If you work in technology marketing / branding / communications, check this guest post on Fred Wilson’s blog.
Like the best screeds, it doesn’t offer answers. Just provocation.
Read more on the VaultPress blog.
It occurs to me that “marketing” could start to be much better understood if it was called “applied psychology.”1 (With the relevant outcomes being measurable and ideally repeatable impacts on whatever the organization most values.)
1Microeconomics is the other field of study that I find useful in my work, but adding that to a rebrand would only make things less clear.
This morning Mozilla released Firefox 3.5.
It’s a terrific upgrade for the 300 million+ current Firefox users, and will radically improve the Web experience for everyone who migrates to Firefox in the months to come. Most of all, Firefox 3.5 is a compelling expression of the values that underlie Mozilla’s ongoing mission to improve the Web itself.
I’m extremely proud of the hard work everyone in the Mozilla marketing community put into making this a stellar product launch. Each launch I’ve been a part of has felt unique. This year, and with this release, we’ve crossed into operating within a new, more intense competitive environment. One that we’ve had a huge part in creating, for the benefit of everyone on the Web.
Much <3 to everyone in the Mozilla community on a fantastic release, and to upgrading the Web.
Some of what’s been happening on the Mozilla marketing front to share with you, friends, as we trek down the final stretch to the release of Firefox 3.5.
Advertising Age’s Garrick Schmitt (also EVP at Razorfish and kind human) paid a visit to Mozilla last month. Garrick’s post on the work we’ve done in conjunction with our community to spread Firefox just came out and it’s a great read. Here’s a clip:
Mozilla competes against Microsoft, Apple and Google — arguably the biggest and most valuable brands in the world — and it succeeds with no traditional advertising (or big budgets) to speak of. It may have taken Barack Obama’s historic political campaign and election to alert the ad industry to the power of grass-roots marketing, but the ongoing success of Mozilla’s Firefox marketing efforts are more relevant for most.
This is a video we took last summer when Mozilla sponsored a small booth at the 2008 Pitchfork Music Festival. The Firefox suit you see here has travelled around the world, and been featured more places than we ever expected. I’ve been meaning to share this for a while, and finally got around to it tonight. Sadly, dressing Firefox fans in the one suit we’ve been able to dig up doesn’t scale. Yet.
Another mind workout from Clay Shirky, this time a riff on why imperfection invites participation; and why the belief in marketing circles that we only have one shot to capture attention induces a reliance on very expensive photo shoots on Corfu. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Corfu, per se.)
Some of the choicer quotes as they relate to the marketing corpus:
Brands don’t interact. Brands are inert. People interact.
Over and over again what we see in interactive environments: if something looks too good, people won’t touch it.
The messiness, the openness, these kinds of human characteristics tell people it’s ok to interact.
1. More Shirky on the blogs of Messrs. Blizzard and Kanai.
2. This video originally sourced at Influx Insights.
3. Since you asked, the summer was aces. My blog holiday was mostly spent on a whirlwind tour of Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Managr.
Since I last wrote about the folks on the Mozilla marketing and PR team, we’ve been lucky enough to have some great new people join us.
Meet them here now, and then live at the Firefox Summit next week.
We’ve also benefited from the contributions of four rock star summer marketing interns, who’ve been working on market research, metrics, events and affiliate programs: Juliana Chea, Natnaree Chummanon, Blake Cutler, and Ulili Onovakpuri.
Welcome aboard the Mozilla project to each one of you! It’s terrific to have you here.
It’s been an awesome morning and afternoon here at Mozilla headquarters. We launched Firefox 3 this morning and immediately felt the love from millions of people all over the world joining us to set a Guinness World Record for most software downloaded in 24 hours.
Our systems were quite busy earlier this morning so individual requests may not have gotten through – but they are all up now and serving a tremendous amount of traffic and downloads. We’re currently serving almost 9,000 downloads a minute, which puts us on track to achieve 5-7 million downloads our first day of general availability.
To put some more color behind what’s been happening on this historic day:
Onwards to a new World Record, together!
Last week, I wrote a branding analysis for Businessworld, India’s top general business magazine. Meera Seth, who edits an ongoing series of case studies for Businessworld, got in touch and asked me to give a technology industry perspective on a case about extending a successful consumer brand into an adjacent category.
Here’s an excerpt from the case, which features Firefox as a jumping off point for thinking about names and branding (The full case is online too, if you’re interested):
Karan Kashyap’s mind was buzzing with the debates over naming the new shampoo at G&TW India where he was the product manager. The marketing manager Sudhir Dhuni had mooted the idea that they launch a shampoo under the deo[dorant]’s brand name, Mali.
Karan sat half-lying on his chair, listening to the music streaming out of his computer. And then his eyes slowly took in what he had been unwittingly staring at, the flaming orange icon of his browser, startling him unusually. Firefox, said his mind; Mozilla, came the echo. Mozilla Firefox, muttered Karan. Why on earth is it called Firefox? For a web browser? What kind of name is that for a product? How do consumers relate to it? And why Mozilla Firefox? Why two names, or is that one name?
And here’s an excerpt from my response (Read the full analysis at Businessworld.in):
Traditional brand building strategies have been disrupted. Industrial era techniques — repetition, saturation and need generation — rely on two aspects of the media landscape that no longer hold sway: concentration of attention; and one-way message push. Pre-internet media relied on scarcity and control over content and channels of communication to aggregate consumer audiences. We were passive recipients of a set of mass market messages. The rise of the internet has introduced choice and nearly unlimited personalisation into the mix of how a consumer chooses to allocate the attention he or she has to give to media. Add contribution of nascent consumer expectations to have an ongoing dialogue with their peers and the world, and what you have is a changed landscape for brands.
It was great to do this, as it helped me get down in writing concepts around attention and brand co-creation that have heavily influenced the marketing we’ve done at Mozilla this past few years. I’m grateful to Meera for the opportunity to share my perspective with Businessworld’s readers in India and beyond.
P.S. Working with a great editor absolves the late night writer of many sins – thanks again Meera!