[ubuntu-uk] Leaflets

TheVeech theveech at gmail.com
Thu May 3 12:29:21 BST 2007

On Wed, 2007-05-02 at 14:42 +0100, Mark Harrison wrote:
> Right - I'll step forward as a marketeer :-)
> However, in typical marketing style, I'm going to answer the question I 
> wish you'd asked instead... hence I'm going to talk about the general 
> "flyers for use at shows" issue, rather than the specifics of "how to 
> craft a flyer that explicitly has the purpose of answering questions."

I'd be more interested in how relevant your experience of shows is to
working outside of them.  Have you done this and how do the experiences

> We had a long discussion discussion in the Sussex LUG about the leaflets 
> to use for the British Computer Fair stands that the LUG runs each month.
> The FLYER that we designed at that point (and reportedly worked well at 
> attracting attention) can be found at
>    http://www.youraffiliateexpert.com/temp/   - versions in ODP and PDF 
> formats
> I ought now to explain WHY I recommended this approach.
> - The purpose of the flyer was to make people stop at the stand, and ask 
> more. It was NOT to answer people's questions. The logic was that it was 
> far more effective to "hook" someone with a bold leaflet, and then get 
> them into a 1-1 conversation with someone who could relate to their 
> issues, than to try to create a "reference document" for people to take 
> away and not read.

Bang on.  Tech documents have to be pretty good to avoid that.  Trouble
is, most ventures would also know that you've got to lure people in, and
be aware of the techniques that can be used.  That means that if you
don't hit the substance, it's down to who's got the best phrases.

>  I'm in favour, BTW, of creating a takeaway reference 
> document as proposed, but I think that a flyer to get people to "stop at 
> the table" is helpful at any show.

But stopping people on the street you'd have to have something for them
to go to on the net and want to find out more.  Whether such a flyer's
enough to do this, I'm not sure.

> - This is ONE example to show the format of the leaflet. There were 
> several others, each with a photo, a name, a job title and a catchy 
> soundbite. At BCF, the majority of attendees are NOT IT professionals, 
> so we deliberately tried to pick references who worked outside the IT 
> industry as well to plant some rapport into the minds of the passers-by 
> that this WASN'T something that only appealed to "geeks". Obviously, at 
> an IT-industry event, it would be far more sensible to pick 
> people/soundbites that were from the industry ; or if it were a travel 
> industry event, to pick them from the travel industry, or for a local 
> government event, to pick them from local government, or... well you get 
> the idea - create a feeling in the mind of the passerby that the person 
> on the leaflet is similar to them, and faces similar issues.

But for each and every person who says they switched to Linux, how many
haven't.  Er, why?  Ok, thanks, see ya.

You've tried an approach in the flyer and hit a few buttons, but I
wouldn't be sold.  300 quid?  Big deal.  Illegal copy?  If I had to, at
least I'm getting something expensive for nowt and duped a
multinational.  Switch to something better?  Says you - all those people
who use Office stupid/unenlightened too?  Give over.  There's endless
approaches - e.g., IMHO, a better approach in this context would have
been to hit the unfaithful lover and tell the other one they can do
better.  But could Linux ever be as desirable/sexy as it is dependable?

> - Each flyer had a consistent layout - name/title top left, photo top 
> right, quote middle, "...just another person to <b>switch to linux</b>" 
> bottom middle, Tux bottom left. Obviously, this was for a LUG - if the 
> Ubuntu_UK list wants to do something, then it should have an Ubuntu logo 
> instead.

I don't really buy it and your soundbite is only one of many - i.e. some
are better than others.  Just having a soundbite means little.  Applying
science makes you no different to countless other proponents of this
craft.  Where's the beef?

Status is a weak argument, however you use it.   I think it's a wasted
opportunity.  At the top it's like 'hey look at me, I'm a rocket
scientist, you'd better listen to me' and at the bottom, 'but hey
people, I'm just like you'!  Rocket scientists, just like any other
professionals, would want more substance than what's on offer here.

Sure, people can be suckers for status, but substantial arguments can't
be so easily dismissed by opponents.  E.g. in business, Bill Gates is
richer than you.  Bill Gates has used marketing better than you.  His
company is one of the most successful in the world.  He uses Windows.
EVERYONE uses Windows.  I might try Linux one day, but thanks anyway.

Maybe flyers with arguments like this have a short-term impact (not
least because there's a reason these people are at the show in the first
place) but, IMHO, it ain't got the legs to survive long outside of the
show because of what critics can do to your arguments before you have
your big chance.  You might get some people to go in the right
direction, but I don't think the case is made well enough here and I
don't know what work was done as a follow up to find out how successful
the flyer and discussions were.

> - The tagline "just another person to <b>switch to linux</b>" is 
> important, since it contains what is known in NLP as an embedded 
> command. There are parts of the brain that process the entire structure 
> of the sentence literally. However, modern thinking in neuroscience is 
> that there are independent "clusters" within the brain that just store 
> particular entities. In this case, I used the <b> .. </b> to discretely 
> highlight the phrase "switch to linux" as a discretely parsable entity. 
> The entity as part of the whole sentence is just a subsidiary clause - 
> however the entity on its own is a command.... "switch to Linux", hence 
> the use of the term "embedded command". I'd still go with the phrase but 
> make it specific, so "Just another person to switch to Ubuntu". Again, 
> it's critical that this phrase is common, and used across various 
> slides, each of which carries a different name, face and quote.

Which begs the question: if they're switching to Linux/Ubuntu, why
aren't so many other people in many far more successful ventures?  If
they aren't switching, why should I?  300 quid is nothing to the
long-term efficiency of my business and, besides, I can cut a good deal
with MS.

Come on Mark!  Your paragraph here contains some of the best babble I've
read in a long time.  You're supposed to make your science and
terminology comprehensible to those outside the confines of the science
so people aren't impressed by the babble and can assess exactly what
you're getting at.

FWIW, I just don't think the phrases and the flyer are that effective.

> I will come to the question of the "FAQ flyer" though. What I would 
> strongly suggest is that the place to start is experience of discussions 
> with a typical show attendee (you'll have to profile them somehow if 
> it's the first time you're going to a given show", and try to work out 
> what the FREQUENTLY asked questions are. Too often, FAQs are a 
> mis-acronym for "questions our marketing people wish you'd asked", 
> presumably on the basis that QOMPWYA doesn't form an easy-to-say word :-)

I think there's a hell of a lot of scope here but, beyond merely
focusing on show attendees.  Is anything being done in this and, if not,
have you got the experience to get something up and running?  If so,
what would you need to do it?

> Oh, and you're welcome to use the flyer if you want, particularly if you 
> change Tux to Ubuntu logo, and change the word Linux to Ubuntu. The 
> author photo is copyright ric bacon, and I have a waiver from him 
> allowing me to use it for unlimited purposes (including commercial 
> purposes.) 'Twas a good deal - he assigned me those rights in exchange 
> for a photographer credit in my book - see even my marketing material 
> doesn't breach copyright :-)
> Regards,
> Mark Harrison
> Ad follows - feel free to stop reading now:-)

Whoops! :)

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