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Market Analysis

This marketing analysis should be taken in the context that Openskills has these objects; and undertakes the following in order to meet these objects: activities.

The activities are divided into 5 bullet points, summarised as follows.

For each bullet point, the following are our goals for the next 5 years:

Goals

The following are goals stretching out 5 years ...

One year

   In 12 months from now we shall:
 Promote Open Source model  Have held 4 breakfast forums educating small business on the advantages of Open Source software;
 Promoting the skills of members  Have facilitated employment engagements for 25 members
 Enhance the prospects of members  
 Support services and information  Provide resume management, bug tracking, effort tracking systems for members to use
 Promoting the association   Have 200 members; have been mentioned in at least 2 major daily newspapers, 10 IT magazine editions; have a Google Page Rank of 5 (say) and come up in the top 30 in a search on "Open Source"

Two years

   2 years from now we shall:
 Promote Open Source model  ??? Bruce, can you fill the rest of the table in. You get the picture.
 Promoting the skills of members  
 Enhance the prospects of members  
 Support services and information  
 Promoting the association  

Five years

   5 years from now we shall:
 Promote Open Source model  ??? Bruce, can you fill the rest of the table in
 Promoting the skills of members  
 Enhance the prospects of members  
 Support services and information  
 Promoting the association  

Attaining the goals

So how are we going to do this? Well, when it comes to promoting Openskills to the commercial world, here is how:

We are going through a process of market analysis:

The first step in the process is understanding our strengths and weaknesses; a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis:

SWOT Analysis

   Positive  Negative
 Internal  Strengths
Unique.
Robust scalable model.
Commitment to open source.
Accessible global trustworthy resource pool.
Extensive range of skills and skill levels.
  Weaknesses
Key support syetems not in place.
Relies on (member) reputation.
May be compared to a recruitment agency.
No dedicated marketing & sales function.
Relies on the ethics of members.
Don't have huge budgets (for marketing or infrastructure setup)
Over-extension.
Seen as being Bruce Badger centric.
 External  Opportunities
Lots of developers looking for something like OpenSkills.
Wide potential client base.
Applicable to assignments of any size or complexity.
We can efficiently find & fill small opportunities.
Nimble.
Trend towards OSS.
Open Source is popular currently.
 Threats
New idea & therefore hard to sell.
Hostile parties taking up membership to hijack the organisation.
Open Source not yet universally welcome. (i.e threat that Open Source takes too long to become mainstream
Startups with $$ and a similar model.

From the SWOT Analysis we move on to a market segment analysis, looking at the following three areas:

Segmentation

We segment the market. Possible segments include:

Targeting

Given the above possible segments, we need to look at our own strengths/weaknesses (from the SWOT analysis), and also look at how attractive each of the segments are (in terms of growth, size of the market, barriers to entry, etc), and then decide which segment(s) to go for. In the formative years of Openskills, it makes sense for us to target the Small business/SME segment.

Positioning

Now that we have decided on the segment to target, we need to understand that segment's preferences with respect to product and service features; and customise our product/service offering, and everything about how we go about delivering that, to meet those preferences. We need to figure out: How do they purchase? What features of openskills would they find attractive? What sorts of things are important to them? What is their level of education in the areas of software development, etc (Perhaps as starting point, the tour meetings can be used to discuss, and people attending can give their views on what sorts of services a small business would find attractive, and what aspects of how we go about delivering that service are important. We can always then test the results using some sort of market research.

Once we have determined these things, we need to position Openskills in the mind of the market, as being the perfect provider with respect to each of those things which are important to the segment. Below are some tools which help in the process of positioning

The Marketing Mix (4+3 P's)

For general businesses, the 4 P's of marketing:

For services marketing, add 3 more P's:

Differentiation methods in service organisations:

Positioning

A technique used quite effectively is 'Unique Selling Point". What is THE one thing Openskills does better and different from anyone else?

(The biggest...? The best...? The highest quality...? It is important that we are distinctive in the market, and create a brand image that is associated with what we want people to asociate us with...

A difference is worth establishing if it satisfies the following criteria:

Advertising, Promotion

(Note: This process for business strategy formation, and some of the tools and techniques described, are copyright (2002, 2003) Beagle Computing Pty Ltd. Openskills members (or proto-members) may use these tools to enhance their own marketablity or may use them as part of a service they may offer their clients, on condition that credit is given to Beagle Computing Pty Ltd (www.beagle-it.com) in any written or web correspondence/publication, and the same limitation is stated in that publication (i.e. that permission to use is granted to Openskills members).


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