There have been recent questions asking Adobe for more visibility into our marketing investment for the Flex product line. We want to take this opportunity to give the community a better sense of what we’ve been doing and where we are going.
The first thing we want to emphasize is that we think a successful community is the best marketing of all, so we’ve invested heavily in ways to make developers successful. Examples of this approach include the Quick Starts, training curricula (and upcoming certification program), early releases of features like ASDoc on Labs, and new components like the AutoComplete Text Input on the Flex Exchange. While these may not seem to be obvious marketing efforts, if the community is successful we then have ready-made evangelists who can spread the word and that is the best form of marketing.From a more traditional standpoint, the Flex marketing team has been hard at work focused on reaching out to the community to drive developers (existing and new to Adobe) to trial the Flex product line. So far our efforts have driven over 475,000 developers to the developer center and over 100,000 developers have downloaded a copy of the Flex SDK or Flex trials.Many developers have also joined us on our Live and eSeminar series where we have held over 25 live seminars around the world, and hold eSeminars 3 times a month (info here). We were also happy to have over 17,000 developers attend the Flex session during the Adobe Virtual Developer week last June, which we plan to run again early next year. Our July launch event in Korea was attended by over 1000 developers. In August, Adobe sponsored a Sys-con “Real World Flex’ event in New York City where we had over 200 people attend, and over 12,000 people have viewed replays of the sessions at http://www.flexseminar.com/. You may also have seen one of the Adobe Evangelists (Ben Watson, Christophe Coenraets, James Ward, Ted Patrick and our ColdFusion guru Ben Forta) promoting Flex at over 50 tradeshows, seminars and developer events over the past 6 months. In the last few weeks we’ve had a very successful launch of the Japanese version of Flex Builder. Of course MAX is coming up and Flex has a huge presence at the conference.Our PR team has been working hard to reach out to all of the key tech-pubs around the world, gaining Flex coverage in eWeek, Network Computing, ITWeek, ComputerWorld, InfoWorld, InfoWeek, DexX, and CRN to name just a few, with coverage in over 100 online and print tech pubs around the world.Additionally, we’ve been working with industry analysts at Gartner, Forrester, Burton Group, Red Monk, etc. to make them aware of Flex. And it makes a difference. Our Flex booth was mobbed at this week’s Gartner ITXpo in Orlando, Florida after Ray Valdes mentioned Flex positively in his session (more). Richard Monson-Haefel at Burton group has blogged positively about Flex (more). So has Jim Governor at Red Monk (more).Next let’s provide an update on some open source projects that are getting traction in other communities outside traditional Adobe communities.The PHP RIA SDK by Adobe has a mailing list with about 80 people on it, and 4 or 5 community members who contribute regularly to samples in the SDK. We are working with those community members to post items up on the Flex Developer Center for PHP developers. We are a Gold Sponsor at the PHP Zend Conference later this month, and Mike Potter, an Adobe evangelist, will be speaking and showing off Flex to that audience. The SDK release was mentioned in a major PHP magazine this month.There is also a Ruby on Rails RIA SDK by Adobe that we’re working on, again as part of an open source project with a mailing list of 87 people. There are many community sites popping up in the RoR community dealing with Flex, including http://www.flexonrails.net and a future book.We’re working on a new evangelism project targeting university students. We have our first university focused session tonight at the University of Ottawa, and have a university focused website ready to launch at http://www.therabbithole.net/. This program is moving ahead slowly but surely, with more events scheduled across Canada next month.On the advertising side, we’ve already run over 10 million ad impressions and sent opt-in promotional emails to over 1 million developers around the world. New interim banners are now running throughout all our online sites. These include: Ajaxian, Artima, CMP, CNET, Code Project, DevX, Federated Media, FTP, Inform IT, IT Toolbox, O’Reilly, SysCon and The Server Side. These banners are INTERIM only and were developed as a replacement for what we internally called the “Pretty Boy ads” while we wait for the next generation of our banners to be tested and developed. If you are interested in being part of our focus group please send an email to Sydney Sloan, ssloan”at”adobe.com , with “Focus Group Participant” in the subject and we will try to get as many of you in the focus group research as possible.We also have a project underway to test new advertising messages (to replace and/or augment the “Go Beyond Ajax” theme) and to update the Flex landing page on Adobe.com to be more focused on developers. We are also working hard to improve the trial download experience and how developers should be spending their first 30 minutes with Flex, much like what Christophe Coenraets has done on his blog.This is not an exhaustive list of the activities we’ve been driving to promote Flex, but as stated earlier, for Flex to be REALLY successful we need the support of the community — we need you talking, building killer apps, writing blogs, publishing articles and telling your friends and family just how cool it is to develop apps in Flex. We welcome your ideas on how to promote Flex, including the bumper stickers and tattoos approach! In fact, we’d like to encourage you to be creative in coming up with ways to spread the word about Flex. Please send us any and all marketing ideas, including ideas to promote
- Flex to the Mac developer community,
- Flex to the Linux community,
- Flex to the Flash community,
- Flex to the <insert other developer community here> community.
If we end up using your idea or a part of your idea in a future campaign (or we just think it’s really cool) we’ll send some Adobe/Flex schwag your way AND give you credit on a site like flex.org.The best way to get ideas to us is to respond in the comments to this blog entry (or at least refer to your own blog entry here so we know about it). We look forward to seeing what you can do!