KSF Number 5, The Modern Marketer Must be Intimate with the R&D Team. In order for R&D to develop and deliver products or services that fill a need and differentiate in the marketplace, they need to have access to market information and hear the voice of the customer. The Marketer needs to be very involved and provide guidance to the R&D team in order to be successful. I’ve seen many cases in companies started by engineers where R&D considers the marketing team just the ‘girls down the hall’ who make brochures and set up shows for the sales guys. The engineers think they know best and build products based on their limited knowledge of the market. In these type of companies, typically, more products fail than succeed. The take-away here is that it’s up to the marketer to develop a close relationship with the R&D team by establishing lines of communication and a mutual trust.
It is only after the Modern Marketer establishes credibility by achieving in depth market knowledge and knowledge of the firm and it’s offering that R&D will begin to base their developing offering on the market data. Think about the firm you work for today and consider how the new offering is chosen. Is it chosen by the R&D team? the sales team? the C-suite? Ideally, all of these groups contribute and it should be the marketer who brings everyone together along with some real data so all hear the whispering voice of the customer.