Feel free to annotate this page, but please keep to the point: it is a summary of the list discussion, so do not introduce new material on this page. Please also read WhatIsMarketing.
- Marketing is more than just sales, promotion and distribution. It is about all the things involved with matching the capabilities and desires of an organisation with the needs and wants of a market (i.e. a set of buyers/users).
- There yet has not been much market research about user needs
- There seems to be minimal communication between the marketing list and the core developers.
- Core markets:
- Talk to:
- distro team leaders,
- hackers/developers, ...
- For the desktop:
- Public administrations - schools, governments, councils.
- Early adopter momentum users
- For the platform:
- Third party developers
- For applications:
- Hobbyist windows users
- Talk to:
- Are user groups and trade shows relevant?
- Although people who attend these events may seem to be sold on Linux/GNOME anyway. one can see many people in so-called trade events who do not seem to clueful about GNOME, or geeky stuff in general.
There is some discussion about "Personas", i.e. fiction profiles of users who exemplify certain segments (see http://mail.gnome.org/archives/desktop-devel-list/2002-December/msg00482.html). Note that in order to be useful these profiles must be based on solid research into actual users, rather than some developer's idea of what a "typical user" wants/does.. Why only early adopters? Because aiming for a mainstream desktop market isn't acting our age. Because the mainstream will adopt Linux, not GNOME, and GNOME will just come along for the ride (see: Distributions and third party developers). And the mainstream isn't yet adopting linux on the desktop, so focussing energy there is a waste of our time. What we need, then, isn't another discussion to decide what our target markets are, it's answers to the following questions for each of those target markets.
- What do we have to offer?
- What are we missing?
- What are we doing to fill the gaps?
- What could we be doing that we're not?
- How can we get at the people involved?
- Much discussion that has occurred elsewhere also: Comparing GNOME to Firefox (wrong, because of the effort/committment involved to try it out, and switching costs. But consider the success of Live CDs, particularly w.r.t Ubuntu) and Intel ("Intel Inside": probably right).
- "It's the apps, stupid." Are we pimping the applications or the platform? (Think OS/2). Discussion of using GTK apps on Windows.
Murray Cumming emphasises the importance of creating positive brand associations, regardless of lack of "strategy". Also points out technically superior products that have failed because of poor marketing. (I - JohnWilliams - would argue that this emphasises my point that marketing is more than sales, promotion and distribution.) But Santiago reminds us about making promises that we can't keep.
Yet again, the point that we are marketing to Unix/Linux users, rather than Windows users. (Because Windows users cant download and install "GNOME", and if they try a Live CD they are trying a distribution, e.g. Ubuntu). MurrayCumming: Surely none of us are seriously trying to fight over the current Linux/User market share while ignoring potential new users?
- Dave Neary mentioned that we have lots of data with respect to user feedback, but we don't do anything (much) with it, nor do we have a strategy for this task
- And then, as usual, the thread degraded into the usual repition of points previously made, and criticisms along the lines of "x said that y, and I disagree" followed by "that's not what I meant" etc.
Tom Chance points out a market segmentation effort by the KDE people: market_segmentation.pdf
Marketing BOF at GUADEC
There was a marketing BOF held during GUADEC, details (including agenda, which partially comes from this page) are at Marketing BOF.