Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/29 17:15

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1

You're right.
It is obvious to me you have a better grasp of the issues.
All this other marketing and PR mumbo jumbo is a waste of time.
I hereby pass the torch to your leadership.


p.s. Taking quotes out of context is always a useful tool in debate. Excellent.

Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/28 22:49

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1


wtravel wrote:
New post by biglove


Critical posts like that demonstrating a complete lack of marketing knowledge and a complete lack of understanding of the goals and the capabilites of marketing and PR, along with how difficult this has become makes me wonder if we are attempting the impossible.

Perhaps this will only be embraced and valued if one day there is a commercial arm to XOOPS similar to MySQL. That may be the only way it ever happens because then the motivations will be in place to seek the benefits of good marketing and PR. I dunno. This is looking more and more like a long uphill battle.


Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/28 21:47

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1


Herko Coomans wrote:

kenmcd wrote:
Herko, you mentioned above that having an outsider assess the situation with a fresh view may be helpful (paraphrasing). This is that view. Blunt comments and opinions and a healthy dose of reality is the market researcher's best friend. Some people may be offended by the criticism. I am used to asking customers questions and getting the sometimes difficult answers. Criticism and user comments are the lifeblood of a customer-focused marketer. Otherwise you are living in fantasy of your own making completely out of touch with the user/customer reality. Commercial companies die everyday because they are out of touch. What we think is not important. What the user/customer thinks is important.
Anything else and you will not be successful in expanding into other markets.


I agree there, and always have. You will be hard-pressed to find a reply from me to a post with well put criticism that puts the poster down. I don't have a high tolerance for disrespect and bad language tho, and sometimes people confuse these motivations (I know you weren't referring to any of my posts being unable to take criticism)
One of the things that do bother me more and more tho is that people in general tend to drop things in a collective lap and assign highest priority to it just because they think it should be done, and done as soon as possible. I myself and Mithrandir especially have given a huge amount of our free (and some of our not-free) time to XOOPS in one way or another, and it just never seems to be enough. I'm not complaining (much) about this, the point is that I think the communications team should also address the issue of 'The XOOPS Way', which is that we're all in this together. You want something done, you do it, or find someone who wants to do it for you. But make it worth their wile. There is no XOOPS staff, no one is paid by XOOPS.org, in fact, XOOPS.org is Powered by You, it is made up out of You, it is You.


The only "you" in the paragraph above which was specifically directed to you personally was in the first sentence.
After that, you = XOOPS project.
This was not an attack on you.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I am not demanding features now or anything else.
What I am talking about is a focus.
These conflicting priorities between the marketing, support, and development teams
are nothing new in commercial companies.
Some things are easy and require little effort.
Some things are more substantial and require much more time and effort.

The easy things which help users happen sooner in a user-focused environment.
Example: How long would it take to copy and post for download phppp's distribution?
15 minutes max? I'll do it. Give me the permissions and I'll do it today.
Example: When I first started investigating XOOPS, I found the XOOPS for Dummie's Guide.
I asked why this was not on the XOOPS web site, or at least a link.
I offered to do it. No response.
It took another 2-3 months until the XOOPS doc site appeared.
Non-user-focus: Post no link of Dummies while developing XOOPS doc site.
User-focus: Post a link today to the Dummies web site - five minutes.

Things which help users happen sooner in a user-focused environment.
Much of this is focus and priority, not a lot of work.

Marketing and Communications
I started this discussion of user-focus in the context of target markets.
The point being - to be successful in a target market (a particular kind of user),
there needs to be a focus on that particular user's needs.
That is the way marketing usually works.

Marketing is communicating to potential users (customers) how
the product meets their particular needs.

If the goal is to have more people using and contribution to XOOPS,
telling the world "XOOPS is great" will have little effect.

Telling a church director the specific benefits of using XOOPS to
manage their community web site will have a much greater response.
That is a specific target market which can be cultivated with marketing.
It is a market which the current XOOPS capabilities can meet their needs.

Then, that user must be able to install and configure XOOPS.
This is the weak link - this is where user-focus becomes important.
If this user is not a tech geek, they will not ever get this done.
All the marketing in the world will not fix this.
An easy-to-install pre-configured package designed for communities will.
The last step = end-user-focus.

This is the point.
Marketing cannot sell a product that does not meet a user's needs.
Trying to do so is a waste of time and effort.
Plenty of commercial failures to demonstrate this.

You (yes, I actually do mean you now Herko) have told me you want to
expand XOOPS usage beyond the geek community.
This user-focus is what it will take.
We may want to pick a target user which will require the least
amount of development effort.
For example: religious communities may require only a packaged XOOPS.
This will definitely add users, but are they the users you want the most?

I don't know if this target user fits with the goals of the XOOPS Foundation.
You tell me.
You want more corporate users?
This is going to require meeting the corporate users needs.

Using marketing communications to get a corporate user to look at XOOPS
only to dismiss it because it does not meet their needs is again
a waste of everyone's time.

Target Markets
I have asked for your input here.
My understanding is you and the board are going to discuss this and get back to me.

Techies? We can target more of them it you want.
Web designers is the only one I can think of - any more ideas?
Small group, mostly geeks.
(BTW - see "geek" as a compliment, it implies technical expertise to me.)
They are obviously the type of user who will embrace XOOPS as-is.

You have expressed an interest in getting more non-geek users. Who?
I tossed out some ideas in the previous post regarding the SWOT analysis.
I/we need the board input here, along with hopefully a commitment to
focus on meeting that particular non-geek-user's needs.

Once we have a couple target markets, we can get started with the SWOT
and gathering the appropriate authors and publications for a media list.
The media list is made up of the media which the target market reads.
Don't know the target market, cannot determine the media.



Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/28 17:44

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1


phppp wrote:
No matter they are lazy . . .

Implying that a potential user is lazy because they don't
have the time or inclination to wade through the very steep
XOOPS learning curve is one of the things preventing the
adoption of XOOPS by more mainstream users.

phppp - my apologies, I don't mean to pick on you.
This is something which needs to be discussed as part
of the XOOPS Marketing and PR discussion.
I have seen this attitude more than once in these forums.

Geeks love to grind through the details.
The rest of the world does not.
Expecting everyone to be the same is a denial of reality.
It will never happen.

User-focused, customer-focused, etc.
These are not just marketing catch phrases.
They are an attitude and a philosophy required for marketing success.

XOOPS must adopt a user-focus for more mainstream success.
As Herko's comments above acknowledge, XOOPS is geek-focused.
This is hurting XOOPS (if the goal is more mainstream users).
This does not matter if there is no goal of increased market share.
XOOPS will still be a great product - that appeals only to tech people.

Analysis Paralysis vs. Just Do It
I am getting the feeling that every proposal is lost for
months in another committee, another analysis.
This is an impediment to more rapid progress.
The analysis/creation of packages has been going on for "months"?

phppp - I applaud you for making a full package available for download.
You have addressed and filled a customer/user need - now.
It is popular because of these marketplace realities.

Herko, you mentioned above that having an outsider assess the situation with a fresh view may be helpful (paraphrasing). This is that view. Blunt comments and opinions and a healthy dose of reality is the market researcher's best friend. Some people may be offended by the criticism. I am used to asking customers questions and getting the sometimes difficult answers. Criticism and user comments are the lifeblood of a customer-focused marketer. Otherwise you are living in fantasy of your own making completely out of touch with the user/customer reality. Commercial companies die everyday because they are out of touch. What we think is not important. What the user/customer thinks is important.
Anything else and you will not be successful in expanding into other markets.


Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/27 21:31

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1


risto wrote:
i was more thinking in the lines of preparing a set of
modules for a specific group of potential users.

This is an excellent idea.

One major roadblock to more people using XOOPS is the way it arrives out of the box - virtually useless.
It takes a BIG learning curve to actually get it working.
This eliminates a lot of people.
Some eliminated are less technical.
Some are simply too busy to invest the hours in an unknown.

TYPO3 makes a effort towards this by offering a pre-configured download in addition to the bare system download.

I myself use the WolfPack XOOPS because it save me lots of time having to make all those
what I consider essential changes for a working system.
I start-out hours if not days ahead (thanks guys!)

XOOPS is hard to learn, as is any powerful application.
It is a long hard job to set it up for your needs because of that.

What risto is talking about here is catering to vertical markets.
Very common in the commercial world.
Who has not seen an application customized for a particular industry?

A XOOPS package pre-configured with the modules needed would be more usable immediately and have a much shorter learning curve.

Handing someone XOOPS is like giving them a toolbox and saying "build something."
Great if you are builder.
Daunting if you are not.

Knowing how to use a drill and a hammer does not make you a home builder.
Can you move in and then maintain an existing home?
Far more people able to do this.

Build them a XOOPS home.
Help them move in now, and then they can maintain it, and modify it for their needs.

Great idea risto.

Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/27 18:51

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1

We want to be useful for companies, both for intranet and internet, but know too little of what companies really need in order to use XOOPS for this.

I realized did not address this.

wtravel/Martijn has kindly offered to do a SWOT analysis.
SWOT - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.
This is a big job requiring substantial marketing expertise.
A big thank you Martijn!

This analysis looks at our product (XOOPS) in comparison to other products
in the same target markets.

We need to identify some target markets to analyze.
You all know more than I do about who is using XOOPS and how.
Some discussion ideas:
- corporate intranet
- web hub site
- web corporate site
- web portal site
- web community site
- big sites, small sites ??
- ?????
ecommerce is out.
I suggest selecting one market where XOOPS is strong now, and one you want to penetrate.

We need to select some competitors to analyze in those markets.
Some discussion ideas:
- Mambo
- Drupal
- Plone
- commercial CMSs ??
- phpNuke
- ????
Who is the main competitor in each of the two markets selected above?

The size of the analysis job multiplies by the number of markets
and competitors analyzed. 2 to 3 of each should be more than enough
to start and educate everyone as to what SWOT analysis is and
how to use it. Long-term it is an ongoing process.

Martijn - your thoughts on the project scope?

Input is needed on who and where we want to compete.
Based on the goals of the XOOPS Foundation,
which market/end-user do you want to target?

My choice as a proponent of open source would be to target at least one well known commercial product in a market which is most likely to help the long-term goals of the XOOPS project.
I would like nothing better than help an open source product kick some commercial products figurative ass.
That would get some headlines.

That would also require a commitment to developing solutions to the XOOPS weaknesses
identified as features needed to compete in that market.
Tough challenge, but rewarding.



Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/27 17:47

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1

Mithrandir - from a place I used to work.
The newest person became the FNG = Friendly New Guy (or girl)
This torch was passed as new people came aboard.
It was funny then.

What do you need, you reckon? For project home, I mean. Private forums here? A mailing list?

In the past this was done with a very small group, 2-3 people.
Lots of direct face-to-face, some phone, and some email.
Lots of collaboration on one plan document.
So I am pondering how to do this with a larger global volunteer group.
- a mailing list for sure
I have mixed feelings on "private" anything, it makes the project less visible.
- a private forum may be useful (certainly to limit the signal-to-noise ratio)
Could we have permissions which would allow editing, deleting, moving, etc.
Document creation, management, would be needed.
Our marketing and PR plans are usually a big table in Word.
Perhaps it is time I get better with OpenOffice.

A mailing list and a forum would be a good start.
The rest will come as needed.

Herko - I share your feelings regarding setting up a big project management app.
At this point this would be overkill and an impediment to progress.

About the goals, we will have to discuss it, but I think it is fair to assume that we want to have less of a "geeky" image. We want to be useful for companies, both for intranet and internet, but know too little of what companies really need in order to use XOOPS for this.

But we will need some ping-pong on this. We (Core Team) cannot just set some goals and expect the M & C Team to make it so. We can give some general goals of what we would like, then you can run with the idea and its feasibility - and maybe we will end up with a quite less ambitious first goal, but with the aim of reaching the next.

Regarding projecting a less "geeky" image - this will require embracing
and addressing the needs of non-technical users. I see a lot of the
non-tech-end-users-are-stupid undercurrent in the forums.
Non-technical users are not stupid. They have different knowledge, different
strengths, and different needs. Not knowing this is ignorance.

I agree 100% regarding ping-pong and setting goals.
The marketing person's job in this area usually is to assist and help guide the
client in establishing marketing and PR goals which are appropriate and achievable.

Project Scope
It is becoming more clear to me.
This was not driven by "We should be doing better marketing."
It was more like - "Mambo got some PR, we should too."

To get a better idea of the XOOPS market focus, I went and read the
All about XOOPS info and the announcement thread about the XOOPS Foundation.
I browsed through the documentation site for any kind of marketing collateral.
Found nothing. If it exists, please point me to it.

From reading these and what you are saying above, XOOPS has had no targeted focus.
I found absolutely nothing.
We are starting from zero.

Because of this, I think it prudent to limit the scope to a couple small
pieces of a full marketing plan which we (the team) can plan and execute in
a relatively short time frame. Try to get some successes under our belt.
Trying to create and execute a complete marketing plan would be futile.
There is no marketing infrastructure, no marketing culture, no marketing
awareness, no marketing expertise in place now that I can see.

I suggest three things:
- Media Plan and Campaign (PR) (2-4 months for first results)
- XOOPS Case Studies (1-2 months)
- XOOPS Marketing Flyer and/or brochure (1-2 months)

Media Plan and Campaign - the goal is to increase awareness of XOOPS.
This is done by getting XOOPS covered in articles and news online and in print.
First we figure out who is covering this type of product and
then provide them with the info for them to include in the article.
A database of the authors is created - the Media List.

Things people can help with:

- Gathering articles already written about CMS systems, open source, etc.
This will tell us who is doing the writing and what is being covered.
Reporters who cover CMS and open source are more likely to write about XOOPS.
How to find the articles - article links on other CMS web sites, articles.com,
Google search for subjects and for competitors names, . . . be creative.
The result should be a list of article titles, author name and email, URL links.
We can then customize an article idea for the author based on their history.

- Media list. A list of name, publication, email, beat, articles written.
This database will be the target list for XOOPS article ideas, press releases, etc.
Example - go to InfoWorld site, find list of editors and reporters, see who
covers open source, CMS systems, corp IT, etc.
Name, title, email, publication, relevant articles written.
Sometimes this is a reporter, sometimes an editor.
When in doubt select managing editor, then main editor.
Some sites have a designated email for article or press release submission.
Goal - 1,000 to 2,000 names globally who may cover XOOPS.

- Editorial Calendars. Most publications online and offline publish and editorial
calendar which shows what subjects they will be covering in each issue. If eWeek
is covering CMSs in Sept.2005 we want to submit info about XOOPS to the writer.
Usually these are online HTML or PDF. We need to gather hard copy of these calendars.
The PDF or saved web page. This info will be used to create our own calendar
of opportunities for getting coverage.
Lead times. Print publications must have the info 2-3 months in advance of the
publication date. Online publications - lead time is much shorter.
Online news sites even shorter.
Goal - top 10-20 publications we want, and then the rest (could be 100s)

XOOPS Case Studies
Case studies are useful in many ways. For a media campaign they can be
easily re-purposed into an article, or a portion of an article.
Reporters write about what their readers care about. A case study
about their type of reader gives them a big head start on an article.
Case studies are also very useful for influencing the non-tech decision makers.

Need Xoopers input here for sure to identify good case study candidates.
Let's aim for three. Three different types of users. (who ???)
Obviously you want to present the best implementations you can.
Who is selected will affect what we can get covered. For example, InfoWorld is
not going to write about a game site, that is not their reader.
A case study about a corporate user is more likely to get their attention.

How you can help:
Please post your ideas for XOOPS users to cover in a case study.
An incentive - the user covered will get lots of free publicity.
Please collect other CMS case studies for ideas.
Write a case study!
Goal - 3-5 quality case studies.

XOOPS Marketing Flyer
This summarizes the benefits of using XOOPS.
And some of the features which create those benefits.
High quality design print piece. PDF and print.
Useful to attract attention, influence decision makers.
Helps create a quality image.

Features do not sell, benefits do.
Benefit - What it does for me.
Feature - How it does it.
Tech people tend to list all the features on a flyer.
Users do not select (or buy) a CMS based on features.
They buy benefits.

How you can help:
- List the benefits of selecting and using XOOPS.
- List the advantages of using XOOPS
- List the features that support or enable those benefits.

Thanks to all for the positive input.

Ken McDonald

Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/26 21:28

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1

Offers to join the Marketing and Communications Team
so far . . . in no particular order.
- JasonMR
- Mamba
- seth_sd
- wtravel
- davidl2
- Luciano
- skara

My apologies if I have missed someone.
Please add your name.
Thanks to all!


Herko Coomans wrote:
XOOPS was built by coders, not by designers. Mambo was built by designers, not by coders. That's why XOOPS looks better on the inside, and Mambo looks better on the outside. It also shows the focus: Mambo has an outward focus (it's system users), XOOPS an inward focus (it's community). I think this explains a lot, and also gives some direction on where we want to go. Keep what we have, and build on top of it.

From a marketing standpoint - this is the problem.

Mambo is more focused on the end-user, and marketing (external).
XOOPS lives in its own little world (all internal).
If these were both commercial software, Mambo would outsell XOOPS substantially.

As you have said XOOPS does not focus on the end-user.
Additional evidence:
Usability is a focus on the end-users needs.
Mambo has focused on this and recently upgraded the admin interface.
The XOOPS admin interface is horrendous from a usability standpoint
There is no visual hierarchy, no logical grouping of tasks, it's a link dump.
Yes, everything is there, but is hard to learn and ugly.
The newBB2 interface another link dump.
There is no logical grouping of tools, the visual hierarchy is minimal.

Technically newBB2 is probably fine work, maybe even a marvel.
To the end-user it appears inferior.
Perception is important.
Would you buy BMW with a lousy paint job?

Usability is just one feature to examine in the Competitive Analysis.

If someone is offended by this assessment, tough.
Openness, honest assessment, and reality are required in successful marketing.
Anything else and we are just wasting everyones time.
The landscape is littered with failed products whose developers
refused to deal in reality. The marketplace proved them wrong.

The users do not care about technical superiority. (eg. MS vs. Linux)
- Does it do what I need? Solves my problem.
- Does it do it now?
- Does it setup easily?
. . . and on to the next project.

What is under the hood does not matter.
Yes, the code work may be excellent.
Yes, one may be rightly proud of such good work.
To the end-user it does not matter.

All the end-user cares about is what does it do for me.

For some reason various features keep being discussed.
Features are not marketing.
Features are a competitive advantage or disadvantage depending
on the market you are trying to reach.
Based on the seth-sd post above, if you are trying to penetrate the corporate
intranet market Exchange integration is a required feature.
Without this feature XOOPS will not be successful in this market.
To other potential users this feature may not be important.

Good usability is a competitive advantage.
Good documentation is a competitive advantage.
And on and on . . .

Some features are a deal breaker for particular target markets.
Some features must be tweaked for a particular market.
A corporation may require documentation that is a searchable, bookmarked,
easy-to-print, all-in-one PDF. Some may want a searchable CHM.
Q. Why do you think larger vendors supply HTML, PDF, and CHM documentation?
A. User focus, user needs, user request.

Back to Where to Start
(1) Setting some goals (as discussed in my earlier post)
(2) A Competitive Analysis is then done to assess the market environment.
Everything else emanates from here.

Part of that analysis is to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the product
(XOOPS) in light of those goals. This includes product features.

A goal to penetrate the intranet market may not be realistic without Exchange
integration. XOOPS will lose to products which offer this feature. That other
product meets the customer needs in this situation. XOOPS does not.
If that is the goal, development needs to be focused on adding that feature.

Competitive Analysis is a self-assessment and a comparison to other products.
Living in your own little world is common for small commercial companies.
The client reaction to the Competitive Analysis was many times shock.
They had no idea on how they and their product fit in the marketplace.
They had no idea of how they are actually perceived by the marketplace.

Target Markets
If you only want to promote XOOPS to the audience of fellow coders
little is required. They understand the language. They appreciate the work.
They will dive in up to their elbows.

The rest of the business world speaks a different language.
Talking code excellence to the corporate manager in-charge of the knowledge base,
internal communications, and the intranet is a complete waste of time.
Swahili would be just about as effective. You will get the same glazed look.
His language is benefits, features, ease of use, maintenance cost, etc.

Those are the items which will be created after the goals are set
and the competitive analysis is done.

1. Define the target market.
2. Create the messages for that target market.
3. Communicate those messages to that target market

Until I and the team know who those target markets are this
will all be theoretical and perhaps hard to understand for a
non-marketing-trained person. That is to be expected.

Hopefully we will be able to do as much of this project as possible
in a open environment for all to see the process and participate.

First Step - Goals
Herko, Mithrandir and others are going to start the goal setting process.
As the FNG, I don't know who all the players are yet.

A project home will need to be established.
Again as the FNG, you (the collective you) will need to help guide this.
Herko, Mithrandir, your ideas on this?

Note: Glad to see XOOPS News being discussed. Sorely needed.
Product News is a marketing communications channel so at some
point we may want to coordinate.

I appreciate all those who have offered to help!

Ken McDonald

Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/26 3:16

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1

I would like to help out in whatever way I can.
Best wishes,

Please send more info on what you are interested in doing.

banned wrote:
Xoops, as is, is not good enough.

Not good enough for what?
Not good enough to use now as a CMS?

Nothing on this list would preclude development and implementation
of a marketing and PR plan to promote XOOPS.

Does XOOPS have areas which need improvement? You bet.
I have my own list.

The world is filled with well promoted products which need improvement.
There are also many excellent products which are relatively unknown or
have disappeared due to non-existent or poor marketing.
Most products do not start out perfect, or ever end up perfect.
Most die long before that happens because of poor marketing.

An honest, comprehensive Competitive Analysis and SWOT will
identify and highlight areas which may need improvement
to better compete in the target markets identified.
How the management addresses the issues will determine how successful
the product will become in relation to its competitors.
If they do not care, nothing will change.

Commercial products have to care about being competitive.
Those that do not care die.
In open source it is somewhat elective.
To be more successful in displacing commercial products open source needs
to start thinking and acting like a commercial product in regards to
marketing and being competitive.

While in collage a close friend of mine always picked the one student he
thought was his toughest rival and competed in his head on every test.
He graduated 4.0 Summa Cum Laude.
Perhaps a similar goal would be to get more PR than Mambo.
Or how about targeting a commercial product.

Is XOOPS successful now? Wildly.
Is the XOOPS project deficient in marketing communications? Definitely.

Like most open source projects, XOOPS is founded and run by programmers.
Communications and marketing are not usually programmers' strengths.
This is not a criticism of programmers. Just the way it is.
I admire the programmers' talents, and appreciate the amazing free software.
My programming skills are above that of a bowling ball, but it still beats me sometimes.
I have over 20 years of marketing and PR training and experience.
The lack of marketing and PR in open source makes me nuts.

The open source projects which do have any marketing and PR are usually
those with a commercial support option - MySQL, Mambo, etc.
Because of this, they have hired trained marketing and PR people who
know the importance of and how to do these things.

It is hard to do consulting for many small companies because they don't get it.
Large companies got that way because they do get it and hire people inside.

To get back to the subject . . .
Where this project will go and how it will affect the future of XOOPS is unknown.
At this point I don't know the motivation or level of commitment of "the management."
To even be discussing commercial-level marketing and PR is a good start.



Re: Mambo winning on PR-field now
  • 2005/3/25 23:05

  • kenmcd

  • Just popping in

  • Posts: 63

  • Since: 2004/6/8 1

Herko, Mithrandir,

I am up for the lead job, with some concerns.

I went back and really read the entire thread.
It appears you are talking about more than just a PR plan.
More like a complete marketing plan.
Done right, this is a big job, and an ongoing job.
It will definitely require a team of people.

The scope of what we can reasonably achieve will be constrained by the manpower available.
Obviously the same as on the programming side.

Marketing and Communications team.
The good news, some of the people already posting appear to have some marketing experience:
Mamba - talking goals, audiences, etc.
wtravel - basically talking about SWOT analysis
JasonMR - collateral materials and tactics
Will need more people.

Identify Strategic Goals
Herko, Mithrandir, other members of the Foundation board? You know who should have input.
This is where the goals will have to come from initially, and
then be refined and massaged by a marketing person.
Me and members of the team.

From point A to point B -- as in any journey, you have to know where you are first
before you can get to where you want to be.

Competitive Analysis
Any marketing related project starts with a competitive analysis.
- Where am I?
- Where are the competitors?
- Where do I want to be?

This requires gathering and summarizing info about XOOPS and competitors.
Team members can help with this.

What is the message (or messages) you want to communicate?
From the competitive analysis we analyze the competitors messages, determine where we want to position XOOPS in relation to those competitors, and then create the XOOPS messaging strategy.
This includes descriptions of various lengths, tagline, elevator speech, etc.
- tagline (on the logo now)
- descriptions (one line, 25 words, one paragraph, three paragraphs, one page, brochure, etc.)
- elevator speech (you're in an elevator, someone says "What's XOOPS?", you have x seconds)
You want them all consistent, same messaging.

Marketing Communications
This is an all encompassing term which includes PR, collateral materials, branding, etc.

PR I discussed above.

Collateral materials include brochures, white papers, promotional materials, etc.
These are done after the messaging is clearly defined.
They are the physical communication and reinforcement of the messages.

Branding is a more esoteric process which includes messaging, repetition, and style guides.
Branding is a long-term process to imprint a message.
Q. What is the first thing you think of when I say Volvo?
A. Safety.
That's branding.
Muddled messaging, lack of cohesive strategy, inconsistent styles - all hurt branding.
Q. What is the first thing people think of when I say XOOPS?
A. ??

If nothing comes to mind for someone, they have not been branded for XOOPS.
What is the answer you want?

Style guides - can you recognize all XOOPS materials as XOOPS instantly?
Upside down on a desk, web site, coffee mug?
Search Google for "styleguide.pdf" - lots of corporate style guides.

All of the channels communicating the same messages is very powerful.

Where to Now?
There is more . . . but perhaps I am getting ahead of myself.

- What have you (the leaders) been thinking about this marketing thing the last few months?
- What has been discussed?
- What is the motivation to do something now?
- What are the goals now? Short-term, long-term.
- How do you see this project progressing?
- How will it be supported? Board or foundation involvement?
- Day-to-day mechanics?

After those questions . . .
My first concern would be staffing.
Lots to do if we undertake this entire project.
Creating the media list alone could be a week of time.
Definitely have to scale based on available help.

I am going to be very blunt here - my apologies up front.
I am not saying this is you - could be the board, team members, etc.
Second concern is dealing with technical people who think they
know everything about marketing and PR and make everything a battle.
Too many very smart technical people don't know what they don't know.
This got very, very old.
I only did 5 years in high-tech PR.
My former partner did 20 years in PR, mostly high-tech.
She wants nothing to do with it now.
Burned out from the aggravation.
The aggravation is just not worth it - especially working for free.

I think it is interesting that someone brought up the Mambo PR successes. I have been watching both Mambo and XOOPS for a while and been intrigued by how much more visible Mambo is while being basically a much smaller and newer project. Marketing and PR work.


Ken McDonald

« 1 (2) 3 4 5 6 »


Who's Online

62 user(s) are online (25 user(s) are browsing Support Forums)

Members: 0

Guests: 62



Goal: $100.00
Due Date: Aug 31
Gross Amount: $0.00
Net Balance: $0.00
Left to go: $100.00
Make donations with PayPal!

Latest GitHub Commits