Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department.
Attributed to David Packard, founder of HP, this quote speaks volumes to the value of marketing as a discipline. Given the amount of ink spilled and voices raised on this subject, you might think it to be the only thing that matters. You might be right.
It turns out that marketing is easy, deliver unique value to satisfy unmet need. The practical difficulty is in the details. Not only do we not have enough agreement on what it is, but it takes one a lifetime to master.
For this post, the point I want to make is that David Packard was absolutely right. Everyone in a company must be thinking about marketing, even if they don't know exactly what that means. The company exists to satisfy customers, so they can focus there.
Engineers should build products based on the requirements that describe unmet need. Sales people should sell solutions enabled by the products. Finance people can ensure that the product can be built at a profit given the price the customer will accept.
My job as a marketing professional is to make sure that everyone around me speaks the same language, so we can all build the same product for the same customer. Steve Jobs did this through his involvement in new products from beginning to end. That's why Apple products are the brand, not just a me-too box with a pretty logo.