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Don't Be a Dumb-ass Marketing

Over the past few months I’ve had the pleasure of working with the folks from MuleSource. Their openness and genuineness is what makes them so enjoyable to work with. On the first call I had with them, Dave Rosenberg passed the F-bomb test with record time. What is the F-bomb test? I rate how casual a relationship is going to be by how quickly a client starts using 4 letter words. Now, some may say that’s a piss-poor way to talk to analysts, and it may be for other firms, but with RedMonk it’s a catalyst for good times and business.

Along those lines, while drinking my first cup of coffee I loved reading Travis’s post this morning about the challenges of marketing spend for a startup. Not only is the content itself nice, but the human tone is refreshing as well. It’s exactly the sort of voice I look for in a blog and try to get others to use. Few care about PR-toned, we’ve-got-it-all-figured-out blog posts: they want the person there having a natural conversation. The 24 hour bar-chat…even at 9AM in the morning ;>

Marketing an Open Company

In one of my conversations with Dave we talked about what it means to be an open source company, namely, that you’re as transparent a company as possible. Indeed, to Travis’s post, being transparent is a marketing tool in itself and it doesn’t cost much except girding your loins and going out there.

For MuleSource, transparency is a marketing tool that helps establish the MuleSource brand (here, reputation) as being peopled by real, honest, and helpful people. When you’re buying support for something like an ESB, you want that honesty. The alternative is a faceless, and often changing voice on the other end of a phone: at worse, that voice robotically walks you through a support script.

When things are at their worse, and you’re off the happy-path, instead of that voice asking you to send the logs for the 50th time you want to hear “I have no idea what’s happening here. We’re going to have a tough time figuring this one out.” While that may seem counter-intutive to a customer, the alternative is being dragged along for months (or years!) with false promises.

Now, sure, that’s a big jump from thinking out loud about marketing to third level support. On the other hand, the outbound communication I’ve seen from MuleSource and the conversations I’ve had with them are indicative of a company that’ll tell it to you straight rather than beat around the bush.

Disclaimer: MuleSource is a client.

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Categories: Companies, Enterprise Software, Open Source.

Comment Feed

3 Responses

  1. Curious to know if it was Mr Mason swearing or his partner. We need someone to come to our enterprise and treat us badly too…

  2. Sadly, foul language is a very integral part of my daily life. I think it happens when you spend a bunch of time in software development. It’s not “swearing like a trucker” anymore, it’s “swearing like a code monkey”

  3. It was Dave.