My apologies for arriving a little late to the party.
Thanks to the latest DrupalEasy podcast I've just read these 2 articles on Drupal Marketing, and most of the comments.
I was also lucky enough to be present in London to hear Dries' call to the faithful to step up our marketing efforts and really help Drupal succeed.
There's been some attention paid to business focussed events, and the creation and collation of "marketing materials". But how much attention is being paid to the market itself?
Semiuniversal hit the nail squarely on the head by saying:
"There is a whole lot more to marketing than presentations, websites and videos. Those comprise the part of marketing called "communications", which is often associated with "branding" -- in a nutshell, getting people to recognize and remember your product. A competent marketing organization will have that covered, but it's completely subordinate to the fundamental core of modern marketing, something called "customer orientation". It's the job of the organization as a whole to adopt a customer-centric stance, with marketing leading the way. The goal is to get inside the heads of end users, engineers, decision makers and shape everything you produce and promote to fill their exact needs. This is done by data analysis, interview, survey and a whole lot of conversation with every level of your market constituents."
What do we actually know about the market for websites? That's the real question we need to ponder.
That's what marketing is really about. Real marketing is about building strategic intelligence about the field of engagement. Real marketing is about knowing your audience, understanding what their needs are, and delivering products that solve their problems. If you can actually solve their problem, they will probably find you.
But we also have to acknowledge that Drupal is special. We want to attract contributors, as well as consumers. It's just as important to the project, and ongoing health and growth of the community, that we understand how to solve their problems too. We also need to understand the needs of developers and sitebuilders.
Funny pics like this one showing how different CMS communities think about each other can be useful places to start, because they address a core tenet of marketing - segmentation.
User profiles and scenarios are also a form of segmentation. So our usability experts already understand one of the key disciplines of marketing.
Michael Anello reminds us that all too often we are just speaking into our own echo chamber.
"We need to start evangelizing Drupal outside of the Drupal ecosystem aimed at different industries (libraries, governments, small businesses, etc...)"
Yes! Perhaps we should be sending Dries and Angela to keynote at Webstock, O'Reilly, and Web Directions. We should all be going to more industry events, and general web events.
Six years ago, whilst attending an education miniconf at linux.conf.au I noted there were very few teachers in attendance. Back then I said we should be going to teacher conferences, not expecting them to magically come to our conference.
The Web is indeed world wide... As Susan Rust said
"Here's to raising all ships on our rising tide."