, I find them both hilarious, and, like most sources of humor, containing an element of truth.

    Dilbert Make Out.png
     
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  19. wayneh

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    Ditto. His perceptions are spot on. I found it almost scary when I had a supervisor that didn't "get" Dilbert. At least he chuckled when I told him that if you don't know a pointy-haired boss, you probably ARE the pointy-haired boss.
     
  20. WBahn

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    Dilbert is a documentary.

    There's a Dilbert game that we used to play at company get togethers. The engineers would play it for hours, the handful of non-engineers usually opted for something else after a half hour or so.
     
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