The Difference Between Engineers And Marketers

by: Robert
Read time: 1 minute

I wanted to add some observations from working in the industry as a non-dev.

At the time of writing this, my guess is that 80-90% of everyone working in web3 is an engineer. If you’re an engineer reading this the following will help you hire, and work with marketers, and if you’re a marketer this will help you land jobs/clients, and continuously work with, and market to engineers.

Fundamentally, what makes a good engineer is not what makes a good marketer. If marketers were good at engineering they would be engineers. The main difference I’ve observed between the two is related to risk.

If an engineer makes a fundamental mistake in planning and executing what they’re building they start to accrue technical debt. Technical debt is a real bitch. It gets worse with time, and is notoriously difficult to deal with. It can often lead to needing to start over from scratch, and you just want to avoid it as much as possible. This is why engineers work on first principles. They attempt to make zero assumptions and distill things to one core truth that they can use as a starting point. All this is to say that one would expect engineers to be risk averse, and in my experience this has very much been the case.

Now, a risk averse marketer is not good. The cost of mistakes in marketing are typically very low, unless you do irreparable damage to your brand, which is hard to come back from, but not impossible. Example: I’ve spent a fair bit of money running paid ads on Youtube. When I did everything according to the plan 1 out of 20 campaigns would be successful. That means 19 of 20 campaigns failed. This is how marketers should operate, and it’s very much NOT how engineers operate. In marketing you experiment your way to success, and in engineering you plan your way to success. I’m obviously not an engineer so the engineers may poke some holes in my words here, but the fundamental logic is true.

If you’re actually marketing a product or service to engineers it’s obviously important to understand this concept. In my experience engineers are much deeper thinkers than the average person, or marketer. They’ll question everything you say, so while the key principles of marketing very much apply to engineers just as much as they apply to other people, you don’t win them over by hype and empty statements. You win them over with education. They still have an outcome they’re after like everyone else, and if you can educate them about how your product or service helps them achieve their outcome using logic, you’re much more likely to succeed.