Ralph E. Grabowski - marketingVP - fact-gathering, analytical Marketing to steer the enterprise



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They said it!



Marketing is an investment

Investment evidence
the Marketing/Engineering Investment Ratio™ (M/E Ratio™)

"Your evidence of the relationship between Market Research and success is right on!  Dell's M/E Ratio™ is North of 1.5."  Michael S. Dell, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Dell Computer Corporation




Getting started

The graphic which visualizes this research is there for a reason.  Let’s take a closer look.

Figure 6, Getting Started

Getting started
Make a fundamental shift in management attention and investment commitment toward decisive, up-front Marketing.  Aim for success with the budget and staffing.  

It is understandable that, for people who have not yet had the experience which good upstream marketing brings,  it might be difficult to jump in with a major market research budget.  

In the market place, time is essential.  Rather than delay while you ruminate about a bigger program, it might be better to start off with a smaller project now.


A wakeup call

Wake-up call

A wakeup call - super successful technology-based enterprises invest more in Marketing (exclusive of promoting or selling) than in engineering.

"There can be no doubt from Grabowski's data, that Marketing [Market Research] is crucial towards developing a successful business."  Robert S. Rogers, III of MIT's Technology and Policy Program.


invest more in market research than in engineering
  GO   Invest more in Marketing than in engineering, M/E >1  
  CAUTION   Invest more in engineering than in Marketing, 0.1 < M/E < 1  
  WARNING   No investment in market research, M/E Ratio™ <0.1  
Figure 7,
the GO, CAUTION, and WARNING zones of the M/E Investment Ratio™


"I've been in software engineering management for more than twenty years at companies including BBN, HighGround Systems, and Sun Microsystems, and have supervised about $75 million of cumulative engineering effort.  Over that career, I would estimate that 80% of all the engineering investments were wasted, in the sense that we developed products or features that customers did not need or did not use. 

"Often, this was due to 'feature bloat,' especially me-too duplication of the competition's feature set, without any fact-gathering or analysis to see if those features were actually required by customers.  Sometimes it was due to Engineering having 'a good idea' that wasn't customer-validated before implementation.  Sometimes it was the right feature, but implemented in a way the customers couldn't use. 

"Had we invested more deeply in Market Research to guide us as to what customers needed and would spend money on, we could have saved a large portion of that 80%, both in terms of dollars and (more importantly) in time to market."

Richard W. Fortier


The choice is yours.


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