Is your Company Market Driven or Product Driven?

The battle between Marketers and Engineers has been going on for a while, Engineers claim that building the best product is enough to succeed, and Marketers claim that understand the external forces (competitors, customers, needs) is the solution.

Update: saw an interesting tweet from tomob: “@jowyang – the engineer’s pipe dream = product so good we don’t need sales or marketing”

We’ve seen cases of heavy engineering companies like Google, with little marketing efforts become the most well known brand online. On the other hand, companies like Coke spends a major portion of their corporate budget on Marketing, to become the top brand in the world.

Or, take Apple, which has great products (although it was debated that Sony had a superior MP3 player –but didn’t know how to market it) also does sophisticated brand and emotional branding aimed at a be different lifestyle.

To add color, andrewparadies tweets: “@jowyang I’d argue that it takes a pretty strong combination of both to succeed. Apple has great marketing, but they also make solid product”

Now add social computing, where we companies are using blogs to market their companies, or SalesForce’s Ideas or Uservoice to let customers define how engineering will focus, things start to mix up, the lines blur. In the end, marketers need engineers, and engineers need marketers, but the balance will vary.

With social media, how will your company improve it’s marketing or engineering? Or do things stay the same.