Today, Loopfuse announced that it has released the 2.0 version of its open source demand generation product. In case you missed David Skok's exceptional OSBC presentation (Detailing lessons learned from JBoss' success, and an upgrade on my own presentation on this same subject). [Note: If you're prompted for a user name/password, try conference/attendee.]
What is demand generation? If you're an open source company, it's your lifeblood. Open source companies grow up and live online. If you're not using a demand generation tool like Loopfuse (or Eloqua - proprietary and pricey but very good), you're squandering your business. Companies like JBoss, Hyperic, Red Hat, etc. all use demand generation tools to turn downloads into dollars.
Roy (Loopfuse C-something-O) has this bit of propaganda for you to mull over:
Although we've spent the better part of two months creating, testing, refactoring, and testing this new functionality, our customers are already benefiting from its use in our production environment (SaaS offering). In particular, our new email and internet marketing campaign manager, has been accepted with great applause from our customers, as they are able to create campaigns, track campaign performance, and measure the associated ROI via our CRM integration capabilities. So as we say here at LoopFuse, we're turning marketing from an art, in to a science.
Self-serving hoopla notwithstanding :-), what Roy says is correct: open source companies already spend less on sales and marketing than their proprietary competitors - they need to ensure that every dollar is efficiently spent and maximized. Demand generation software does this.
I'm biased in this, of course, as I'm an advisor to Loopfuse. But I'm an advisor because I've been involved with open source companies since 1998, and I'm responsible for Alfresco's P&L here in the US. We're a customer, and would have gone with Eloqua had a solid open source alternative not existed (one that integrates with our chosen CRM system, SugarCRM).
Check it out. Whether you're using Loopfuse or a proprietary alternative, you would be wise to check out demand generation tools.