Marketing the PSF
We need to create more and more stable streams of revenue for the PSF. This page is intended to collect ideas of how to achieve that and is meant to be a guideline for a new marketing committee.
Marketing the PSF
- Attracting sponsor members
- Adding benefits to the PSF sponsorship levels
- Sponsorship Levels
- Conference sponsorship bundles
- Working with fund raisers
- Attracting donors
- Marketing tools
- PSF activities that would benefit from marketing input
Some of the following ideas can be bundled, even if they target different groups. In the first step, we'd need to identify possible activities. In the second step, we'd need to look into taking those ideas and turning them into an action plan.
Attracting sponsor members
With the sponsor memberships, we're targeting companies, not so much individuals, so the options have to be attractive for companies
- Improve the PSF presentation on the python.org website
- Giving the sponsors more visible feedback about where their money is being spent
- Creating a high quality printed magazine style report of what the PSF did in the past year, with interviews, foundation reports, presentation of funded projects, etc.
- Sponsors could also get ads in such reports and we could distribute them at conferences.
- Direct mailings (via postal mail) to attract sponsors on a broader scale This is relatively expensive way of doing sponsor marketing, but would allow us to reach out to company officials in a more professional way than plain emails.
- For associate members, we could also have a program to increase sponsorship levels via a ranking on the website and extra benefits for higher donations:
- "[Getting reports out of CiviCRM]... It would be interesting to get a breakdown of the sponsorship level. While USD 99 is the minimum amount, people are free to pay more for the membership. We could have a listing of all those who pay more than the minimum amount on the website and say thanks to the top ten by e.g. sending them T-Shirts, pins or other merchandise."
Adding benefits to the PSF sponsorship levels
Given the slow development of the PSF sponsorship signups, I think we have to start making PSF sponsorships more attractive for companies and add benefits to the packages that go a bit in the direction of advertisements, but without sacrificing quality or focus.
Ideas for sponsorship benefits:
discounts for PyCon US sponsorships or attendee tickets
- fixed higher position entries in the job board (for a certain duration)
- heavy rotation of the sponsor success stories on the python.org frontpage
central conference management to simplify signing up as sponsors at several different PyCons
- co-sponsoring of Python projects (PSF and XYZ sponsor project ABC)
exclusive sponsoring of PSF run non-python.org websites, e.g. exclusive sponsor listing on the RasPi site or the speed site
- listing of higher level sponsors on the website and in the blog in a non-intrusive way (e.g. using a slide show widget at the bottom of the site)
- preferred success story placement in the next editions of the Python brochure and related marketing material
- adding sponsor listings to PSF banners used at conferences, e.g. the PSF conference kit
- adding sponsor logos to PSF merchandise
- creation of sponsor specific marketing material, e.g. a stripped down version of the brochure with extra pages to highlight the company and their recruitment opportunities
- adding PSF sponsor badges, which the sponsors can use to market their PSF sponsorship to their customers and users Use of those badges would be restricted to the sponsors. Monitoring could be done by the trademark committee.
I guess all of those deserve some discussion on their merits. I just collected a few ideas that come to mind to have something to work with for assigning benefits to sponsorship levels.
Suggestion 1 by Lynn Root
Maintain current scheme, added "Premier" level, and suggested employee size for Premier level:
Premier: $50,000/year (5000< employees)
- Benefactor: $20,000/year (500-5000 employees)
- Patron: $10,000/year (100-500 employees)
- Principal: $5,000/year (25-100 employees)
Member: $2,000/year (<25 employees)
Suggestion 2 by Lynn Root
Rename levels entirely mimicking other foundations (see research here)
- Platinum: $50,000/year (5000+ employees)
- Diamond: $20,000/year (500-5000 employees)
- Gold: $10,000/year (100-500 employees)
- Silver: $5,000/year (25-100 employees)
Bronze: $2,000/year (<25 employees)
Use industry standard sponsorship level names:
- Diamond: $100,000/year
- Platinum: $50,000/year
- Gold: $20,000/year
- Silver: $10,000/year
- Bronze: $5,000/year
- Standard: $2,000/year
See the Google search for "diamond sponsorship level" as reference.
Notes regarding levels
The idea here is address the concern that using the same level names would confuse sponsors. By folding PyCon US and PSF sponsorships into a single package, we could use the industry standard level names for those packages, avoid confusion, attract more PSF sponsors and increase our overall sponsorship levels.
- We should remove the employee hints for sponsorship levels, since they don't provide a good guideline. Levels should be made attractive via benefits, not based on size of the company.
Conference sponsorship bundles
See the separate Board/ConferenceSponsorshipBundles page for ideas around this topic.
Working with fund raisers
We sometimes get larger donations from fund raisers. If possible, we should try to build closer relationships with these.
- Build closer relationships with fund raisers and other foundations.
See e.g. Vanguard Charitable.
- Demonstrate that the PSF can manage larger projects on behalf of the donors.
Donations are most often being made by individuals, so the options have to be attractive for individual donors. Most of our donors currently spend between 50-200 USD per donation.
- Giving the donors more visible feedback about where their money is being spent
Pat has some merchandise in storage, but we probably should consider creating more as giveaways or for sale at conferences, as well as for sponsors, donors, members and AMs. The marketing committee would likely take care of the designs and I could see Pat managing the production and distribution.
Production probably needs to be done by region to reduce shipping costs.
- T-Shirts, pins, hats/caps, scarfs
- Coffee cups
- Stickers, postcards
The Python community is best reached by using online tools. The marketing committee should investigate different forms of online marketing such as:
- specialized websites
- Twitter/Facebook/Google+/etc accounts
- email newsletters
Brochures and flyers
Reaching out to other targets, esp. ones that require direct interaction with people, will require printed marketing material.
There already is a PSF Python Brochure project underway to create a professional quality marketing brochure for Python. We could create specialized variants for specific target markets using the same concept, e.g. for the educational sector or the industry and research sectors.
Flyers provide a great way form of pro-active "note-keeping" - people don't have to take notes, they simply get them in a nicely consumable format, which increases chances of follow-ups.
PSF activities that would benefit from marketing input
Press and PR
We need press contacts for different regions and should also think about creating press kits, restart doing press releases for e.g. new Python releases, important grants, etc.
The only activity in this area is the PSF blog, which is great for spreading the word in the community, but probably doesn't reach the desks of newspaper or magazine editors.
Highlighting the work of PSF Directors (especially our keynote presentations at various events), as well as working with other institutions on the community/corporate boundary (e.g. opensource.com, Linux Weekly News) may also be worthwhile.
The PSF should get in touch with the political world and governments to get Python more integrated into the educational landscape. Projects like OLPC and RaspberryPi are examples of where others have already helped the PSF a lot.
In order to reach out to these targets, we will need specialized marketing material to help those efforts.
We also don't need to do this alone. The Raspberry Pi Foundation, the "Raspberry Pi for Learning" program within UNICEF, and the Australian National Computer Science School are well advanced in this area - leveraging their efforts, and bringing them to a wider audience could be valuable.
Actively look for getting grants from governments, (large) charities and companies. Investigate and seek collaboration opportunities with professional fund raisers.
We should probably also see whether targeted fund raising would work in the Python community, e.g. to raise money for a new python.org website (things that a lot of people would find useful).
Such campaigns need (mostly online) marketing support.
We could start selling regularly updated CDs with Python Windows installations/Linux VMs and books/ebooks with the Python documentation on Amazon or other similar shops to easily create more income for the PSF.
The needed book covers and CD sleeves could be done by the marketing committee.