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15.0149_PublisherSpotlight_DRUPAL

This Publisher Spotlight originally appeared on Marin Software’s Marketing Insights blog and it is a series in which we’ll be introducing premium publishers who are using Partner Connect to develop business relationships with relevant and interested advertisers. In this post, we feature Carrie Lacina, Digital Advertising Manager at the Drupal Association. Drupal is a leading open-source Content Management System, and the Association supports Drupal.org and the Drupal Community. We spoke to Carrie about the unique benefits of Partner Connect and some best practices for communicating the program with a passionate user base.

Drupal.org’s considerable audience is diversified across tech, design, and business

Drupal is an open-source content management platform that powers millions of businesses, websites, and applications. At the heart of Drupal.org is a very engaged and diverse community consisting of hundreds of thousands of members ranging from developers, site builders, project managers, designers, themers, site owners, Drupal business owners, and more!

Drupal.org’s audience is significant. We receive over 2 million uniques and 15 million pageviews monthly. We also have 50,000 registered users (mainly developers) who contribute to the Drupal project. Beyond the core registered users, Drupal.org also has a substantial email and social media following with over 40,000 email subscribers and nearly 130,000 social media followers.

Drupal.org offers a great opportunity for advertisers who are looking to tap into a target audience that is very tech, design, and business savvy. We already work with advertisers across a number of different industries, from companies that are looking to reach a design and business-savvy audience like web development shops; to companies that focus on Drupal-specific services like Drupal training, hosting or recruiting; as well as companies looking to tap into a more technically savvy audience like independent software vendors and development and design tool companies.

Partner Connect creates a non-traditional advertising-based revenue stream

One of our initiatives for 2015 was to develop new advertising-based revenue streams. However, we traditionally haven’t had much advertising on the site so it’s been important for us to take a lot of care with user experience and be very careful about what types of advertising solutions to introduce.

Partner Connect is unique because it allows us to create an advertising revenue stream without having to compromise the user experience on drupal.org with ads. Because it allows advertisers to target audiences beyond just our web site, there’s a lot of benefit for them as well.

How to communicate the finer details of Partner Connect to a passionate user base

Our relationship with our audience is unique in that Drupal is an open-source platform that’s not only used by, but also built and supported by a very engaged community that is passionate about the project. It was important for us to properly communicate Partner Connect and help our users understand exactly what it is and isn’t, especially since it’s such a new concept.

We’ve been very proactive about informing our user base. We released a blog post that went in-depth about the program. During this process we worked closely with Brad Flora (co-founder and former CEO of Perfect Audience), who also used to be a Drupal.org member, to help explain some of the technical aspects and help address any community concerns. For example, Brad helped explain how Partner Connect targeting was anonymous and that no personally identifiable information was being collected or shared. We also communicated this message through our newsletters and social media.

Beyond communication, we took extra precautions from an implementation standpoint as well. While placing the tracking code was easy, we set up safeguards to ensure we were respecting our users’ privacy preferences. For example, we were able to deploy Partner Connect with support for the “Do Not Track” request, so visitors with that feature turned on wouldn’t get cookied.

I think the effort in being transparent has been very helpful because so far the response has been great. People understand the business needs for Partner Connect and have appreciated the steps we’ve been taking to ensure we’re respecting our users’ wishes.

Interested in targeting Drupal.org’s audience? Learn more about audience extension with Partner Connect!

Brian Sim

Brian is a Product Marketing Manager at Marin Software. Previously, he worked within the agency world, leading digital marketing strategy, and has also worked on developing products and growth strategies for very early stage startups. Brian studied Marketing & Communications at the Wharton School, and obtained his MBA from UCLA Anderson. A native Philadelphian, Brian maintains his Philly sports rooting interests from the west coast.

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