What should engineers developing products know about marketing?
There are three laws of what I call marketing physics, three things that matter. The first is â€šÃ„Ãºovert benefit,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which, in a consumerâ€šÃ„Ã´s words, is â€šÃ„ÃºWhatâ€šÃ„Ã´s in it for me?â€šÃ„Ã¹ The second is â€šÃ„Ãºreal reason to believe,â€šÃ„Ã¹ which translates to â€šÃ„ÃºWhy should I believe you?â€šÃ„Ã¹ And the third is â€šÃ„Ãºdramatic difference,â€šÃ„Ã¹ or â€šÃ„ÃºWhy should I care?â€šÃ„Ã¹ The classic mistake that engineers make is to talk about features, not benefits. Engineers will talk about the technology and assume that people will know why itâ€šÃ„Ã´s important and believe that it works. But it doesnâ€šÃ„Ã´t work that way. The job of marketing is to communicate the wonders of the product or service in a way that consumers can understand. Itâ€šÃ„Ã´s not very difficult—itâ€šÃ„Ã´s trivial compared to the technology stuff. But inventors need to have absolute clarity about what their message is: whatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the benefit, whatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the reason to believe, whatâ€šÃ„Ã´s the dramatic difference. And if youâ€šÃ„Ã´re not dramatically different, give it up. You have a commodity, and youâ€šÃ„Ã´re going to sell it for commodity prices.
from “The Idea Man,” an interview with Doug Hall in IEEE Spectrum by Stephen Cass