Meet the Joomla Marketing Team
Within the endless and powerful Joomlasphere, there is at least one team we all have an opinion about. Over the last few years, on countless occasions, I’ve seen social media postings stating that “marketing” should do this, that, or something else. Which was interesting, because for a large part of those few years, “marketing” didn’t really exist. But today the JCM proudly presents to you: the good people of the new and improved Joomla Marketing Team (and for everyone with an opinion about marketing: yes, you can join)!
What is the team’s main goal?
Louise Hawkins: The overall goal is to promote Joomla, increase brand awareness and support all other Joomla teams with whatever marketing requirements they may have. The Marketing Team designs and produces graphics and merchandise for all Joomla activities, such as events, releases, newsletters, social media and more.
What is your place in Joomla’s ecosphere?
Louise: The Marketing Team has many roles in the Joomla ecosphere as we support other teams. User insights and monitoring of user sentiment can provide feedback and strategy for development. Social Media listening and surveys also provide valuable feedback that can be used to ensure Joomla messaging hits the spot.
What roles do you have within the team?
Louise: My role as Team Lead is firstly to organize, and to ensure that graphics are produced on time and that any requirements are met. I’m currently looking to systemise the artwork production and create a Marketing Team Bible, this will ensure that all team members who create graphics have clear instructions on the production procedure; thus saving time and making sure the job isn’t reliant on a specific person.
I would like to also be more proactive in terms of looking at marketing strategy, personas and messaging. So the roles can be varied, essentially we need people who are proficient in Photoshop and Illustrator, but there are other roles such as newsletter production, merchandise, marketing strategy and more.
Tom: As an Assistant Team Lead I support the Team Lead when needed. I’m also in the team as a graphic designer working on streamlining the production of graphics.
Team members: introduce yourself please!
Louise: I’m a digital marketing consultant and SEO. I have worked mainly with small businesses in various marketing and web design roles over the last fifteen years or so. Four years ago I decided to embark on a Masters Degree with the Digital Marketing Institute to further my education and this is where I developed a passion for SEO.
It was in fact my thesis survey that led me to Joomla! The pandemic hit and work dried up, I was busy sending out my survey and was subsequently contacted by a company who wanted some help with their website and digital marketing. The website was built on Joomla, it was a very early version and had not been updated in years!
Previously most of the websites I had worked on happened to be Shopify, so it was a steep learning curve, and I have to admit that I didn’t like Joomla very much to start with! So, I started to learn Joomla, I bought a few books, I enrolled with OS Training and reached out to the Facebook Group for help. Long story short, I soon fell in love with Joomla. I now only use Joomla for new websites, and I’m currently setting up my new business and building my website on Joomla 4, using the Cassiopeia template.
So although relatively new to Joomla, when I saw the request on Facebook in February saying volunteer graphic designers needed for the Joomla project I did feel compelled to volunteer; after all the Joomla Facebook team had been so pleasant and helpful. And it was only some weeks later that I agreed to be Team Lead. Sounds cheesy, but I do believe in fate…
Phil Walton: I build Joomla websites for a living and have been at it for a while now.
My clients are big and small and from all over the world. I collaborate on several projects with other Joomla community members.
I make the blog posts for the Joomla releases, set up the newsletters and liaise with other teams to coordinate the release of the articles.
I joined the group a year ago and have been pleased to see new members join and shine.
Andrew Barber: I run a Public Relations consultancy focused on the commercial real estate market. As part of this, I advise clients on their communications strategies. The online element of this has become more and more important over the years. Since 2010, I have worked on various projects with Phil Walton using Joomla websites as a focal point for wider PR and publicity campaigns. I joined the marketing team in 2021 and helped publicize the launch of Joomla 4.0.
Mark Fleeson: I run a consultancy developing custom Joomla components for other site builders and have a few direct clients as well. I’m assistant team leader for JED 4 and as my other commercial work is in publishing, I helped out when Phil was first resetting up this team providing graphical support and editorial support to the project. I now hang around in the background ready to jump if called on!
Tom: I’ve been a self employed web designer / graphic designer / photographer since 2008. I’ve been using Joomla since the start of my own business. My clients asked me to build a website but didn’t have a logo or photographs so I started providing those services too, and mastered those skills over the years.
At the moment I mainly focus on building bespoke components for clients, real-estate photography and almost half of my time I'm doing design and print work for clients. I’ve been a Joomla volunteer since april 2021. I started in the JED Team but then I also joined the marketing team after they posted a message on Facebook asking for volunteers.
At first I wanted to do both but when it came apparent there was lots to do in the Marketing Team I decided to leave the JED Team and join the Marketing Team so I could devote more time to this team. I jumped on the release graphics and recreated them in Illustrator since there were only low res psd graphics. In the process I've also streamlined the procedure to create the release graphics, bringing down the time needed to create them by a lot. We’re now looking at implementing this solution to more areas where graphics are needed. Then I was asked to become ATL, but that’s still very fresh.
How often do you have meetings, and how do they take place?
Louise: We have meetings every two weeks. There are periods when there is less to do, however by meeting regularly we can keep momentum and work on proactive projects.
What tools do you use to work together?
Louise: We use Glip (RingCentral) to keep in touch, Google Docs for all our files and The Adobe Creative Suite.
If you had three words to describe the atmosphere within the team, what would those words be?
Louise: Warm, enthusiastic and intellectual
Phil: Happy, encouraging, friendly
Andrew: Fun with banter
Mark: Really nice people
Tom: Friendly, relaxed, fun
How did the team develop over the last year(s)?
Louise: Can’t really comment on this as I’m too new.
Phil: Well, I won't lie, it's been a struggle at times. There was little left of the team when I signed up as Marketing DC, and it's not really my area of expertise. I took on the job because there was no one else really coming forward, and Joomla 4 was about to hit, someone had to!
I am just pleased that now there is a small but growing core sharing the work and bringing talent and interest to the team. Things can only get better.
What difficulties do you face, and how do you (plan to) overcome them?
Louise: Being relatively new, I’m still getting to grips with things. However, having a consistent team can sometimes be difficult as members can have other commitments. Good organization and a good production system should mean that we have assets ready well in advance. This will leave more time for proactive planning and ideas. We have many talented members, and I want to encourage all of our members to share their ideas and suggestions.
Tom: I’m very chaotic and just take on everything as it comes. So not much planning on my side. Luckily we have Louise to handle the planning part!
Do you need extra volunteers, and if so, in what capacities?
Louise: Extra volunteers will always be welcomed! Being that marketing is so broad, I would welcome anyone with marketing or design or business experience. You just need to be passionate about Joomla!
Phil: We need more people who can look in on a daily basis to see if there are things to do, and to also step up to help put the newsletter out and think longer term about the marketing of Joomla and see it through.
Tom: I think a marketing strategist would be a good addition to the team. We’re mainly focused on producing marketing materials at the moment. But maybe there’s a different department that’s responsible for this.
Apart from joining the marketing team, what can we, the ordinary Joomlers, do to help Joomla grow bigger and more popular in the market?
Louise: For me, it would be feedback, good or bad.
Phil: Take part in polls and events. It would really help if people write their own articles as well linking to Joomla's excellent magazine posts and highlighting the positive experiences they have had.
Tom: I think it’s important that Joomla is being talked about. So if you use Joomla, show it. I’ve hidden the fact that I use Joomla as my go-to CMS for years, almost as if I was ashamed of using it. I guess I felt like “professional” web designers wouldn’t use something like Joomla. After I taught myself how to code in Joomla and learned more and more about the CMS and how good it actually is, I now feel ashamed for thinking like this for years. Last couple years I've seen it more as a USP than something people didn’t need to know about. Especially now that Joomla 4 is here with things like the accessibility plugin and all the other great features I'm now proud to say I use Joomla as my go-to CMS. And I think everyone could do that: be proud of Joomla.