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From Donald Harbison <dpharbi...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: Why do we need to market open source?
Date Mon, 03 Dec 2012 20:30:22 GMT
On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM, Rob Weir <robweir@apache.org> wrote:

> I saw a question on this list a week or so ago, along the lines of
> "Why does a good, free product need to marketed?".  This is a good
> question.  I hope I have a good answer.
>
> I'd start by invoking the "awareness ladder".


Another common way of modeling this continuum is
Awareness>Consideration>>Purchase in a funnel diagram like this.
http://s.apache.org/Jpv

Some of you are
> probably familiar with it.  You look at your prospective "customers"
> and put them in one of the following buckets:
>
> 1) Unaware -- does not know about your product or even the problem it
> solves
>
> 2) Problem aware -- knows about the problem, but not that there are
> solutions, or that your product is a solution
>
> 3) Solution aware -- knows that there are solutions, but does not know
> about your solution
>
> 4) Product aware -- knows about your product
>
> 5) Fully aware -- is using your product, recommending it to others, etc.
>
> If you think of classical advertising, where you have a cream for dry
> feet, you first need to convince people that dry feet is a problem
> they should care about, then that there is a solution and then that
> your WizzoFootCream is the best thing for them.  You take the customer
> one step up the awareness ladder at a time.  You can't sell them the
> foot cream if they don't first think that dry feet is a problem.
>
> Note that the competitive "my product is better than your product" is
> mainly at levels 4 and 5.  Until then you are not so much selling a
> product, but selling an idea, the idea that there is a problem that
> has solutions.
>
> So what does this mean for open source like Apache OpenOffice?  What
> problem are we solving?    I've sketched out some possibilities on the
> wiki here:
>
> https://cwiki.apache.org/confluence/display/OOOUSERS/Why+OpenOffice
>
> Most of them are variations on "I need an office suite for X but I
> don't want to pay for Microsoft Office".   Some people know that have
> that problem and are looking for a solution.  (They are "problem
> aware").  But others don't even know there is something like a free
> office suite.  Others know there is a problem and that there are
> alternative solutions and want to know what the advantages of Apache
> OpenOffice are.
>
> So even with free, open source software, there is still need for
> marketing, especially with the earlier steps on the awareness ladder.
>
> We might think that OpenOffice is one of the most prominent open
> source brands around -- and indeed it is.  But I recently commissioned
> a brand awareness survey of US internet users and only 24% of them had
> heard of the OpenOffice brand.  So beyond the relatively small circle
> of open source enthusiasts, we're still unknown.  Of course, this is a
> huge opportunity for growth.
>
> So yes, OpenOffice needs marketing, even though it is free.  But the
> emphasis probably should focus on enlarging the universe of potential
> users who are aware of this product category and of that OpenOffice is
> the premier solution within that category.  In a sense we're the
> ambassadors of open source to the wider consumer market, the first
> open source product that many users learn about.
>
>
A unique attribute of Apache OpenOffice is the permissive benefits of the
Apache License 2. All, or any part, of an official Apache OpenOffice
Release provides the source code for developers to harvest and develop
their own works, as long as they observe the AL2 license terms of course.
Therefore, we need to include this target and develop a set of messages
that creates a good awareness of this opportunity and value proposition.


> Regards,
>
> -Rob
>

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