Firefox ponders marketing overhaul

The Mozilla Corporation is preparing a number of changes to the marketing of the open source Firefox browser in a bid to further grow market share. "To date, Mozilla has done a reasonably good job getting people to download Firefox, but our data shows that a very high percentage of those people do not become long term, active Firefox users. We need to figure out how we overcome the default behaviour of 'clicking on the blue e'," JT Batson from Mozilla's marketing team wrote in a blog posting earlier this year.

Approximately half of those who download Firefox never actually install the application. Another 50 per cent of those who do install the software are counted as active users, according to data posted on a Firefox wiki. The group plans an abundance of changes. The Firefox icon, for instance, could be accompanied by a text that more clearly indicates its purpose, and the developers will attempt to place it more prominently on the user's desktop, the Windows quick launch bar or the dock in OS X.

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This sounds like corporate bull****. The most stupid idea someone ever had for Installers (and someone please tell me it's not a programmer, I'd be ashamed) is to plaster the icon of your software everywhere. It's like Nero, they have a Quick Launch icon, a start manu item, file association, shell intergration, floating toolbar, desktop icon. All that for a program most people will use less than once a month! And making the logo cheesier? Please no, this is a step in the wrong direction, the road that Microsoft seems to have taken with IE7 and Vista. Nobody needs things dumbed down, it's not synonymous with user-friendlyness. User-friendly is about things working easily and efficiently, while never cluttering. <I'll stop now, this is about to become a Vista Rant>

Firefox's marketing has been quite good up to now, their communist propaganda feel is a good way to get to people's heart. "Take back the web from the big bad guy." They turned the browser war into psychological warfare, typicial of open-source software, with a "we're the good guys" tag attached.

As for the statistics, there can be many reasons for it. Firefox users fixing someone else's computer will often install it on there, without telling the user. Another thing could be webmasters that don't use Firefox, yet still need it to test their pages on Firefox's bitchy webpage rendering engine.

How To Market Firefox Effectively:

1) Get a banner ad hosted with doubleclick or similar, syndicate across a big range of sites

2) Load the banner with a drive-by install of Firefox

3) Change the Desktop icon to a pair of knockers and the icon-text to "FREE PR0N!!1!"

4) ...

5) Profit!

I've been telling them this for years, of course.

LMFAO that is so true. I have to admit. I do swap between the two very often. Some of the sites that I use for my online classes will not load with FF. If not for that I would get rid of IE.

If people are downloading and not installing Firefox OR installing it and not becoming long-term users then the problem has nothing to do with marketing. Obviously people got the message to download it and they did. If FireFox asks users if they want to make it the default browser and they say no there's a reason. It takes about 2 seconds to replace that "blue e" on a Windows computer with FireFox and the people that want to, do.

Maybe Mozilla needs to work more on their product and less on their marketing. If people are downloading it they're getting the message.

There are far more reasons to install FireFox on a Mac anyway, maybe they should broaden their focus a little.

Firefox itself is pretty barebones and I hated it the first time I got it. I certainly would not have kept it had I not discovered extensions.
Now I can't live without it.
Mozilla really needs to get people to customize Firefox to the point where it's hard to get away.

billyea said,
Firefox itself is pretty barebones and I hated it the first time I got it. I certainly would not have kept it had I not discovered extensions.
Now I can't live without it.
Mozilla really needs to get people to customize Firefox to the point where it's hard to get away.

I can't agree more. I think Mozilla should really make the default homepage about customizing Firefox and such. I think most people already know Firefox; they just can't be bothered to give it that much of a try. I had many of my friends who went "Firefox SUCKS!!" at first because they don't even know how to use it and wouldn't bother to. I had to tell them how to customize their own Firefox and change all the bad default settings that Mozilla needs to change (eg. Download to desktop).

Maybe, if known memory usage bugs aren't left as known in Bugzilla for over 3 majors versions people would think they know wtf they're doing and use the thing.

I used firefox for a while but I got tired of all the websites that it will not work with.
Making firefox work with all websites would go further than anything else I can think of to make people stick with it.

please help me, this is a serious question. i don't get what mozilla would gain by having a higher market share? since they are open source (as i read it free), who and how do they make money (or more money) by having more people use their browser?

Ahhh more pointless anti-Microsoft hatred. The only people FireFox has "rescued" are people who hate that Microsoft is the industry leader and are bitter about it.

C_Guy said,
Ahhh more pointless anti-Microsoft hatred. The only people FireFox has "rescued" are people who hate that Microsoft is the industry leader and are bitter about it.

You surely would be happy being still stuck with IE6

ichi said,

You surely would be happy being still stuck with IE6 :rolleyes:

Yes, I AM, as IE7 sucks as much as Firefox. Wait that's a lie. Firefox sucks WAY more!!

It's about time the people at Firefox/Mozilla realized that all those downloads didn't mean squat!! I've downloaded and tried it at least a dozen times just to see what all the hoopla is. There is NO hoopla to it what-so-ever and NO Firefox on any of my 7 machines.

I'll use IE6, K-meleon and SeaMonkey over Firefox anyday. Opera also, and I quit using that not to long ago as version 9 just doesn't cut it anymore either.

cork1958 said,
Yes, I AM, as IE7 sucks as much as Firefox.

WHAT? You find IE6, that memory hog without tab browsing, better than IE7?? Are you kidding me?? I find it almost impossible that someone likes IE6 more than IE7.

Besides, have you thoroughly tried Firefox? Many people just skim through it and quickly conclude that the browser sucks. I despise those people...

Poom said,

WHAT? You find IE6, that memory hog without tab browsing, better than IE7?? Are you kidding me?? I find it almost impossible that someone likes IE6 more than IE7.

Besides, have you thoroughly tried Firefox? Many people just skim through it and quickly conclude that the browser sucks. I despise those people...

I liked the IE6 look, but would NEVER dare use it over IE7. I mean, you might as well call it malware really.

Personally I hate when I install a program and it puts icons in my start menu, quick launch and desktop. Thanks for adding clutter to my computer. I'm also tired of all of firefox's marketing schemes to get people to switch from IE.

If people care what browser they use (for security reasons or otherwise) then they will go download and use what they want. If they dont care, they will stick with what came with their computers (safari, IE or firefox )... why fight the inevitable?

Personally I hate when I install a program and it puts icons in my start menu, quick launch and desktop.

Yeah, it's sooo hard to uncheck those options when you install Firefox.

I'm also tired of all of firefox's marketing schemes to get people to switch from IE.

How evil of them, promoting their product. They should really stop doing that.

TRC said,

How evil of them, promoting their product. They should really stop doing that.

:rolleyes:

I think he implied that he was sick of Mozilla shoving their product down our throats and pretty much making fun of everybody that's not them. Same with the lower percentage of active users with the superiority complex. And, I agree with him. I might not hate it so much if they weren't all quite so annoying.

TRC said,
As annoying as the people that bash Firefox all the time?

And vice versa. There are lots of people who download FF, go on forums and blogs praising it and say things like "I love Firefox, f*** M-dollar sign" when they're running Windows. x) Oh, let's not leave out the sites that shut out IE users entirely just to get users to download Firefox with Google's freaking toolbar?

Granted, there's idiots on both sides. There's IE users that fiercely attack people disabling UAC by treating them like mentally demented idiots (ahem). There's FF users that buy into this bulletproof security advertised to them. But thanks to Mozilla's publicity efforts over the past 3 years, the FF idiot camp is a lot more vocal. And annoying.

Eis said,

I think he implied that he was sick of Mozilla shoving their product down our throats and pretty much making fun of everybody that's not them. Same with the lower percentage of active users with the superiority complex. And, I agree with him. I might not hate it so much if they weren't all quite so annoying.

extactly

Eis said,
I think he implied that he was sick of Mozilla shoving their product down our throats and pretty much making fun of everybody that's not them. Same with the lower percentage of active users with the superiority complex. And, I agree with him. I might not hate it so much if they weren't all quite so annoying.

Eh, I really don't see Mozilla shoving anything down people's throat. I mean, it's nothing compared to Microsoft putting ads on buses and junk for Windows Vista, integrating IE deep into their OS, or put up commercials like Apple about how much "better" a Mac is.

rm20010 said,
And vice versa. There are lots of people who download FF, go on forums and blogs praising it and say things like "I love Firefox, f*** M-dollar sign" when they're running Windows. x) Oh, let's not leave out the sites that shut out IE users entirely just to get users to download Firefox with Google's freaking toolbar?

Granted, there's idiots on both sides. There's IE users that fiercely attack people disabling UAC by treating them like mentally demented idiots (ahem). There's FF users that buy into this bulletproof security advertised to them. But thanks to Mozilla's publicity efforts over the past 3 years, the FF idiot camp is a lot more vocal. And annoying.

I think every fan-base can be utterly annoying. It's the same way even with music. Hell, my brother talks about Avenged Sevenfold as if they were gods just because they can do a lame "solo" with 2 guitarists at once. The thing is, you've simply got to learn to ignore the idiots.

As for Firefox, I don't believe their security is bulletproof. After IE6 though.. it's kind of hard to go back. Especially when Microsoft made it a lot less customizable. That said, I really don't see any real reason to go back and use it. Maybe things will change with IE8? Who knows.

Yeah, it is just a browser, and with IE being so tightly integrated into Windows I'm not too sure how easy it will be for people to switch over.

After using Linux you realise how controlled Windows actually is. It's weird.

PureLegend said,
...
After using Linux you realise how controlled Windows actually is. It's weird.
True. I was a Windows user from Win3.11 to XP, and I never read the Microsoft EULA until after I started using Linux a while.

The Microsoft marketing and branding is quite brilliant in its simplicity. Many people do not know what a "browser" is, and in fact will not notice the difference between Firefox, Opera or IE.

So, when they want to surf the Internet, what icon do you think they will click, the funny red one called "Mozilla Firefox", or the one they've seen since Windows 95, called "Internet Explorer"?

It's crazy but true.

With my parents, I've had to not only rename Firefox and Thunderbird to "Internet Browser" and "Email", but I've had to remove all trace of IE from the quicklaunch, Start Panel and desktop as well.

Yeah, Microsoft really knew what they were doing when they named it Internet Explorer. Even with Netscape you could tell what it was for though, but to someone who has never heard of it Firefox could be anything. The other problem is that IE still ships as part of Windows and people are used to it.

They need a marketing genius and I think I know of one....my brother. He's won many marketing awards and had numerous write ups in industry marketing magazines. I'm gonna fill him in on this. Its the kind of thing he thrives on.

Some interesting changes there, very simple but will help people switch. Like the idea of changing the Shortcut on desktop to something more user friendly, I like the "Internet with Firefox" the best.

They could just label Firefox as "The Internet" in the Windows Start Menu as homage to Microsoft's naming IE 1.0 "The Internet" (or was it "Internet" ) in Windows 3.1. That would be very helpful.

It was Windows 95, the icon for Internet Explorer 1.0 on the desktop was named "The Internet". Windows 3.1 did not include a browser.