[ubuntu-marketing] Knowing why we're doing what we're doing

Jan Vancura jenda at ubuntu.com
Wed Jun 28 14:35:56 BST 2006

I apologise to in-line reply haters, but it's a lot faster and easier
for me this way, in this case ;)

Matthew Revell wrote:
> Howdy chaps,
> I'm relatively new to the Marketing Team and, with the demise of the
> UbuntuPeople.com forums, I don't know if this has been discussed
> previously.
> During our chats on the IRC channel, it's clear there are two or three
> projects, within the team, that have some momentum:
> - SpreadUbuntu
> - Ubuntu Magazine
> - and I'm pretty keen on a press/media relations team, within the
> wider team.
I don't see any reasons why not to open up a Media Project.
> There's a lot of enthusiasm and energy bubbling around the IRC channel
> at the moment and I'm eagerly awaiting our meeting later today.
> I'm no marketing expert but I have a little professional and academic
> experience. When I first started to study marketing, I began to
> realise what a varied and disciplined subject it is. The most
> successful marketing is justified by how it relates to the
> organisation's objectives.
Well, I have this thought in my mind, that the Team has to try to be
very specific about what it is to do, because every single team working
on Ubuntu aims, in some way, towards a final bugfix for Bug #1 - think
about it: It's the art team that makes Ubuntu look beautiful, thus much
more marketable. It's the dev team that makes it _rock_, which in turn
make it more marketable. This leads to a common misconception - people
come to us saying that Ubuntu should do this and that to make the
corporate world be more interested etc.
I don't want to say that we do all the things that help spread Ubuntu
that no one else picks up... but, basically, yes :) The original wiki
says we provide documentation to new users - now that's a thing we would
deinitely have to do, as an important part of marketing... if it weren't
for the Doc Team, which is doing an _excellent_ job of documenting
Ubuntu. I guess I could name a dozen more examples - but I hope you get
the point.
What made me become active in this team when I did was the fact that
there were no resources or help available to people who want to spread
Ubuntu locally. That's what the DIYM project should provide, and Lloyd
had the enlightening thought that the best people to go around and
spread the word are newly enamoured users, who only _just_ found Ubuntu
and are freshly excited and ready to ... spread the love.
Thence comes Spreadubuntu - a portal that leads a user all the way from
"Hello World, what is Ubuntu?" to "Hello World. I'm here to tell you
what Ubuntu is."
> Everyone I've spoken to has a strong idea of why they want to be
> involved in a particular project. However, I think we can give our
> efforts a much greater chance of success if we make sure we know why
> we're doing what we're doing.
Agreed. After todays meeting, it will probably become clear who does
what - and we can agree to appoint project leads, or not to appoint
project leads - we will have to decide if the MT needs leadership or not.
I personally think each of us could already outline the basic projects
and who's into what - and who's behind what.
> In marketing, and project management generally, people talk about
> SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound)
> objectives. An example might be:
> * Ubuntu to be the operating system for 10% of all web-servers, as
> measured by NetCraft, by 1 September 2008.
> It's certainly specific, it's measurable by objective means, we'll
> assume that we've decided it's achievable based on resources etc, and
> we'll assume that it's relevant to overall strategy. The date is very
> important, as it makes planning possible.
I can't agree on this one. It reminds me of planned economy, with which
we in the eastern half of the old world have bad experience ツ. I'm more
in favour of a free, supply and demand regulated economy model within
the team.
> I believe that it would be helpful if we could decide upon some
> marketing objectives for Ubuntu before we start to discuss the
> specifics of individual projects.
The objective is simple, gaining a 50% user share - from there, the
battle is fair.
> We're in an unusual position, in that Ubuntu is a volunteer project
> led by a strong commercial sponsor. As a volunteer community, we need
> to collectively agree on objectives and then win round those people
> who contribute to the marketing effort. With a commercial sponsor, we
> need to ensure that they're fully involved in deciding upon the team's
> objectives. Usually, marketing objectives would be designed to fulfil
> corporate objectives. We *could* take bug #1 to be our sole corporate
> objective, but this is the sort of thing we need to discuss as a team,
> with the wider community and with Canonical.
> I'm not suggesting we should try to tell people what they should be
> doing. I do, however, believe that we can be far more effective if
> concentrate our efforts on trying to achieve an agreed set of
> objectives. So, we need to advocate working together to fulfil the
> objectives.
> For example, if the Ubuntu Magazine team believe the best way they can
> help Ubuntu is through a magazine, then we all find a way in which
> that magazine can help fulfil the objectives we've agreed. In a
> traditional situation, it'd be the other way round: i.e. the
> objectives would be set, then you'd find ways to fulfil them. However,
> this is not a traditional situation :)
> This isn't meant to be a heavy corporate indoctrination session :)
> There's a lot we can learn from marketing, though, that can help us to
> be more effective.
> I want Ubuntu to succeed for many reasons, not least of all because I
> believe it's one of the most effective ways we have to spread free
> software. I reckon marketing techniques will enable us to be more
> effective.
> I know it's tempting to dive in and get to work, but I think it'll be
> worthwhile taking a step back and deciding on some SMART objectives,
> before we look at the specifics of individual projects.
> Gnome is a free software project with an excellent marketing team.
> Dave Neary has some thoughts about all of this on his blog:
> http://blogs.gnome.org/portal/bolsh/
> and Gnome journal has some good stuff too:
> http://gnomejournal.org/article/26/marketing-gnome
> http://gnomejournal.org/article/39/marketing-gnome-part-two-segmentation-targeting-and-positioning
> I've also written some thoughts on this:
> http://www.understated.co.uk/writing/marketing-open-source/
> I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of this.

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