[Marketing] [Board] Reframe of the discussion: Mandate and Budget request Marketing Committee

Gert-Jan van der Weijden - Stichting OSGeo.nl gert-jan at osgeo.nl
Thu Dec 15 12:51:35 PST 2016

Hi all, 


A lot of fuzz (not necessarily reframing!) is going on in this thread. Which is a good thing, since 75K (total marketing budget) or 50K (the website reboot++ part) is a more than substantial part of the entire OSGeo foundation budget.

Now that the Board decided a few hours ago to postpone the budget discussion to a face2face meeting to be held somewhere next week I'd  like to add my 2 cents.



1. Regarding process & finances:


To me it is not clear what exact status of this request is. 

I guess that it's just meant as input for our treasurer (Michael Smith) to compose a complete OSGeo budget plan for next year.

And thus, that responsibility for spending this sum of money is not transferred to the marketing committee, but that the marketing committee has to propose a more detailed plan, after which the Board can decide to transfer the responsibility for certain deliverables within a certain budget to the Marketing Committee. 

Or does the Board -on a yearly base transfer- partial financial responsibility to the Marketing Committee (and other committees)?

A mixed version is also possible, in which the Committees have a financial mandate to a certain amount of money, and have to make a round-trip to the Board for expenses that exceed this amount.


=> I could not find a note on the subject of finances in the Committee Guidelines, therefore I hope the Board (and especially our treasurer) can shine a light on this. 



2. Regarding the deliverables:


50K sets the bar high. 

Amazon.com and booking.com have clear goals with their websites. So do municipalities who want their citizens to handle their local affairs through the website ("click")  instead of having them calling ("call") or receiving them at the town hall ("face").

Amazon.com, booking.com and your local municipality regard a website visit as a success when you purchased a book, booked a hotel of paid your local tax.


Our foundation's website is about informing & inspiring people, which is a much harder thing to measure.

And thus much harder to define when are satisfied with the 20K / 30K / 50K spent on a new website / a new corporate style / a new digital strategy. More unique visitors? More page hits? A higher SEO ranking?

I do hope the RFP handles those aspects. Plus aspects such as who will take care for technique as well as content after the reboot. 

(and most of all, I hope the new website design will include pictures of people. After all, a community is composed of people!)



I regard this discussion, with its facts and views is very valuable in order to write a good request for proposal. 




Kind regards, 















Van: Marketing [mailto:marketing-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] Namens Jeffrey Johnson
Verzonden: donderdag 15 december 2016 17:23
Aan: Marketing; OSGeo Board
Onderwerp: Re: [Marketing] [Board] Reframe of the discussion: Mandate and Budget request Marketing Committee


Thanks for the clarifications Marc. 


I think its important to be clear about the deliverables. We would first like to have a vendor develop and formalize a marketing plan that drives all future work in a consistent, integrated and professional way. The intention is to have a professional firm develop an integrated brand style guide that defines the OSGeo brand itself and all sub-brands such as Geo4All, OSGeoLive, FOSS4G etc etc. An example of something like this can be found here http://gfdrr.github.io/innovation-lab-brand-guidelines/ and some initial work that Nicolas did here http://cartogenic.com/OSGeo-brand/guide/  ... The goal is to formalize how the brand is to be used and presented so we have some level of consistency and professionalism in all contexts. The next deliverable would be a set of patterns and templates that can be used to construct the main site and all subsites (again think geo4all, osgeolive etc). These templates would need to go through some level of user testing to ensure that they achieved the desired result and worked for everyone including visually impaired etc by following established best practices. An example of this can be found here http://patternlibrary.sandiego.gov/ From there, we would like to work with the SAC on selecting a piece of technology to deploy the new site and with the vendor on migrating the content and editing it to be in a consistent voice, tone and on message. Additionally, a vendor should provide some training on how to maintain the site over time including sub-sites with the appropriate parties.


I'd like to reiterate what Marc stated insofar as this is a *maximal* budget request. It is the committees fiduciary responsibility to the get the best possible value for the foundations $ which means that the appropriate thing to do is to release an Expression of Interest and let all firms interested submit their details, ask some subset of these for a Technical and Financial proposal and select the one that provides the best value in a transparent way. It could very well come in costing much less than this initial budget request, but its generally not a good idea to be hamstrung from the beginning with proposals that are all way over budget. This is me speaking from experience managing projects like this for very large organizations and also for small non-profits.


Thanks for everyones input!


On Thu, Dec 15, 2016 at 8:06 AM, Marc Vloemans <marcvloemans1 at gmail.com> wrote:

All (dropping individuals in order to make things less personal)



based on our experience with multiple projects of similar size this is the order of magnitude these things cost from Professionals and we intend to do a formal and transparent RFP process that is open to anyone who has previous experience on the matter. So the cost could be well less, but we don't want to ask for 20 and only get proposals that start at 30. Better to ask for 50 and spend 30.


We are talking budget not cost (see mail Michael). We all agree something has to be done due to a mix of negligence, time constraints and underinvestment. From our mission it can be derived that outreach is a pillar under our existence. So a large annual budget should be allocated towards activities and tools supporting that mission. And if outreach activities like foss4g2016 bring in considerable profits it would be unjustifiable not to dedicate a considerable sum to equally important online outreach tools.



As Jody states it is more that an agency is required than just a website. Helping us with a marketing communication format and execution, guidelines, texting, brand design and the like entails more than doing a simple Wordpress exercise.

We are a mature alternative to closed source so we should look the part: professional.

Instead of an ROI we better ask ourselves what the opportunity costs are of not doing things properly.



Kind regards,

Marc Vloemans


Op 15 dec. 2016 om 16:28 heeft Bart van den Eijnden <bartvde at osgis.nl> het volgende geschreven:

Let’s not try and demotivate volunteers before they have even started on something (managing getting a new website done, much needed).


As Michael said, it’s merely a budget item. Maybe quotes come in at 25k and everybody is happy.


Best regards,



On 15 Dec 2016, at 15:59, Massimiliano Cannata <massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch> wrote:


Actually I have always been a strong promoter of refactoring/refreshing OSGeo website which looks really sad to me. And I still want a new website.. but not at the proposed costs...


The point is that 75k is really crazy...

The whole 1 year OSGeo budget for marketing only? No kidding...


50k for design the new website? It really cost 6 months/man work to do it? ...and with a salary of 100k a year I expect a professional web designer...


I would expect at least a full breakdown of costs to motivate such a request.


As always this is just another point of view, my angle of course...




Il 15 dic 2016 12:53 AM, "Marc Vloemans" <marcvloemans1 at gmail.com> ha scritto:

Aside from all the 'joking'; the expectation that volunteers are willing to clean up our online legacy is stretching it too far. Otherwise the Website Committee would not have deteriorated over time with the last member leaving a month ago. And no one willing to take over. 


Our design looks worn out, the site is a total mess (navigation, texts, logic, links and what not). That needs some serious and professional approach and execution. With the volunteers managing the process on behalf of OSGeo, providing texts and other site material, getting outdated unusable downloads for collateral sorted out etc etc. 


With the Marketing Committee - after some hesitance - willing to tackle the problems, it would be unwise to send any disheartening and demotivating signals and thus send these ready-for-action-volunteers into the woods. Please take this advice to heart and read for volunteers 'last of the Mohicans'. 

Kind regards,

Marc Vloemans


Op 15 dec. 2016 om 00:03 heeft Massimiliano Cannata <massimiliano.cannata at supsi.ch> het volgende geschreven:

Ha.... 75k is equal to 75,000 USD?


Wow... so marketing will manage all the OSGeo yearly budget?


Didn't know we are a marketing foundation :-)







Il 14 dic 2016 11:00 PM, "Marc Vloemans" <marcvloemans1 at gmail.com> ha scritto:


To facilitate tomorrow's discussion and decision in the board I have done a little rewrite of Jody's earlier discussion piece. I put it more explicitly into a following order of dependiencies. Further explanation and back ground can be given by Jody during your meeting based on his discussions with the Committee.


The Marketing Committee has revamped itself with a new membership and intention to act upon a comprehensive marketing strategy. The committee now seeks a mandate and executive responsibility for:

1) establishing and executing a medium term marketing strategy geared at growing our community with new users, as determined in the marketing strategy for OSGeo-outreach, by means of;

A - a new website and logo design (2017)

B - a clean up of existing/preparation of new marketing collateral (2017)

C - ongoing support for events e.g. downloadable marketing collateral, event formats etc (ongoing) via the website


Resources needed to fulfil the tasks:

- the new volunteers in the Marketing Committee for managing the project under item A and executing item B.

- a budget of total 75k Dollar, of which 50k is for item A, 10k for item B and 10k for occasional event banners/flyers and Live-CD/USB sticks (e.g. Foss4g booths) and 5k for miscellaneous activities/purchases (e.g. MailChimp account for FOSS4G's).

Kind regards,

Marc Vloemans

Mobile +31(0)651 844262 <tel:+31651%20844262> 
LinkedIn: http://nl.linkedin.com/in/marcvloemans
Twitter: http://twitter.com/marcvloemans



Kind regards,

Marc Vloemans


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