Brainstorming about a Marketing and Communication budget for 2008

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The Drupal Association is within the next 3 months or so going to hold its first General Assembly, where new board members are voted in, and a budget for the next year is decided. So I'd like to get feedback directly from the community about what you feel are important priorities for the Drupal Association's marketing efforts in 2008, if possible along with approximate costs. This is a wiki page, so go to town.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is purely a brainstorming activity, and an attempt to get community feedback into the final budget proposal, since I am NOT a market-eer. ;) This proposal will need to be approved by the General Assembly, so there is no guarantee that everything here can be included in the final budget. But by making a strong case, there's a much better chance. :)

Let's try to have this more or less in shape by November 19, 2007 (about two weeks' time).


A Booth, for shipping around to various events (OSCON, LinuxWorld, SXSW, etc.). This could range from a high-end constructible type of deal like these to a couple of banners like our friends the Joomla! folks use.


  • Design of banners/booth: From free (if we get resources in the community to do it) to ??? (if we get it professionally designed).
  • Cost of booth: $2,000 - $5,000
  • Printing of banners/posters: unknown; depends on size, colours
  • Ongoing shipping costs: unknown; depends on weight


  • Since Drupal is an international product, and we'd likely want representation at numerous events all over the world, it seems like a more light-weight, portable thing is best. My vote would be on producing some nice vinyl banners rather than buying a huge booth kit. - webchick

Misc. Printable Marketing materials

Things like flyers, posters, etc. We could reimburse local groups up to some amount for printing off things at Kinko's or whatever.


  • Design of flyers/posters: Free, if done by someone in the community to ??? if we get them professionally designed (greggles says we already have a nice one below).
  • Reimbursement of printing costs: $500 - $600 for 500 card stock quality fliers. Figure 10ish events a year that would have these, $5000 - $6000


  • Could possibly tie design into contests budget (below) - webchick
  • CodePositive already has a great flyer - I saw one at DrupalCon Barcelona flickr snap of it --greggles

Misc. Shippable Marketing materials

This covers things like pins, stickers, and so on. We could ship these out to local Drupal meetups/Drupal Camps on request, as well as have them available at various events, including Drupalcon. :)



  • The thing I'm mostly excited about is Drupal stickers... my laptop is way too boring. ;) - webchick


While some of the event-related t-shirts might make sense to no longer be available, we ought to have a stock of generic t-shirts to pass out at events, so local DUGs could offer them as prizes, etc.


  • Design of t-shirts: Free, if done by someone in the community to ??? if we get them professionally designed.
  • Printing costs: ??? Would need print-on-demand, probably?


  • The other thing we could do with these is sell them in an e-commerce site (see below) for an ongoing revenue stream. -webchick

E-Commerce Site for selling swag

There are lots of times I'd love to get just a plain Druplicon t-shirt as a present for a loved one -- you know, like my Mom or whatever. ;) Or a stack of stickers to brand everything in my apartment -- like my microwave, toaster, and cat.

This is not as easy as it sounds though... while Drupal stores exist with Cafepress and Goodstorm, the international shipping costs are in most cases prohibitive, and we have a very international community. We might need to create our own e-commerce site, which means having someone to develop it, and someone on staff to maintain it. Read a discussion on hosted options.


  • Research into various options for e-commerce: Free, if someone volunteers, or we could potentially pay someone to do this.
  • Development of e-commerce site: No idea how to budget for this. :(
  • Ongoing volunteer to manage store: ???


  • Something like this might potentially fall under fundraising budget instead, not sure... - webchick

Contest prizes

We could set aside a budget for things like a Theme Development contest, make the best PDF flyer, etc.


  • Depends on number and scope of the contests, but maybe up to $10,000? Is that enough?


Monthly newsletter

The Association could start organizing a formal newsletter, including advertising spots for interested companies to help bring in revenue.


  • Putting together newsletter: Free, but lots of time involved.
  • Soliciting sponsorship: Free, but lots of time involved.


Educational Video Resources

A series of short 5-minute introductory videos to get people up to speed on the capabilities of Drupal. Ideally, they'd be fairly visual, tightly edited, and be able to give people a snap shot of "What is Drupal?" and "How is it being used to support community?" These could double as educational outreach and marketing materials and be posted online and potentially handed out as DVDs. The scope of the content could be expanded depending on the success and the videos and the ultimate target audience.


  • Time to develop the script, visuals & pitch content
  • $500-$2000 for the video and editing


  • x

Travel Reimbursement

We could fly high-profile people in the Drupal community (such as Dries) to events to represent Drupal.


  • $500 - $2000 per ticket, per event. Say one person x 10 events a year, = $5,000 - $20,000


  • x

Please feel free to add your own ideas, make improvements to the existing ones, and fill in some of the costs involved on these things.


"Made with Drupal"

sliiiiiide's picture

It's a pretty old trick but what about making available to Drupal builders (and encouraging the use of) some "This website built with Drupal" style referral links. There would be heaps of users of Drupal sites out there that could be reached this way... Maybe even get aggressive and include a small (and easily removable) link by default in the footer of a new install...

Already done! :)

webchick's picture

In 6.x, there's actually a "powered by Drupal" block in the footer of new installs. :) You can easily remove it by disabling the block, but for those who don't, we should get a nice chunk of referrals that way.

$300 to print 500 Card Stock Drupal local group brochures

Amazon's picture

I got a quote for printing the London group brochures in San Francisco. $300 for 500. $15 to score and fold. Take at least a day or two to dry before you can fold. $600 with no notice.

To seek, to strive, to find, and not to yield

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Had some comments and

ciperl's picture

Had some comments and ideas... so first with comments (in reverse order)

Educational Video Resources

  • Distributed on YouTube for several reasons
    (1) Would remove bandwidth from Drupal servers
    (2) Allow for easy distributions for Drupal tutorial sites, for companies to provide for employees.

  • The videos could be prepared for DVD burning for the cost of shipping plus a little extra (or more)
    --- I could possibly see someone paying $15 or so for tangible DVD shipped with getting started videos.
    --- It could be scaled up and groups like Lullabot could sell full course videos for several hundred dollars

Monthly Newsletter

-- Maybe think of a quarterly newsletter that would have several parts.
(1) Key summary of drupal dev
(2) Tips 'n' Tricks
(3) Advertisement space for people offering drupal services
(4) reviews of products (aka - software / IDE's / hosting companies)
(5) Upcoming Drupal events

Contest Prizes...

This could be a huge benefit and promotion avenue.

  • Maybe make a monthly or quarterly themeing contest. The winning themes would maybe make a small award. But would compete at the end of the year against the other 12 (if monthly) or 4 (if quarterly) for a grand prize.
  • We could approach someone like AMD that supports opensource work and get them to donate a laptop or something like that as the grand prize. In order to qualify for the grand prize you must have won one of the monthly/quarterly themeing contests. And to make it fair. The laptop could be awarded by a straight drawing. Which would make everyone have a chance.

Tshirts - Awesome Idea...

Maybe we can also take a page out of the playbook. Someone designs a tshirt. Then people have 2 weeks or so to order that shirt. This way an exact number of shirts can be printed making it more economical.

Shippable Materials...

(1) USB thumb drives with Drupal pre-loaded (great for conferences)
(2) STICKERS - Never get enough
(3) Drupal Consultant Business cards... with information about drupal on front/back with a single line for the "consultant" to write his name on it.
(4) Pens with Drupal Info printed on it. Everyone likes to collect pens
(5) A "Who Else is Using Drupal" brochure.... (Sony / Lifetime / MTV / Observer / etc.)

For some strange reason I was unable to "edit" in the wiki regions. Kept giving me a site error contact administrators

The "30 second elevator pitch"

kbahey's picture

In many cases, you need to explain what Drupal is in 30 seconds. This is called the "elevator pitch", and should be 100-150 words.

This helps convey the message quickly in situation like lightening talks, introducing yourself or your company, ...etc.

Because Drupal is so flexible, we should probably have several variants of this:

  • The base pitch (Drupal is a project providing a framework, content management system, application platform ...etc.). Oriented towards the "builder" audience, including developers, themers, web agencies, and the like.
  • One tailored to blogging
  • One tailored to social networking
  • One tailored to non-profits
  • One tailored to activism

There are more of course, but this is a start.

Drupal development and consulting
Personal Baheyeldin

Drupal performance tuning, development, customization and consulting:, Inc..
Personal blog:

Two elevator pitches

kbahey's picture

As part of GHOP, we have 3 elevator pitches, targeted to web admins, managers and developers.

See them here

Drupal performance tuning, development, customization and consulting:, Inc..
Personal blog:

Drupal performance tuning, development, customization and consulting:, Inc..
Personal blog:

"Drupal audiences"

calebgilbert's picture

With any luck the Drupal codebase itself will never see a "fork". On the
other hand the pressure of a widely divergent Drupal user-base is, more or
less, demanding a fork of Drupal's communications/marketing.

To illustrate the problem most Drupal-marketing solutions face:

* What does an enterprise developer care about a blogger?
* What does a blogger care about an enterprise developer?
* What does an C-level decision maker care about either one of them?

Sure those groups will have some small cross-interests, but there is an
obvious and significant gap between what each audience will be
interested/concerned about regarding Drupal. As a degreed marketer with some
sales experience (feel like a weenie for dropping that, but feel compelled
to in order to "established credentials"), I feel confident in saying:
Drupal will have limited/lesser success in trying to communicate with all of
its core audiences at the same time, vs. communicating with each one more

I guess all of the above would be a long winded way of proposing:
separate_channels_of_communication_for_varying_user_bases. :p

(cross-posted from Drupal dev list)

Please add...

sime's picture

I couldn't edit the doc "illegal choice detected" <-- some formapi issue?

Anyway, please add this:

Procedure for "Request for Funds"

Infrastructure for allowing individuals and organizations to publicly request funding for any of the above categories. In theory, demand for funding in some categories could outstrip supply. New tools on a.d.o would allow users/members to request funding. Allow others to view the requests, and comment as appropriate. Would need to be more like a ticketing system than a forum.
(Added by sime 11/11)


  • Development cost?


  • You don't want to rush this - perhaps a nice cookie-cutter solution that includes non-marketing requests as well?

What about an ad budget?

Alex UA's picture

I'm not sure if this would be desirable to the Drupal community, but I think a small Google ad budget might be a useful and cost effective way to market Drupal (it seems to be a good way to market everything else, so why not). The key to its success would be to figure out what search terms to purchase, i.e. what questions are people asking where the best answer would be "Drupal" which are not currently returning "Drupal" on the first page of google results for the term? For example, on the first page of a google search for Open Source CMS we get links to a few sites that mention Drupal, and the Joomla homepage, but not Drupal. I would also suggest going after the main consumer CMS' out there.

I'd also like to second the suggestion of better video resources, though I think that other visual resources (graphical descriptions and overviews of Drupal and some popular contrib modules) would also be very useful. But why not put some funding behind some of the efforts to create video resources? For example, with a small budget I'm sure the Drupal Dojo could get and keep many more of its videos online (could pay for a tech to record, encode, and post it, for example).

Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg
ZivTech: Illuminating Technology

For those proposing videos...

webchick's picture

Could you provide some more concrete feedback on what in the is missing/doesn't work for you/etc? The documentation team has been doing some great work lately on making this really refined and easy to navigate, and there are dozens of videos covering a wide range of modules, skills, subject matters, and so on. So I'm curious what specifically you'd like us to spend money on in this regard.

Consistancy in production quality and presentation

gusaus's picture

The videocasts on are indeed a great resource, but it's not exactly conducive for easy discovery. It would be great to have all the vids easily accessible in a portal such as these and/or presented in this fashion on d.o. (

In terms of production quality/presentation, this site provides a lot of good examples:

There is a lot of parallel discussion happening over at Drupal Dojo - seems like a little bit of funding would enable folks in the Dojo to create a better system for 'live lessons' as well as other formats of complementary learning and marketing materials.

Gus Austin
PepperAlley Productions

Gus Austin

Can you guys come up with a budget?

webchick's picture

What would it take to fund Dojo 2.0?

an idea..

jredding's picture

just an idea to start a bit small as I have no idea how much money really exists..

Can we just rip a page from the google playbook and lets fund
Drupal Highly Open Dojo Project

Offer cash and schwag prizes to those that
(a) participate in the Dojo by creating new videos or cleaning up the past videos
(b) clean up the handbook pages by making them more easily accessible

I'll throw a number of $5,000-$10,000 and offering $100-$300 prizes. Of course the administration of doling out the cash is either going to be resource heavy on some unlucky volunteer or require paying someone. Writing out a ton of checks or making paypal payments takes time.

-Jacob Redding

-Jacob Redding

Make an issue

add1sun's picture

Heya jredding,

Could you please also add this idea to the Dojo issue queue so we have the idea in our list of things to hammer out?

Learn Drupal online at

Good suggestions

trevortwining's picture

I think Khalid is on a good track with his point about customizing messages, and that's echoed in the response from Caleb. In my own experience in selling services around Drupal, I've found the following to be generally true.

1) Introduce irrelevant information at your own peril.
2) If you're reading, I have 10-30 seconds to grab your attention. If you're listening to me, I have much less time than that.

So that means that people who are in an editing role don't need to know about the great work we've done in the various APIs we have, but the benefit of flexibility provided by that work could be important in ensuring they don't feel locked in. I also think because we have multiple people with whom we should communicate, those materials that lend themselves to different versions cost-effectively would take priority.

I'm not certain about the value a 'requesting funds' system might provide. Perhaps if I understood the use case behind it a bit better.

I have some information oriented towards non-profits that I could offer as a starting point in that category, if someone can tell me where an appropriate place (on the site :)) to put it would be.

Also, rather than google AdWords, we would probably qualify for the Google Grants program at

Focus on the goals

upperholme's picture

Overall Comments/Suggestions

  • To build a sound budget for marketing and communications, what is first needed is a sound game plan: what is the goal of doing marketing and communications activities? I've just jumped in here from a link elsewhere so that work may well have been done, in which case I'll apologise now and get my coat, but... Looking over the notes above, I could be critical and suggest that it looks like you are focusing the marketing and comms investment on a group of people that are already hooked in to Drupal (e.g. people who go to Drupal events, etc.), and so I'm not sure what that investment would achieve other than maintaining and stenghening the existing community (no bad thing in itself, but is it all you need to achieve?).

    Trying to think strategically, if you want to invest in marketing and comms that will perhaps:

    1. Reach out to make new audiences aware of Drupal who might not be currently aware
    2. Attract peripheral Drupal types (maybe people like me) to become more closely involved and active
    3. Raise awareness of Drupal among some key target groups - maybe focussing on a particular segment like marketing and comms professionals within the NGO/campaigning sector, for example
    4. Reach new potential sources of funding - e.g. id Drupal is the best online community tool on the planet, maybe there is funding to roll it out/make it available to organisations in developing countries for example (maybe Bill Gates might want to support something like that?)

    Then maybe such an approach suggest a different way to invest.

  • I would consider some investment in public relations and online marketing activities to improve awareness and get the Drupal name into places where it needs to be but isn't yet.
  • Maybe some advertising spend to get Drupal some better visibility on some search results pages?
  • How about some investment in documentation? - almost always a weak area in open source projects, and one of the key reasons why casual interest does not turn into firm support
  • Maybe do something like invest in Bryght or one of the hosted Drupal service providers to enable them to give 100 Drupal powered sites away to NGOs in developing countries, and then get lots of media coverage around the project, alos highlighting the incredible features of the software and its outstanding internationalisation features
  • By all means make some investment in some display graphics and stickers and stuff for events, but treat the mugs and T-shirts and things like that a s source of revenue (I'll buy one) from supporters.

I tried to include these notes as an edit to the node rather than a comment, but I got an error message about an illegal choice being detected...

Awesome suggestions, thanks!

webchick's picture

The document above is mostly compiling things that have already been talked about in terms of where marketing dollars should be spent, and you're exactly right that to a large extent, this misses the boat entirely on things like outreach to people not sold on Drupal. It's hard to quantify what would be good investments that would help with that though, I guess. Your suggestions are great.

I agree... but..

jredding's picture

I agree but a.d.o is a brand new organization and investments are things tracked over time. The a.d.o structure needs to be well defined, roles played out, legal structure in place, as well as record keeping. An investment would be good but how do you track that it was successful? How do you track that it was given to the right people in a compliant manner. Because investments are hard to quantify someone is going to ask why it "hasn't paid off" or "where the money went", these are hard questions to answer for a brand new organization.

I'd suggest a.d.o starts a bit smaller, shorter-term in scope and easier to quantify. The investment in documentation is a good one. Its an extremely crucial area that definitely needs help. Maybe we need a DHOP ;) (as I suggested in a just-slightly-earlier comment)

I think the goals of a.d.o are pretty well flesh out on the page but, like all things, they'll change with the times.

-Jacob Redding

-Jacob Redding

Can part of marketing budget

calebgilbert's picture

...go to help out implementing the #1 asked for feature on A little bird told me that such funding would probably be necessary to help encourage the number of hours that said little bird (not me, btw) would have to spend implementing such functionality, so that all of the Drupal community could benefit from it.

Printing Vendor San Jose CA

NickM's picture

I’m a printing vendor in San Jose, CA and long time Drupal user. Please use me as a contact for marketing material and trade show printing. My company can provide quotes and extend this marketing budge substantially. Thanks.


Provide contact info

Chris Charlton's picture

Can you provide external contact info please.

Chris Charlton, Author & Drupal Community Leader, Enterprise Level Consultant

I teach you how to build Drupal Themes and provide add-on software at

For the better

crashuniverse's picture

I went through the following and found them to be quite in order

Actually things if done in the right way would fetch obvious results. I may make a quick contribution by taking up the graphic designing.


THE Solution

Peter Fry's picture

I am someone who researches all the time looking at the new ways to advertise and market things. I suggest you look at the VR66 solution, they are a technology company based in Chicgo. Check out their way of sending TV ads to people (alongside content) as used here:


philthy1's picture

A good rule of thumb is around $80USD per square metre of print. Costs come right down as volume increases.

Phil H

The Marketing of Drupal

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