Marketing Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word in Silicon Valley
Vishal Maini


Congratulations for bringing awareness for the importance and VALUE of marketing!! I work at a technology company and often facilitate a change management workshop to transition the mindset from “product(features) to customer” ; I ask the executives from engineering, supply chain, operations and finance- What is your definition of marketing? The response is mostly “advertising”. Most people(including marketeers) cannot demonstrate how this (advertising) marketing drives growth and improvement to operating income.

Marketing helps define the target market, understand customer needs, segment customers (based on profitability !), define the value proposition against the next best alternative, and the right value pricing. Done well, — this is more significant contributor to the business making the design, engineering, and manufacturing successful. Ultimately the customer pays for “what “it” ( the product or service) does for them vs. what is in it. More features does not equal more value for all customers, this is why Apple can get a higher price for fewer features but higher simplicity.

Value is defined by the Customer not the number of product features. Effective marketing has to challenge the “more is better” and shift the focus to customer “willingness to pay” and “cost to serve”. That has direct impact to the income statement and the beginning of the end of marketing being a second class citizen — — even in a technology business!

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