[Marketing] OSGeo Marketing Strategy part 2

Arnulf Christl (OSGeo) arnulf.christl at wheregroup.com
Wed Oct 10 03:46:29 EDT 2007

Jeroen Ticheler wrote:
> Thanks Dave for the excellent additions!
> Yes, service companies and software companies need to recognize 
> themselves in the message and we may indeed have to look at tailored 
> messages in some circumstances, or at least keep them in mind when 
> evaluating what we come up with in a first round.
> Brings to my mind that I also mentioned governments, EU, etc.. as 
> potential sponsors that may be sensitive to the way we formulate the 
> message and to the OSGeo mission.

at this point we currently still have an organizational and cultural(...) issue in that EU will not sponsor a US based organization, be it non-profit or not. We will need to have an account and some kind of minimal OSGeo legal entity in Europe to have the EU put money in. There are several potential candidates (remember that OSGeo tries to not overrun but embrace existing FOSSGIS organizations) in Germany, Italy, France and maybe Spain (at least that I know of) but none of them really is an OSGeo"-Main" outlet but more of a local chapter. I tried to bring this up at board meetings but was not well enough prepared to get the message across. 

This is just a reminder that if we want money from the EU (yes we do!) we still have to do some groundwork wrt formalizing OSGeo on an international basis.


> Ciao,
> Jeroen
> On Oct 9, 2007, at 10:11 PM, Dave McIlhagga wrote:
>> Jeroen,
>> I think what you have outlined here is a terrific start -- and we all 
>> are crossing our fingers that this early momentum will continue into 
>> the future. :)
>> My one comment is concerning Sponsors -- I think it is important to 
>> keep in mind that there are a few different types of sponsors that we 
>> should be considering and that our messages need to be tailored to 
>> these various groups.
>> 1. Users -- I think what you have below covers this well.
>> 2. Service Companies around OSGeo software -- This group needs to have 
>> a clear message of the benefits sponsorship can bring them - in 
>> particular, promotional benefits of association with OSGeo.
>> 3. Software Companies around OSGeo software -- keeping in mind that 
>> many of these companies follow hybrid approaches to open source / 
>> proprietary technology, the message needs to be tweaked again to 
>> reflect this. For these organizations -- high quality software 
>> development environment, and marketing in the form of recruitment of 
>> other like minded organizations to contribute development resources 
>> will have the most appeal. INGRES was encouraged to sponsor for 
>> exactly this reason -- and we should look to that model for future 
>> software companies.
>> Dave
>> On 9-Oct-07, at 3:58 PM, Jeroen Ticheler wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> Thanks for the supporting messages! I really want this thing to be a 
>>> successful process with a lot of consensus, so if at any time you 
>>> feel I am missing the boat or ignoring relevant issues, please let me 
>>> know immediately!
>>> I had a lunch meeting on the topic again with the marketing/design 
>>> people I work(ed) with. I tried to explain what I thought were some 
>>> of the key objectives OSGeo should achieve in the coming year. I'll 
>>> list those here for comments and further discussion/refinement. We 
>>> agreed we'll get a first proposal together to assess what is 
>>> reasonably achievable considering the available budget. I have 
>>> indicated that in this whole process I need the community support and 
>>> as such the implementation of the work will be different then when 
>>> they deal with just me and a small GN community.
>>> Here's what I put up as goals (as I see them, considering what we 
>>> discussed in Victoria etc...)
>>> - In rough terms we have two groups OSGeo serves. (1) the developer 
>>> communities of the different projects, and (2) the user broader 
>>> community of geospatial applications. Both have a business component 
>>> to them; the first is to have a healthy community and thus product, 
>>> the second is a good, professional image that helps drive business.
>>> - We take fairly good care of ourselves for what the developer 
>>> community concerns
>>>     I suggested we do not forget this part of the community, but not 
>>> focus on it at this stage from the Marketing point of view.
>>> - We have to transfer a message of trust and professionalism to the 
>>> user community (the people, businesses and governments that buy the 
>>> services/ use the tools)
>>>     Ingredients:
>>>     - Healthy, well established projects that work in a professional 
>>> manner (PSC, workplans, release strategy, bug reporting and fixing, 
>>> etc..)
>>>     - Intellectual Property issues are closely monitored and have 
>>> been evaluated for all core projects
>>>     - High quality software, use of standards etc...
>>>     - Coherence and collaboration between projects
>>>     - Support and training from professional companies
>>>     - Free and Open Source Software is not just source code, it is 
>>> about participation and true open collaboration. Hell with fake open 
>>> source ;-) , OSGeo is about real Free and Open Source Software. Users 
>>> have to be made aware of this in clear terms.
>>>     I may have forgotten some things now...
>>> - We have to improve the visual identity that is reflected in the web 
>>> site, OSGeo journal, articles, flyers and conferences. This goes 
>>> beyond the OSGeo logo I think. (just to be clear, I will not try to 
>>> touch the logo because it is very good already!).
>>> Goals:
>>>     - Have a message we can deliver to users that is convincing and 
>>> clear. They have to directly understand the benefits of using OSGeo 
>>> software over other solutions :-)
>>>     - Be able to use the marketing materials to convince potential 
>>> sponsors of the benefits of joining OSGeo as a sponsor. "This is what 
>>> you get when you support in OSGeo", "Professionalism and quality that 
>>> benefits your business".
>>>     - Be able to add at least 5 (!?) new, substantial OSGeo and/or 
>>> project sponsors to the list in the coming year.
>>>     - Have a common visual identity (see above) with at least a 
>>> folded A3 size flyer that gives the key messages/ overview.
>>>     - The materials will have to be available for translation by the 
>>> different local chapters. We have to be able to maintain / update 
>>> these materials.
>>> OK, I talked for an hour on this, so I for sure miss things in this 
>>> email, but I think I got the main components.
>>> I have suggested that when we get started, they (Birgit and Ines) 
>>> join the mailing list to participate in some of the discussion.
>>> Once I have an initial proposal from them, I'll get this back to the 
>>> list.
>>> Ciao,
>>> Jeroen
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Arnulf Benno Christl
(OSGeo Board Member)
+50.7342N   +7.0707E

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