The new Joomla marketing strategy was presented at JoomlaDay France in Paris, in May 2018. The Marketing & Communication Department is pleased to present highlights from this strategy.
In order to establish a strategic plan which will help us move to a better level of communication, Joomla hired a professional agency, Market Accents, located in London and led by Noreen Cesareo. Market Accents worked for months on this plan, in close collaboration with the department teams.
Once the plan was presented and agreed, Noreen was asked to help facilitate the organisation and application of this strategy. Noreen was recently elected to head the Marketing Team, assisted by Hervé Boinnard.
Where is Joomla today? Analysis of Joomla positioning
Joomla's market share is under attack by traditional CMS- such as WordPress, the undisputed market leader, Drupal and others - as well as new agile players, many of whom are not traditional CMS, such as Wix, for example. They have crept into the CMS space and are distorting boundaries through their ease of use and range of applications.
While we can see a global growth of web systems/CMS, it appears that we are not benefitting from it in the same way as the other CMS. Whereas we all know that Joomla is a powerful, robust and flexible platform, making it possible to answer the majority of the expectations and needs of our target group, the web professionals (marketing/communication agencies, web agencies, freelancers, developers, integrators, etc) are not coming to us in the huge numbers that we can see happening with Wordpress.
Our Target Goals
Joomla is surrounded by myths, including such perceptions that it is a "small actor; not agile, not innovative, rather amateur and clumsy; and one even hears disappearing from the world of CMS" - erroneous statements which are essentially the result of our insufficient external communication. To silence them, we truly only have one solution: to continue to improve our communication, to communicate always and better, whether on our official sites, our social networks, or even internally within our community. But most importantly, by improving our external communication to re-establish our presence on the market. We must be proud and loud, and shout out about it.
Reach our Target
We must focus on our target: web professionals. Joomla must identify the relevant influencers and focus on them. We must look for ways to convince as many professionals as possible that Joomla meets the needs of most of their projects.
Evangelize and Energize
In addition to the usual means of communication, we wish to harness the strength of the community and with your help, set up "Joomla Champions" who would become the face of Joomla on national territories. These champions would increase Joomla awareness on local territories, improve our footprint and promotion, make Joomla visible and contribute to create interest in new markets.
Joomla 4, with a launch planned for late 2018 or early 2019, is the perfect vehicle to energize the community, generate interest and attract new users. This is a major version, therefore an essential step for the project.
A strategy focused on three themes
Promotion of the Platform
It is the implementation of a strong and clear marketing and communications that inform and motivate users, new and existing, with the aim of inviting them to download and use Joomla.
It’s about commitment, contributing to the project, presenting Joomla around you, sharing the "JoomlaLove" and becoming a Joomla Champion. All this creates a project support environment that will help convert new users.
Change in Behaviours
It’s mostly to spread the word about Joomla, to communicate in a more professional manner outside of the community to increase awareness and adoption. It’s improving the dialogue with partners, organizations, hosts, etc. It also means trying to build bridges between the different platforms, as it was the case recently when Joomla was invited to participate in the DrupalCon in Nashville. We're all different, and we all have to learn from each other.
How to restore our presence
We can start by highlighting the benefits / strengths of Joomla in a global dialogue. We need to show that we understand the challenges our targets face and that Joomla meets their needs.
What are the key points for a Web Professional when choosing a CMS Platform?
The Power of Open Source
Users don't want to feel locked up. Open source allows a greater freedom to maneuver, that proprietary products do not offer. Users tend to also be price-sensitive, especially if this allows them to win a contract. An Open Source platform allows them to have comparatively low costs.
Is the platform secure? Can we trust the CMS to correct flaws as quickly as possible?
Ease of Use & Skill Level
Is it easy for non-tech professional users to create, manage and maintain content? How long does it take to acquire a sufficient level of fluency? Users want a CMS that allows them efficiency, flexibility and consistency while minimizing effort, cost and time.
What follow-up can they expect? Who delivers it? Is there a community of experienced and committed partners/developers? Users prefer platforms with active communities, having their own directory of third-party extensions. In short, they want to know if they will not be left hanging.
Users want compatibility and possible integration with other platforms, such as CRM or financial systems. They want to make sure that the CMS contains typical features, such as content customization, rights control, mobile support, etc.
Agility and Flexibility
They want an agile and customizable structure that integrates technological advances within a reasonable time frame.
When we look at such selection criteria, we know that Joomla is fit for purpose and ticks all the boxes. So, how do we get these messages across?
We are not going to hide our face! Joomla lacks visibility outside our community. We have succeeded in establishing good communication towards our users, but our external communication is limited, and inevitably this has negative consequences.
Initiatives are being planned and implemented to dispel these myths and to expand our footprint. Unfortunately, with limited resources on the one hand because of the volunteer nature of the community, and because of our limited financial resources on the other hand, our field of action is quite narrow. We hope that by establishing our champions, they can help to improve this communication in the long term. We will also launch sponsored campaigns to reach new users and increase the publication of articles on external sources. All in all, we need to communicate more frequently to better convince our targets.
This also involves, for example, setting up user case studies and content for each user profile to convince them that Joomla is THE answer to their needs.
Overview of short, medium and long-term projects
- Short term: We focus on promoting Joomla 3.9 and Joomla 4.
- Medium term: The identification of champions and strategic partnerships. The JAcademy is being set up to serve as a platform for collaboration with partners, education, etc. We continue to weave our web.
- Long-term: Creation of a recurrent "JInside" presence, we support and increase our visibility thanks in particular to the tools created, we increase collaboration with universities, etc.
Let’s focus on our short-term actions.
launch.joomla.org is now live. It is a new "tool" that will help us convince and dispel the myth. Launch allows you as a user to discover Joomla and go live, for free, with a complete site, even with phpMyAdmin, SFTP access...
We are very enthusiastic and believe that this service, offered in partnership with CloudAccess.net, will become a real asset to attract new users. It will also encourage current users to contribute to the project, and test future versions directly from this platform.
To meet market demand and legislative constraints, we decided at the beginning of May to release a version 3.9 focused on "confidentiality". This allows the Joomla core to provide our users and developers with a set of tools to facilitate the application of this regulation. This version is made possible thanks to the hard work and involvement of Michael Babker (and other contributors of course - you can see the repository here). You can easily imagine that it is far from simple to set up a version and to establish a campaign on such short deadlines!
From a marketing point of view, Joomla 3.9 is not a run-of-the-mill minor version. The issues of the GDPR and confidentiality in general are important. Users could turn away from a platform that does not offer any native solution.
Given the extremely short time between the decision and the release of the stable version, we are putting in place a pre-campaign, a landing page and an official press release to be disseminated as widely as possible. We will also have sponsored campaigns on social media such as Facebook for example.
The last major version of the CMS dates back to 2012. A major version is a major challenge, because it will shape the future of our platform. It is therefore important that the promotion fits the challenge. If this plan is to be successfully completed, we require significant resources, both human and financial.
The marketing for Joomla 4 is divided into 4 steps.
- Phase 1 - The pre-campaign
It will be launched after the release of the Beta version, since this is when the functionalities will be frozen. The pre-campaign includes visuals to promote the benefits of Joomla 4, short videos, newsletters with a specific design and articles showcasing specific elements of Joomla 4. We also hope to have testimonials from testers, developers... All visuals will be made available to the community and translatable.
The purpose of this phase is of course to create interest, initiate conversation and mobilize resources.
- Phase 2 - Landing Page
The landing page will launch alongside Joomla 4 RC to encourage users to discover and test Joomla 4. It will have a completely new design, made possible thanks to the superb work of Chiara Aliotta and Lili Espinosa. Ciaran Walsh will transform this design into a template.
This landing page will not only serve to promote and showcase the main features of Joomla 4. It is also intended to be a real Joomla promotion tool, presenting the benefits of Joomla and answering the question many ask on search: why choose and use Joomla?
Each new minor version will be included in the landing page elements. However, we will always keep the main benefits of Joomla and we will modify the colors of the site. Thus, we remain consistent in our communication throughout the life of Joomla 4.
This site will also be linked to new more detailed pages: Joomla benefits and features, case studies, user profiles. As you all know, there is nothing like concrete examples to convince professionals to use Joomla.
The purpose of this phase is of course to engage users, download and discover Joomla 4 before the release of the stable version and encourage non-users to try Joomla 4.
- Phase 3 - Launch of Joomla 4.0 Stable
A major release is an important milestone. We should celebrate it in any way we can. So let's be innovative in our thinking! We hope to be able to set up a one-day event, broadcast live, and have as many of our community and users join us for the highlight of the day: the go live of Joomla 4, with George pressing the launch button. Frankly, what can go wrong 😉
Joomla needs all of you to make it a success. Organize an evening with your JUGs for this launch day, install Joomla, share your impressions, relay to the maximum. This launch day and the following few days are essential, Joomla counts on you all to talk about Joomla 4, to make noise! To be proud and loud! The purpose of this phase is obvious: to let people know that Joomla 4 is available and to encourage them to download Joomla 4.
- Phase 4 - Dissemination
This is where the long-term work begins. Our goal is to communicate outside our community after the release of the stable version on a recurring basis. We wish to call upon writing professionals to help prepare and publish quality press releases on sites with high visibility; we will have sponsored campaigns to encourage web professionals to discover or rediscover Joomla.
And in this last phase, as usual Joomla needs you.
We would like to hear from users, what they think, what you think about Joomla 4. Send us your testimonials, those of your acquaintances, customers. The aim is to continue talking about Joomla 4. Its promotion does not stop in the days following its launch. We actually continue to expand our web.
To ensure the success of this strategy, 2 elements are essential:
- Human resources
- Financial resources.
Our financial resources are limited, so we will have to prioritize our external communication.
Human resources, it’s you. All of you.
Be proud of Joomla,
Be proud to be part of this adventure,
Be proud to power your customers' sites and yours with Joomla,
So let it be known, Be Loud!