By Jen Goodman
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Not everyone markets applesauce for a living. Many people choose to enter the world of high-tech marketing because they want to work with products and technologies that reshape and improve the word around us. These marketers feel that they would rather change the way a person interacts with the world in a sophisticated way, rather than spend time understanding what hair color teenagers find most appealing. High tech marketers spend much of their time understanding research and development issues and working on new product launches.
Technology companies like Intel, Amazon, and Microsoft have recognized the power of branding and are utilizing traditional marketing tactics more and more. Amazon's extensive marketing campaign in 1998 helped brand that company in the mind of consumers still new to e-commerce as the company to purchase books (and other products) online. Intel became perhaps the first semiconductor company readily identifiable to the public through its heavily branded "bunny people." Marketing in the high techn world will continue to grow in importance over the next decade, as technology companies become more consumer-oriented. Marketing a service or software product versus a more tangible product is a bit different. It may be a bit more challenging to understand how consumers relate to the product. Inventory and distribution issues may be tracked differently.
Jennifer Goodman is a marketing specialist at McKinsey & Company and graduate of Harvard Business School.