Re: real marketing or just catchy slogans?

On Thu, 2005-12-08 at 16:28 -0500, Dan Winship wrote:
> Sri Ramkrishna wrote:
> > I met the guy who did firefox's community (and release manager I
> > believe)stuff (and I think marketing) at OSCON.  He said he would be
> > happy to talk with us about what he did to help Firefox.
> Gnome is not like Firefox. End users can see an ad for Firefox, decide 
> that it's cool, download it, install it, and go. But end users can't 
> download and install "Gnome". The closest they can come is to download 
> and install a Linux distribution that is *based on* Gnome, which (even 
> ignoring the huge difference in scale between a web browser and a 
> distro) is a totally different thing. How would we tell users to install 
> GNOME if we had a New York Times ad? Would we pick a preferred distro? 
> Or let anyone who wanted to contribute money to the ad be able to put in 
> a plug for their distro (even if that distro was really hard to install 
> and was likely to end up driving users away)?
I think the liveCD fills quite a gap here.

> We can't sell ourselves directly to end users. We need to sell ourselves 
> to Linux distros, and get them to sell *themselves* to end users. We're 
> not like Firefox, we're like Intel! [Cue "Intel Inside" chimes] The vast 
> majority of our "customers" don't "buy" our product directly, they're 
> getting it as an integral part of someone else's product. Even if they 
> do understand that this other product contains our product, they aren't 
> going to be able to explain exactly what our part does for the combined 
> product, where our part of the product ends and the other vendor's part 
> begins, or how the possible alternatives to our product would make 
> things different for them. At best, they'll be able to say "well, this 
> one has 2.8 and that other one has 2.6, so I'll get this one because it 
> has a bigger number!"
> Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean we want to market ourselves the 
> same way Intel does. Intel definitely markets itself to end users, but 
> that's just part of its strategy to sell chips to PC manufacturers, who 
> are its real customers. By convincing end users that PCs with Intel 
> chips are better/faster/more-likely-to-get-them-laid than PCs with AMD 
> chips, they keep the demand for Intel-based PCs high, which keeps the 
> manufacturers buying lots of chips, which keeps Intel in business.
> We could apply the same technique: convince end users that GNOME is 
> better for them, so that they will preferentially install distros that 
> use GNOME, so that distros (our real customers) will use GNOME as their 
> preferred desktop. But there's a problem. (Sri, you might want to stop 
> reading here :-). Intel only markets itself to end users because its 
> products *aren't* any better than its competitors'. If their chips were 
> unambiguously better than AMDs, then the PC manufacturers wouldn't need 
> to be convinced to stay with Intel, it would just be the obvious choice.

I think that your looking at two extremes here by only looking at
distros and the end user.
A very important factor are the small linux support companies that
install/migrate/admin linux servers/desktops for small to middle
IMHO distros other then perhaps linspire or Xandros don't actually want
to make a choice between KDE/GNOME they will simply give that choice to
the users and tell the users that that choice is a good thing(tm)

However the small linux company's can't do that kind of thing, they are
getting payed money to make that choice for other people/companies.
convincing those people that GNOME is the obvious beter/more functional
choice would be a far greater win i think.

but this all very very IMHO, since i first really need to pick up a book
on marketing and give myself a crash course, because i'm thinking too
much of selling and as said before somewhere on the list that's not what
marketing is.

Erik Snoeijs <stratos stratos-online nl>

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