This page is currently labelled a proposal. Please do not make any changes without contacting the author, JohnVilsack first.
One of the more overlooked and under-utilized aspects of the open source community dedicated to Ubuntu is the Ubuntu marketing team. Ubuntu largely carries itself on the commitment of releasing a strong product bi-annually as well as the zealousness of its community. The Ubuntu marketing team hopes to add a third aspect to the formula in hopes of making Ubuntu even more successful.
The goal of this proposal is to refocus the leadership and the direction of the current Ubuntu marketing team. As it stands currently, the marketing team does not understand its role in a scheme that includes Canonical and Ubuntu Local Communities replicating areas of responsibility or production of materials. Eager and new participants are invited into a group largely devoid of roles, responsibilities, and unassigned tasks.
By restructuring the Ubuntu Marketing Team, the hope is to define clear paths for new and existing members to contribute in a way that benefits all of the Ubuntu community and allows for a greater bond between all of the various aspects of the project.
1. Unify the voice of the Ubuntu Community by developing source materials for sharing, developing, and spreading the word of Ubuntu.
2. Found a new team on a relationship par similar to developers -> core developers for marketers -> core marketers.
3. Establish a point of contact within Canonical to clearly delineate the rights and roles of Canonical, the marketers, and the local satellite groups.
Unify The Voice of The Ubuntu Community
In its current state, the marketing team seems unsure of its role in the overall scheme of the Ubuntu community. Canonical handles the trademarks and much of the public exposure Ubuntu receives from media outlets, Local Communities are on the grassroots movement that helps generate awareness on the local level. The Marketing Team ends up being a dumping ground for questions about both, with answers about neither.
The marketing team should be defined as the facilitator of materials that can be used by the Ubuntu community. Some of the tasks the marketing team should consider to be paramount are:
- To develop white paper materials for decision makers to review and present in the event of an Ubuntu deployment opportunity.
- To design and maintain press kits relevant to each release for the use of media and other exposure points.
- To maintain and disseminate talking points for each release covering the topics of interest determined by collaboration with other teams.
Developing starter kits for local community organizations to use in the event that a LoCo is not currently operating in the area.
- Collaborate with the local community groups to prepare monthly packets with common materials for meetups.
- Maintain an up-to-date venue explaining the responsibilities of the Marketing Team, their methodology of communication, and readily available information about how to join the team.
- Manage a collaborative issues tracking tool that will allow the Marketing Team to attack and delegate tasks in a similar fashion as the rest of the Ubuntu team similar to bug tracking.
Found A New Team
To help guide the direction of the Ubuntu Project marketing from a community perspective, a core group of dedicated community representatives should found the Ubuntu Core Marketing group. Similar to the Core Developers, the Core Marketing group would be responsible for reviewing all contributions from the community as a whole and committing the proper materials back into a central repository that would be public for all.
The Core Marketing Group would be 100% transparent in their correspondence and guidance, and would be willing to accept any new members who have been shown to make signifigant contributions to the marketing of Ubuntu.
The recommendation is for the existing marketing community to appoint three (3) founders to the Core Marketing Group to approve the mission statement and implement a review process for accepting new members into the group. The recommended vote and endorsement process is to appoint a volunteer to chair the endorsement and decision making process; either proposing a list of candidates individually or a slate to be voted on for unanimity. The chair should consider themselves excluded from candidacy of appointment and be free of any conflict of interest.
The final point in the proposal is to establish a point of contact for the Marketing Team to readily contact or debrief about the doings of the community marketing program. A close relationship between a single point of contact or contacts will allow for greater synergy between the teams and prevent duplication of tasks, cross-pollination of projects, and lack of consult when its needed.
Canonical maintains the Ubuntu trademarks and actively participates in exposing the brand through a variety of outlets. Having a better depth of understanding about those focal points will allow the community marketing team to coordinate grassroots deployment of materials and talking points in a timely fashion so that maximum benefit can be achieved from any Canonical movement.
It is recommended that a member of Canonical be asked to join the Core Marketing Board, and work directly with a member of the board to establish this relationship.
Saying what we need to accomplish and getting there are two completely different ideas. The final decision about the direction lies within the care of the Core Marketing team, but this is a recommended example of how to accomplish the goals outlined in this proposal:
- Have the existing marketing community accept the proposal by placing this proposal before the community to be unanimously approved.
- In the event of a dissenting opinion, a vote of no more than seven days can take place publicly.
- Once approved, open the floor for nominations of a Transitional Chair that will be responsible for helping to implement the new role of the three founding members of the Core Marketing Team.
- Have the Transitional Chair open the floor for nominations to fill the three new roles of founders of the Core Marketing Team.
- In the event of greater than three nominees, a vote will be held by the transitional chair to determine the three candidates elected to the new positions.
- If quorum is established at a meeting at this time, the floor could move to vote immediately.
- In the event of a non-voting body, the vote should be made publicly available for a period not to exceed three days.
- If made to vote, the Transitional Chair shall be request whatever materials or questions they see fit to best equip the voting body with the knowledge needed to make an informed decision.
- The three new directors immediately appoint one person to serve as Executive Director.
- In the event of a stalemate, the Transitional Chair will be asked to hold a balloted election.
- No member of the three may vote for themselves.
- Voting will continue until a majority winner has been declared.
- Once an Executive Director has been chosen, the Transitional Chair role is immediately dissolved.
- In the event of a stalemate, the Transitional Chair will be asked to hold a balloted election.
- The remaining two members of the foundation choose roles (see below) to fulfill within the directorship.
- The Executive Director establishes criteria for slating and accepting new members of the Core Marketing Team.
- The Foundation discusses, revises, and subsequently approves the Core Marketing Criteria.
- The Foundation announces to the marketing community the needs of the Core Marketing Group and requests from the group submissions for consideration.
- The Foundation summarizes and reviews the applications and determines the best fit for each of the initial roles.
- Once the group has had each of the initial roles filled, the group as a whole will be asked to vote on new incoming submissions.
- Open communication with Canonical to confirm the changes to the Marketing team and explain the need to establish a liaison within the organization.
- The Executive Director reaches out to the individual groups in the Ubuntu Community to ask for a volunteer envoy to be appointed to the Core Marketers group.
The following are considered to be the initial roles in providing direction for the Ubuntu Marketing group. On the outset, these roles should be considered top priority to fulfill to have blanket coverage in all top priority areas. Positions could be created/merged based on priority and aptitude of the Core Marketing Team.
The Executive Director handles developing the direction of the group. This position would analyze data from all the various roles and tasks to mold the future actions and activities of the group as a whole. Under deadlock vote circumstances, the Executive Director would have the tie-breaking decision.
The Communications Director will plan meetings and manage the technologies needed by the core-marketing group to communicate both internally and with the rest of the public.
The Repository Director
The Repository Director will monitor the global marketing repository and make sure the necessary materials are committed.
Local Communities Director
The Local Communities Director works with the LoCos to champion their directions as well as show our dedication to their movement. This role would be the bridge between the marketing direction and the deployment of the ancillary materials the LoCos would request, need, or ask for.
The Philosophy Director epitomizes what it means to be "Ubuntu". The PE would ensure regional equality is preserved and documents are localized or accessible for localization.
A Canonical Envoy would be the appointed member of Canonical to join the Core Marketing Team. This person would be the facilitator of the information sharing between the core team and Canonical's marketing team.
Art and Media Director
The Art and Media Director works with the graphical arts team to help with collaboration and fair distribution of tasks.
The Development Director would monitor closely the going-ons of the development of the distribution to act as a voice for the concerns and needs of the development community.
The Media Director
The Media Director would aggregate and report against media exposure of Ubuntu and analyze the effectiveness of the marketing team efforts to help aid direction
The above proposal is merely one of many templates that can be followed by the marketing team to successfully find a direction and niche within the Ubuntu Community. If accepted by the community, this will provide the marketing community with a solid foundation upon which to build from, and successful project milestones can be reached in a short amount of time.
Ubuntu by itself can sell itself to millions. Ubuntu with a unified voice can sell itself to the world.