Looking back at the Firefox 3.5 Launch

15 Aug
Veera Venkata Chowdary Veerapaneni's Firefox 3.5 party in Hyderabad, India

Veera Venkata Chowdary Veerapaneni's Firefox 3.5 party in Hyderabad, India

In the beginning of 2009 we took a look at our community marketing team and how we could make engagement more interactive and meaningful.  We’ve always had wonderful and creative community marketing efforts, such as the Firefox Crop Circle, but it seemed like it was difficult to jump in and figure out where to start.  The Firefox 3.5 launch seemed like a perfect opportunity to jump start our team.  We kicked off the year with the goals to:

  • Develop and recognize a team of community marketing leaders
  • Create more meaningful ways to contribute
  • Create hands on marketing learning opportunities for the whole team
  • Increase our global marketing reach

To accomplish these goals and empower our community we did some basic housekeeping such as introducing bi-weekly community calls and revived the marketing mailing list.  We also rolled an educational video workshop series on different aspects of marketing, including events, social media and PR.  Over the first half of 2009, the team grew quite a bit, especially when you consider there were 15 people actively contributing to Download Day marketing efforts:

  • 130+ members on Firefox Launch team
  • 300 new campus reps signed on leading up to launch
  • 17,000 new users joined Spread Firefox since its relaunch this spring
  • Lots of new faces joined the team, including folks for from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Macedonia & more

The growth in the team itself and our focus on meaningful engagement meant some great results in marketing efforts around Firefox 3.5 — basically the team rocked!  Here’s a quick look, but check out our recap presentation for more details:

  • The team heavily leveraged social media resulting in Firefox as a trending topic on Twitter (sorry MJ!)
  • More in-depth contribution from community marketing team such as Vineel Reddy’s Firefox 3.5 video, MozCamp Mumbai and the Shiretoko Shock campaign
  • Greater geographic representation and awareness for Firefox 3.5

I’ve done a lot of thinking about what this all means and how we did.  I’m really pleased about the deeper engagement and rich set of self-initiated activities that we saw, especially when you consider the relatively low upfront investment needed for some of these efforts.  I don’t want to downplay the amount of individual time that community members put into promoting the launch, but Download Day, in contrast, was very resource intensive (WebDev, localization, etc).  We also had a set of activities, especially around social media, that had a low barrier to entry allowing just about anyone to contribute.   The one thing we were missing was the heady big bang of Download Day and we might want to consider a more orchestrated campaign next year.  Any ideas? 😉

I’m interested to hear how you think we did and what you’d do to improve the community marketing team.  I do think we’re still looking for that perfect platform to make our bi-weekly meetings more interactive and I’d really like to see us spending more time leveraging social networks other than Facebook.  Comment below or drop me a line at mary at mozilla dot com with your thoughts!

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