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Introduction to Marketing

In this orientation module you will be introduced to Marketing within the Apache OpenOffice community. You will learn about many of the ways in which we can do marketing, as well as some of the constraints we must keep in mind as an non-profit organization. After completion of this module you should be prepared to jump in and assist with ongoing marketing activities.

To complete this module you should read the following material, along with associated links.

But first, please subscribe to our Marketing Mailing List, and then send a note to introduce yourself.

Note: You may also want to review the Level 1 and Level 2 Orientation Modules which give an overview of the project as a whole, and a perspective on working on open source at Apache.

What is Marketing?

There are many definitions, and most of them are right. Heidi Cohen has a nice blog post with 72 definitions which you should browse through.

From the perspective of Apache OpenOffice: Marketing is the set of activities our volunteers undertake to communicate the value and benefits of the OpenOffice product, as well as the OpenOffice project, to potential users, to the press and to potential project members.

In practice we don't have access to a large Madison Avenue advertising firm. We don't have a huge budget. We don't have a New York Times editor on our speed dial. So our marketing activities are by necessity grassroots, technically savvy, viral and therefore more exciting.

Why does a good, free product need to marketed?

Short answer: To increase awareness of OpenOffice and its benefits. Even a free product needs to be known. Read more here.

Why Help with Marketing?

As a volunteer why would you want to help with OpenOffice Marketing? A few things to consider:

Marketing Activities

Marketing activities within the Apache OpenOffice project include:

Brand and Trademark

Our brand is the set of attributes and associations that distinguish Apache OpenOffice from other applications in the market. The brand includes the name, of course, but also logos, colors, text, look & feel, etc.

A good overview of some of the primary brand elements for our current release can be found in our Branding Style Guide.

A subset of these elements are strongly associated with our brand and we therefore treat them as trademarks and claim the legal protections that are given to trademarks. This includes our name and our primary logo.

It is important that we, in our public-facing marketing communications, treat these trademarks properly, referring to Apache OpenOfficeâ„¢, using the trademark symbol. And in equal respect it is important that we acknowledge any 3rd party trademarks that we mention in our publications.

The Apache Software Foundation owns the trademarks for its projects, and they have defined a trademark policy, including some FAQ's that are worth reviewing.

Tools for Communications

Marketing Collateral

These are the items, typically written material, that support our marketing activities. These range from product brochures, to white papers, to interviews that we can redistribute, to video demos to CD covers.

You can see some of our existing collateral here.

This is an area where we are currently weak. The renaming from "OpenOffice.org" to "Apache OpenOffice" has not been yet reflected in the materials. This, along with the upcoming branding refresh for Apache OpenOffice 4.0 means that there is a lot of work here to refresh our collateral as well. Help here, especially from volunteers with graphic design skills, is most welcome.

Marketing in a Non-Profit Organization

We need to make an important distinction between marketing in a non-profit organization like Apache versus marketing in a commercial context. Most of the tools and activities are the same, as you may have noticed. But the orientation is different. Although users have alternatives, we don't think of these alternatives as competitors. If a user decides another product serves them better, we have lost nothing. We count our wins, not our loses.

Along with this orientation, and the ASF's charitable mission, we place a high premium on:

End of Module

Congratulations! You have completed this Module. Please send a note to marketing@openoffice.apache.org so we all know you have completed this level. This is also a good opportunity to send along any feedback or questions you might have on this Orientation Module.

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