On Marketing and Promotion

I am far from being a marketing expert, but I think many people confuse "marketing" with "promotion".

In this post I'll try to clarify my understanding of the subjects. I make this public in the hope that it helps you as well.

On the other hand if it confuses you then, well, what did you really expect?

The 2020 vision of Dave Cross

In the 437th edition of the Perl Weekly newsletter I've linked to the post of Dave Cross on his 2020 vision in which I also mentioned how I am interested following his posting to see how does he make progress. Partially as I seem to have been doing similar things to him with a delay of a few years.

I hope to also comment on his post, probably with postings of my own, to reflect on the thoughts I have after reading his posts.

So here is his first writing, titled again as 2020 Vision, but on a different post. I came across it via my LinkedIn feed. It was not included in my regular RSS feed-reader as was his other blog. I am a bit confused now why did he switch to this blog, but maybe he feels it should be on his private site and not on the professional one.

Just as I post this on my private site and not on the Code Maven and neither on the Perl Maven site.

I guess he is going to have his weekly post on this site, but I don't know how to follow that site. It does not seem to have and RSS/Atom feed. (nor a robots.txt nor a sitemap.xml) So I don't know how to make sure I don't miss his posts.

A quick check of my own private site before someone points out that it is missing the same thing. Which would be super embarrassing. I have RSS feed, robots.txt, but now sitemap.xml. My technical sites, which are way more important than the private site, have all 3, though I know the sitemap.xml of the Code-Maven site is missing some of the slides. It is in my TODO list. Now the sitemap.xml of this site is also on my TODO list.

Marketing vs Promotion

So back to the main subject.

As far as I know what Dave was talking about in his post is primarily "promotion" which is basically the distribution of information about and existing product or service. It is usually part of the "marketing mix".

Marketing, on the other hand, includes market research in which we try to find out what the market needs so we can create a product or service, in our area of expertise, that fulfills the needs of the market. It also includes the definition of what is the market. Who are in the market. Trying to make something that is good for all the 8 billion people on the planet is probably not a good idea. (Even saving the Earth seems to go against the interest of some people.)

Many people I hear talking about "marketing" when they actually mean "promotion", "outreach", or "evangelism", which IMHO is a Christian term that is slightly misused by technical teams to mean something similar. Converting other people to your faith (of technology).


Dave mentioned that he signed up to SEMrush. At 100 USD/month it seems way too expensive to me, but it was nice to see a couple of issues mentiond in the Trello board of Dave. For example I should pay more attention to the description meta-tag of my pages.

If we are at his Trello board already, IMHO before offering blog posts I think Dave might want to start linking to other blogs about the subject. Heck he might even create a newsletter in which he collects links to related articles. I see there is already something called The Royal Weekly, but that does not seem to be a newsletter.

Having the permission of people to send them regular e-mail updates is very powerful. I see that as I run the Perl Weekly.


Dave mentioned the This is Marketing book of Seth Godin. I guess that should be on my reading list as well. Personally I loved the Duct Tape Marketing of John Jantsch with the know, love, and trust. I have a hard-copy version of it and I even gave a lightning talk about it at one of the Perl conferences in the USA. (Back when they were still called YAPC.)

The British Royals

I don't have any special interest in them.

Let me write a few words about the Line of Succession of the British Royals. The project Dave is currently working on. It is strange. When I saw the first post of Dave about the site I was really surprised. Why would he work on it? I thought that he is an any-royalist, or whatever it is called in Britain. So I was really surprising to see he invested so much energy in the subject. I guess the subject interests him.

But who else?

  • Is it interesting to anyone outside of Britain?
  • Is it interesting to the same people who love the Prince and Princess stories?
  • Is it only a few Royal-buffs?
  • Is it all the British people?
  • Would people want to see speculations? e.g. What if X dies/steps down/has a child?

And in other direction:

  • Could the system be used for other Royal Thrones?
  • Maybe for the Game of Thrones?
  • could it be used for mapping the whole European and World-wide royal marriages and succession?
  • Could it recommend movies or books related to the appropriate royals?
  • Could it be used in education?