Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (252 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-project] Marketing Definitions from oSC15
  • From: Jay <MyMailClone@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 01 Jul 2015 19:38:46 +0200
  • Message-id: <1612362.0pNpab1MW3@linux-tez8>
Am Dienstag, 30. Juni 2015, 23:44:25 schrieb Home:
Dear community,

I wanted to come into the overarching discussion of defining out target
audience for the project after reviewing the board’s presentation at oSC15.
At this meeting the discussed a few key points with which they are making a
proposal to the team to work on a more targeted audience to build the
strength of the project.

While many of us can agree or disagree that the Board’s intention is
correct, incorrect, relevant or irrelevant. I believe there is great
insight to be gained from their proposal to think about for the very near
future. I feel that if we do not put cards on the table, we lose the ways
in which we are strong together and weak by ourselves.

For a very long time, even before the Board explained this improved aim, we
have had issues or deep thoughts about where the project is going; what the
project’s direction is. When will we be able to think of the project as a
driving force in Open Source? These are a few things that matter and are
worth reviewing.

It seems that every so often we work on doing an introspection to find the
strength within to continue with the project.

With this introduction in mind, I invite you to read on. This email will be
long, you have been warned!

The Board explained in our most recent conference that the current project
seems aimless, given that we tend to be the distribution of everyone doing
everything, and at the same time, being the distribution that does nothing
and belongs to no one. Our aim seems lost and we must find it to gain
strength and followers.

The openSUSE Board did an exercise where they placed different audiences
against a set of core features that are part of the distribution and
project. The clever arrangement showed the amount of connections that a
target audience could make with our current technologies, particular to
openSUSE.

They noted that despite the lack of marketing done for this distribution for
13.2, we nonetheless had the highest download numbers ever for our
distribution. So, there is something to say about the distribution that
works itself as a popular choice underground; without much intervention, or
that the methods we were able to use last minute, were really good and
strong.

They defined the openSUSE’s areas of strength. They are tools, packages, and
distributions. It should be noted that these are very technically centered,
where there could probably be room for other areas of strength in the
project. However, we can leave that discussion for later.

They considered ISVs but were quickly ruled it out because of their lack of
connections to the areas of strength. They also matched system
administrators, and developers. Again the list was short and oriented to
the technical audience.

Given these strengths the Board felt that our highest “match” would be a
developer audience looking to find a solid distribution where their
development environments would be stable and productive.

Throughout the discussion, I took a few notes and questions that I invite
the Board and all of us to try to answer. By “answer” I mean “answer.”
Please shy away from confrontational discussions on values, morals,
personal attachment and look at this discussion in the light of the
evidence and what seems rational, sensical, and forward-thinking.

Here are some questions that I think we should think about from a Marketing
standpoint. Some of them are more fundamental than others but for each of
their particular value, please take a minute to ponder and provide
feedback.

1. The project looks for marketing strength in the light of the technologies
that the distribution currently ships with each distribution. Kiwi, OBS,
Tumbleweed, etc. Are the strengths of the project only based on
technological advancement? If yes or no, which ones do you think are a
strength to the project and which ones do you think are not valuable to the
project? Should they all be technical, should they not?

2. The Board feels that a Developer audience, and maybe a System
Administrator audience, is a strong focal point for our marketing. What are
the strengths and weaknesses of approaching, via marketing, to these two
main audiences?

3. Given the lesser marketing push for 13.2, which resulted in increased
download numbers, should we think of a strong push for marketing through
our traditional channels? Making the counter, creating banners for online
sites such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter. Creating a page on our site to
promote the release, creating a release announcement to distribute, etc.

4. What are the thoughts around the strength of a developer community versus
other target audiences such as education, public service, finance,
medicine, research, general public, non-technical users, gamers, etc? What
are the merits of a developer community target as opposed to others?

5. If there is a marked marketing strategy resulting in practical
application, what the core activities that we should do for the project in
marketing terms to target a developer audience versus what we currently do?

6. The project is large and has a few diverse areas of focus. If we are
targeting developers, should we keep or remove initiatives that do not
align with the target audience in hopes that by concentrating efforts into
one audience will produce a better outcome in the end? For example, why
work on integrating so many desktop platforms when a developer might simply
care to have support for specific languages, a command line, a text editor
and a compiler? If a development environment is an aim, should we not
remove efforts that go into areas unrelated to a development environment?

There may be more questions that I could formulate as we move along the
subject, but I ask you to limit your answers to the ones above and we can
lead a separate discussion for derivative subjects on a different thread.


Thank you team

Andy (anditosan)


I'm having a huge cognitive dissonance after having read this.

Are you really sure you want to forego the "normal" user (like me) for
developers/admins?

I never thougth of openSUSE as the distribution for just those two groups.
For me it was always the least riskiest, easiest to install, high-quality
alternative to Windows.

And I would be surprised if the good download-numbers for 13.2 came from
developers and admins. I think they came from people who had a favourable
experience with 12.3/13.1, from positive reviews and word of mouth.

But I may be wrong.

A focussing-strategy is almost never wrong. But you have to be prepared to
make sacrifices. The more you focus and the more effective your strategy, the
more you have to sacrifice. That is: loose those who do not belong to your
target groups.

And if your strategy really works, you can't come back in two years and say:
"Now we want the desktop-user". Because then your position already is
"The distribution for developers and sys-admins".

I don't say that's wrong. I just want to make you aware of the fact that this
is a long-term strategic decision that you can not change just like that.

And you will have to live with the consequences.


Rainer


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