marketecture (or marchitecture)

A marketecture (or marchitecture) is a high-level representation of software or hardware architecture designed with marketing requirements as a primary consideration. (Continued...)

What is marketecture?

Marketecture (or marchitecture) is an approach to marketing that seeks to simplify a company's representations of products or services, while retaining marketing requirements as a primary consideration. Marketecture documents typically combine an overview suitable for a non-technical audience with the strategic positioning required to compete in a given market.

Marketecture refers to both the approach and the documentation that results from it. Here's how Ian Gorton defines marketecture in his book, Essential Software Architecture:

... (a) one page, typically informal depiction of the system's structure and interactions. It shows the major components, their relationships and has a few well chosen labels and text boxes that portray the design philosophies embodied in the architecture. A marketecture is an excellent vehicle for facilitating discussion by stakeholders during design, build, review, and of course the sales process. It's easy to understand and explain, and serves as a starting point for deeper analysis.

Marketing campaigns generally highlight certain capabilities of a product or service, especially when the particular feature or technology compares favorably to competitors. Intel, for instance, has positioned its central processing units (CPUs) as superior to AMD's products by virtue of higher clock speed. In response, AMD released marketecture literature that de-emphasized processor speed and focused on educating consumers about the "megahertz myth" and other performance metrics.

Because a company's communications are necessarily specific to the audience, it's often necessary to create a number of versions of product literature. Marchitecture is created with the consumer in mind. Documentation created for a technical audience is much more detailed and may be free of marketing spin. A technical representation of product architecture is sometimes referred to as a "tarchitecture."

This was first published in September 2008

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