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



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Who Is Going To Buy The Darn Thing?

Who Is Going To Buy The Darn Thing?
Invest More In Marketing Than In Engineering To Find Out!

Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
Proceedings of the IEEE Electro International
By Ralph E. Grabowski

Table of Contents

1 The evidence is in
2 Who needs Marketing?
3 Exactly how much is "more" Marketing?
4 Avoid the pitfalls of the flaming failures
5 Do what the super successes do
6 Go for it!
7 Implications for technology-based enterprises
8 Summary
9 References
   About the author

   PDF reprint -  28 pages, 0.7 MB
   PDF 2-page abstract with summary of the data - 0.3 MB


invest more in market research than in engineering

Why do some new products take off, while others don't sell at all?  What is the origin of super success or flaming failure?

Marketing is a process of ascertaining needs which customers are willing spend money to satisfy, thus guiding engineering to design the right products.  How much shall we invest in marketing to enable commercial success, and when?

A new metric has been developed to answer these questions, the Marketing/Engineering Investment Ratio™ (M/E Ratio™).  This model separates marketing from the functions of promotion and selling.  Formulating a ratio of marketing to engineering installs marketing concurrently with engineering, and sizes the marketing budget with a readily identified number (engineering investment).

The IEEE will hear evidence to confirm the recommendation that technology-based enterprises invest more in marketing than in engineering.  Super successes are seen in this survey with an average M/E Ratio™ of greater than 1, investing more than one dollar in marketing (exclusive of promoting and selling) for every dollar invested in engineering.  Every flaming failure suffers from a M/E Ratio™ of 0.1 or lower.

Examples will be revealed from diverse technologies; software, machine vision, medical, semiconductor equipment, and instrumentation, to deliver practical advice on dealing with the pitfalls of new ventures.  The implication for technology-based enterprises is a fundamental shift in management attention and investment commitment toward decisive, up-front marketing.


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