Marketing physics is trivial compared to technology

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 “overt benefit,” which, in a consumer’s words, is “What’s in it for me?”  The second is “real reason to believe,” which translates to “Why should I believe you?”  And the third is “dramatic difference,” or “Why should I care?”  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 it’s important and believe that it works.  But it doesn’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.  It’s not very difficult—it’s trivial compared to the technology stuff.  But inventors need to have absolute clarity about what their message is: what’s the benefit, what’s the reason to believe, what’s the dramatic difference.  And if you’re not dramatically different, give it up.  You have a commodity, and you’re going to sell it for commodity prices.

from “The Idea Man,” an interview with Doug Hall in IEEE Spectrum by Stephen Cass