Invest more in up-front marketing, exclusive of promoting and selling, than in engineering! Furthermore, invest heavily in market research, either before the engineering begins, or concurrently with the engineering effort, or both; before the product is ready.
To an engineering audience, to the technologists, that might seem outrageous. This author is often asked, "How can you possibly suggest that we devote our precious capital to marketing, much less more to marketing than in engineering, when we have this heavy-duty technology to develop?"
In fact, the evidence shows that commercially successful technology-based enterprises do just that.(1) Super successes in this survey have a Marketing/Engineering Investment Ratio™ (M/E Ratio™) greater than 1, investing, on average, about two dollars in marketing for every dollar invested in engineering. They invest up-front, before the product is ready. They maintain a higher investment in marketing even at the extremes of technology where you might expect more investment in engineering.
Every flaming failure suffers from an M/E Ratio™ of 0.1 or lower. The average failure invests only about two cents in upstream marketing for every dollar in engineering.
Figure 1 demonstrates the relationship of the M/E Ratio™ with success.(2) The vertical scale is the log of the Marketing/Engineering Investment Ratio™. A ratio above 1 indicates more investment in upstream marketing than in engineering. Data points are in three columns: clear "Failure" on the left, "Success" on the right, and "Neither" in the middle. Multiple bullets (····) mean that number of data points at one M/E Ratio™.
1, the relationship of the Marketing*/Engineering Investment Ratio™