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The Tech Industry: Marketers Vs. Engineers

Everyone begins with the same tools: a sharpened pencil and a blank piece of paper -- or in today’s world, more like a fully charged laptop, photoshop and a go-to Spotify playlist. They start to lay out their ideas and, slowly, they transition from scattered thoughts to concrete reality. An engineer may begin the project as a solo artist, but soon after, a business-minded partner is sure to step in and help broaden their vision. 

The tech industry is a great outlet for these two minds to work together, in a [let’s be honest] not-so-perfect harmony. Sure, it’s not all rainbows and sunshine, but put these two powerhouses together, and you’ve got yourself a smoke show team and a revolutionary product. Whether you’re an electrical engineer, a business major or even a computer science geek, it’s an incredibly versatile industry that guarantees a place for everyone. It may sound extremely complex and boring to some, but to others -- including myself -- there’s no other industry I’d rather work in. There’s nothing like the perfect mix of chaos, innovation and teamwork to get you motivated to come to work and make something out of nothing. 

We are completely encompassed in the new era of technology. From Bluetooth earphones to hoverboards and drones, today’s makers have truly outdone themselves. How much further can they go? When will it seem like there is nothing left to create? The answer is simple: Never. The world of tech is ever evolving and the boundaries are limitless. There’s no stopping an inventor with a worthwhile idea. They will go to the world’s end until their dream comes to life. With the help of creative marketers, these realities go above and beyond expectations and disrupt the industry in a captivating and viral way. 

When you work in the marketing department of a company, you can expect a fast-paced environment with dozens of deadlines, and even more team brainstorm sessions. You’re handling the more consumer-based aspects of the business and are constantly running tests in the hopes of learning more about your core business and target customers. As a marketing associate, you’re in control of your company’s audience and therefore, customer demands. These demands get pushed by you through the funnel until they reach the ears of our engineers -- and so the debate begins. Stay true to product design or give into customer demands, allocate the necessary time for testing or cut corners to advance in your timeline… the list goes on and on. 

Marketers and engineers have such different mind sets. While one group puts themselves in the customer’s shoes, the other knows exactly how a technology is supposed to look, feel and function. What I’ve come to learn as a marketer in the tech industry, is that they do truly know what they’re talking about. I barely know how to fix a simple computer problem, and definitely can’t tell you the difference between HTML and CSS, so we marketers have to turn to “the experts”, engineers, for a lot of the “technical stuff”. We need to let our guard down and trust them a little more. The main difference between the two would have to be time management. Us marketers, we have bleeding knuckles responding to customer emails minute after minute and we lose our voices with our daily brainstorming sessions and passionate debates. Engineers, on the other hand, work according to a manufacturing schedule, juggle a 12-hour time difference with manufacturing partners in China, and for the most part, have their earphones in and eyes glued to a screen. There’s a common myth that we butt heads and get under each other’s skin nonstop. While this isn’t a usual occurrence, it can definitely happen from time to time. At the end of the day, we’re the perfect compliments to one and other and simply put - we need each other. The engineers need the customer insight, business intuition and sales skills that the marketing team possesses, and the marketers need the design and technological skills that the engineers are full of. Both deem crucial to be a successful company. The tech side is confident in creating and manufacturing a product that will function exactly as it should, while the marketing side is responsible for ensuring that it’s exactly what the consumers are eager to get their hands on. 

Thankfully, the tech industry has helped marry these two departments. With the same end goal in mind, marketers and engineers have managed to set aside their differences and meet somewhere in the middle. Engineers have definitely come to consider branding and user-friendliness within their design and product functionalities. Consequently, marketers have slowly but surely succumb to the idea that they need to truly understand the technology and data that they are selling in order to be successful. But don’t get me wrong, I’m no tech guru… 

The point is, both fields have been separated for decades and are now coming together for the better of tech innovation. Finally, the engineer does not have to begin the project alone. They can sit at the drawing board with their mind racing, marketing partner by their side and together, begin to create something amazing. 

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