Bottom Up Marketing & Eclipse

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Despite confusing the O’Hare Hilton with the Wyndham O’Hare, I did in fact end up at the right place, at the right time to deliver what may or may not have been the right talk yesterday at the Eclipse Members Meeting. The deck, as promised, is made available here in the Open Document Format it was originally composed in, and here in the Powerpoint format I translated it into so that I could run it on the presentation machine. You’ll note that the presentation was delivered and released under a Creative Commons license (this one, to be specific), which allows any and all of you to use it freely and make derivations, provided that you’re not running around giving the talk for commercial purposes (if you have a need that might be commercial, just email us – we’re pretty laid back and are likely to be fine with it). So in answer to the question: “Can I get a copy of the presentation to use interally?” we say “Knock yourself out.” Thanks again to Ian and Mike for allowing us to do that; we appreciate it, and hopefully some of the fine readers here do as well.

Anyway, I followed a solid presentation from Forrester’s Carl Zetie by asking the audience if they’d ever seen Monty Python’s “And Now For Something Completely Different…” [1], because…well…my presentation was not, I suspect, what they’re used to hearing. The basic theme wasn’t particularly complicated:

  1. Developers play a major role in product success/failure
  2. Ergo, developers are very important
  3. Developers are more or less immune to traditional marketing techniques
  4. Ergo, a new approach is called for

That’s pretty much the deck in a nutshell. One of the things I strongly emphasized in the introduction to the presentation, however, was that it’s not a matter of bottom up *or* top down. ISV’s can and should do both; my point instead is that developers are a hugely important audience, and traditional marketing not only doesn’t speak to them, it may alienate them. Remember – binary = bad. For the developers in the audience, this presentation was basically about teaching companies the do’s and don’t’s of interacting with you all, so you can tell me if I got it right or not 🙂

What really made the discussion for me, however, were the audience’s questions, and more importantly, insights. Valerie Williamson of the OSTG, in particular, was able to provide some fascinating Slashdot evidence concerning community behaviors, self-policing and moderation, etc. Great, great questions from the audience; I’m always happy when I go over time in a presentation because of audience participation.

And speaking of participation, if you have things that you’d like to see in the deck, or things that you think I got wrong, let me know as I’ve already gotten a couple of requests to deliver the talk again. Particularly the developers out there; the ideal outcome of this presentation are software vendors that are out to help you and work with you in constructive ways. Feel free to leave comments here, and otherwise you know where to find me. Valerie, for example, was recommending that I broaden the pitch, because conversational marketing is by no means applicable solely to developers. It’s an excellent point, and while I’d like to keep the deck focused on devs for the time being, I need to make that at least a talking point in future sessions.

One last thing: a couple of the readers here will note that I’ve taken their names in vain in the deck as examples of conversational marketing at its best. That part’s good. What’s less good is that many deserving candidates got left out. Please note that I picked the list quickly while operating on 2 hrs sleep, so if you got left out it’s simply that I was tired and forgot you, not that you didn’t deserve to be there. I was trying to pick folks that focus on specific products or companies, which narrowed the list considerably.

[1] Which has, if you haven’t seen it, one of the funniest sequences ever. Without giving it away, it involves a field, some bushes and explosives. Absolute comedy.


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