Good guy Olympus enginneers

Started Mar 20, 2012 | Discussions thread
hlwick59
Regular MemberPosts: 278
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Re: In defense of marketing
In reply to Bilgy_no1, Mar 20, 2012

Good points.

Engineers vs marketeers are often at opposite sides of the spectrum. The marketeer is driven by capturing the market share and maximizing revenue for the company. Whereas engineers are driven by technical prowess and excellence.

There's nothing more frustrating to the engineer than to have the product denied from seeing the day of light because marketing found there's no market or limited appeal, and there's nothing more frustrating to the marketeer to have a product that the market won't buy, because it's too complicated, advanced or expensive to manufacture, ergo too expensive.

The trick is to find a happy medium that will satisfy both.

Back in the mid-1970s and early-1980s, Canon had a camera that did both: the AE-1 combined the traditional 35mm camera with computer electronics. Personally, I think the Olympus OM-1/OM-2 was a much better camera in terms of design and precision, but the AE-1 was a more consumer-oriented camera and it outsold the former.

Over the decades, I've notice the trend in cameras, especially digital cameras that are increasingly consumer-graded and loaded with bells & whistles at affordable prices....which is what the market seems to prefer. Also the market prefers superzooms, which in my opinion, compromises too much.

Bilgy_no1 wrote:

The modern ideas in marketing are that you get a grasp of consumers preferences and wishes, and tailor the products as much to their liking as possible. In this view, product development is part of the marketing activities. This trend in marketing arose in reaction to the 'technology push' strategies that you get when engineers are given free reign. That ultimately results in products that don't sell... plenty of examples in business history of that.

Of course, marketeers need to make choices and also have a broader look at the total market. The choices need to be backed up by credible marketing research. So, yes it's possible that not every product appeals to every kind of consumer. But on the whole, the marketeers seek to thes wishes of customers the best they can.

We're just a bunch of camera buffs that like to dabble in stuff that doesn't mean too much to other consumers. If Olympus (or any other company) would strive to fulfill every desire the buffs have (presuming you could get all the wild people on this forum to agree...), the product would probably become too expensive for other customers. Or, it would be too general to have a specific appeal to anyone.

I believe that Olympus have been testing the waters with the earlier PEN models. That's why they had many iterations of the PENs. It also allowed them to further develop certain technological aspects. And because it's a real product, they can actually earn money with it instead of spending money on marketing research (focus groups etc). This was a sound strategy because it was a new product category, with unpredictable adoption.

As OP has pointed out, Olympus has been responsive to the feedback from the market:

  • AF speed improvements

  • EVF

  • smaller designs

  • lower priced models

  • tilt screen

  • operational changes

  • and now: weather sealed, built-in EVF, OM design, etc.

BTW Olympus will have separate marketing departments for each business unit. The people marketing the cameras are not the same as the people marketing the endoscopes.

rolleiman wrote:

The engineers are usually on our side; it's the marketing and management that tend to put a stick in the engineers' spokes. Oly management seems to have had other things on its collective mind. And marketing seems more concerned with selling endoscopes to doctors at golf tournaments. Enjoy it while it lasts.

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