The importance of marketing cannot be easily conveyed to someone whose just an employee and earns wages. But even then, you couldn’t have been employed without marketing yourself. What do you think a CV (resume) is? What do you think you are doing when someone asks you “so what do you do for a living”? or when you are about to go out and you put on your best cloths and make yourself look good? What about when you are behaving in certain way and you are only doing it because you want to be percieved a certain way?
Marketing is about effective communication. In my report 10 reasons internet marketing fails for businesses, one of the reasons I talked about was lack of clarity. If you cannot clearly communicate the benefit of your products, you might as well not talk about it.
So it’s not so much about letting engineers do the marketing, I beleive its about finding the marketers who will take the time to understand the benefit to the intented customers and be able to communicate that benefit in a way that demonstrate to the prospective customer that you have engineered a solution just for them.
I agree with Aaron though. The frame of mind needed for engineering is not the same needed for connecting and relating to people. The point, don’t leave your marketing to someone just because they are good engineers. Good engineer != good marketer.
On the other hand, we all need to know what we do, why we do it and the benefit those we do it for get from it. This way, instead of seeing yourself as “an engineer” which is who you are, you can says what you do like. When I used to be a developer I used to say just that. “I work in IT”, “I’m a developer” etc. Later I changed it to “I help businesses get the best out of technologies” and leter when I was working in business process management part of IT (integration, workflow and automation) I refined it to “I help businesses understand what they do day to day to run their business so they can cut out wastes and focus on what matters”.
Of cause if you are content where you are right now you may not see much need to market yourself. What I always tell my friends, colleauges, clients is to know how to and practice it, so that when you need to, you’ll know what to do and how to do it.