Opera’s marketing sucks

Apparently, our marketing sucks. That's what comments on My Opera and other sites indicate anyway. However, what these comments usually leave out is a clear explanation as to what "sucks" about it, and what they think our marketing people should be doing to fix this.

Not being a PR/marketing guy myself, I don't really know a whole lot about these things, so here's your chance to educate me! If you think our marketing is bad, why is that, and what specifically should our marketing department be doing to improve? Saying "it sucks" is great to get something off your chest, but to get through to non-marketing people like myself you will have to give me a clear message about what the problem is, and in this case how you would expect it to be addressed.

Keep in mind that we do not have the deep pockets of most other browser vendors 🙂

While you are at it, can you list some marketing efforts from this company that you are aware of? For example, we run ads in both online and printed media to my knowledge. We also send people to conferences and such, to raise awareness among various groups of people.

What do I think? Not much, since this is far from my area of work. So go ahead and educate me!

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73 thoughts on “Opera’s marketing sucks

  1. Since you mentioned a grass-root movement (or someone did), one of the ways I can see to create something similar would be to simply contribute to the community [of the web / web developers].You are already giving us a browser for free, of course, but so are others. As you noted, you give us dev.opera.com and developer tools, and also opera community ++. However, as also mentioned here, it's all happening in the "opera sphere" and fails to catch fire in the big web sphere. my.opera.com is truly great btw, I sincerely hopes it will get an exponential growth with more users, instead of reaching some limit.Mozilla had a quite great "stunt" with the fuzzer, although it didn't reach too far out of the "hardcore" web users. They still managed to give the impression of contributing to the greater good (ok so I've seen the latest Harry Potter).So, what can you give, that will catch fire? Or alternatively, how can what you give already be made to catch fire?Widgets could be one thing – if they were truly cool. Truly Cool®TM widgets could be marketed "stand alone" with links to download them bundled with opera ("click here to install opera and run this widget"). The widget interface is still a bit cumbersome to use on daily basis though.. hopefully this will improve with Kestrel or something.Also, Opera actually has great IRC client for one, and of course also the mail client (which still could have had soo much more going for it with a bit improvements..). However, there seems to be a fear for bloat that minimalize marketing on those.. theyr'e like just entirely hidden in the background so they wont use any of your precious memory and cpu etc, like "please don't let these features stop you from downloading opera." But how about separate pages marketing IRC, marketing M2, where you can download them (in effect, downloading Opera) and where these features are turned on and visible by default? No one ever lears about the poweful features of your IRC and M2 by visiting opera.com, it's entirely hidden, and only mentioned as support for IRC and email, while normally an IRC and email app will be marketed specially (just like you advertise the browsing features of opera: standards compliant, svg, css3, secure, fast etc.).Do I get this through? A website only for marketing IRC part of Opera, with IRC features, IRC resources, IRC neticette, great start resources for different user groups (irc.freenode.net's mootools, javascript, django etc. channels for web developers etc). Similar for M2. And similar for Opera Browser (front page really needs improvements – include words free, tell directly on the front page what's so great and cool about opera: features and stuff). And so much more resources! These should not be hidden away in knowledge base / forums, but written in great, helpful articles in some nice blog or part of the website, such that they could be picked up by the blogsphere, and easily linked to during conversations / discussions etc. – as mentioned in an above post, all the helpful answers to first-users from forum should be covered – tutorial and great, cool examples _exactly_how_ to customize Opera user interface (this could easily be picked up by blogsphere) – tutorial and great, cool examples _exactly_how_ to set up M2 to become a powerful, sorting, filtering email client – tutorial and great, cool examples _exactly_how_ to use opera browser as a powerful tool for advanced sessions and switching between sessions – tutorial and great, cool examples _exactly_how to combine the powerful features of notes, m2, links and browser window to do e.g. researchOk, some of these are a bit advanced, it's just what I myself use opera for, but I'm sure there are numerous other examples of tutorials and great, cool _exatly_how examples that people would love to see. These should be well written, nicely illustrated, easily understood (and appreciated) by normal users, and hopefully picked up by the blog sphere and maybe digg/slashdot/reddit etc. too.ZIP – time to shut up for now. But there are Oh So Much opera could do besides buying ad-space to become more visible.

  2. Where does Opera advertise? I only see ads for opera mini, mobile and stuff about wii/ds. I have to my knowledge never seen an ad for Opera desktop. I only see these ads around opera.com or opera supporter's blogs. Are you advertising where the people are and with the big guys? Google? digg? techcrunch? These aren't all the biggest sites but I just really would like to know where the advertising is going and who is being targeted?

  3. I think Opera marketing campaigns should focus on some features that seperate it from the rest but would make great use for the common user.I think the upcoming synchronization feature will be a good selling point – "Take your web everywhere" :)Also, speed should be a selling point i think (although this is kinda overused by for instance firefox – and undeservingly so), maybe show some benchmarks or sth.Also, I think that a point should be made about the browser being easy to switch to – from the point that it doesn't hurt you to have two browsers installed side by side to the point that all your bookmarks are automatically imported etc.The other thing, with the upcoming Theora support, it would be great if there were lots of video tutorials showing the great things in opera (this was mentioned in comments on daniel goldman's similar blog post multiple times)

  4. Are you advertising where the people are and with the big guys? Google? digg? techcrunch?

    I'm sure most guys at Digg and Techcrunch already know what is Opera and don't need ADs. I saw many times posts about Opera on firt page of Digg…

  5. Originally posted by FataL:

    I'm sure most guys at Digg and Techcrunch already know what is Opera and don't need ADs. I saw many times posts about Opera on firt page of Digg…

    So where should they advertise? better homes and gardens? Nascar websites? I'm saying big tech sites seem like a good target to me. Web 2.0 places and the likes. I don't know where else they'd advertise. I'd really and truly like to know what market they are targetting, where and how.

  6. One word: Sexy chicks!!nuTsie parody got 156 000 views using this hot girl (

    ).Opera mini parody stands at 14 900 views. (

    )The video below is another example of a very charming female capturing the viewers attention, I'd say hire her ASAP and try again! I personally loved the OM/iPhone parody, it's just a bit too narrow if you want to reach a wide audience.

  7. This isn't exactly marketing, but mention that you guys eat your own dog food–you all use M2 for your mail, IRC as your IRC client, Opera for your feed reader (I don't know why anyone would want to use a feed reader that isn't integrated with the browser), Opera as your main browser, etc. (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/08/18/opera_ceo_interview/page3.html) You do mention it, but maybe it could be mentioned a little bit more. Don't mention it so much that it somehow becomes a "feature", though. Google has a video on how using their own products allows them to find holes quicker, to ensure end user safety and stability.

  8. 1. Open the Opera Software branch in Russia2. Open the developing center in Russia (more significant)Why? Because the Opera browser have approx. 12% of market share in Russia and we can dramatically increase the quality and functionality of Opera browser. Really.

  9. 1. Change the logo, the current one seems outdated to me, a new one could say "we are back, better then ever" (not that you opera went anywhere).2. Focus more on the security and how it's free. I think alot of people still assume you have to pay for Opera desktop.3. Perhaps more web ads on the internet, I honestly never see any ads forO Opera, and if you do that route, talk about how security as mentioned above.I see Opera mentioned alot in publications, so the word is getting out there.Another main comment I always hear from people regarding Opera is that it doesn't work on 50% of the sites out there, (yes I know that's not true, but that's what they always tell me, so for them that ## is true). So maybe focus on how Opera does work with the sites out there, I've heard 9.5 is going to improve on the compatibility quite a bit. But honestly, I feel like my last comment is what's hurting Opera the most, and why people aren't switching to it.-MarkLong time Opera user since day 1999.

  10. If you anyone from Opera is still reading this, I think Havaard already has one of Opera's best marketing schemes on his site: Opera Ninja. The Opera Ninja comic strip was taken very well from the media and made people want to see more. It would be really awesome to see Opera take some more steps with him, and possibly even make him part of their non-corporate logo. (Keep the simple "O" for that.)

  11. I agree 100% rmccabe916. The Opera ninja is something that everyone can relate too, especially new users… Though I would hope they would not take his marketability so far as to make him synonymous with 'Clippy.'

  12. You know? I had the luck to visit Opera Offices, and the only thing that I can say is thanks to my bro for told me which building was the Opera one, since NOTHING outside shows any Opera identification. I was expecting something like a big O in the top of the building, or all red, or in the airport something like "Welcome to Oslo, the city of Opera Browser", but nothing, nothing at all. Also, I asked a good friend from Norway, Oslo in fact, about Opera and he says "Yes, I like the Opera, but just Mozart". And this man IS from Oslo. c'mon!!

  13. Maybe Opera Software could change the name of the browser to something other than "Opera" which has to share search engine ranking with opera the art form. A new name and a shiny new logo could help the browser stand out. – A

  14. Asa, changing the name at this point would be bad decision — it's not 0.85 version of Opera already. ;)But changing the logo of browser would be helpful.

  15. haavard, you said:> Bill_P, it is up to Google to decide what they want to include > in that package, and seeing as they are close buddies with > Mozilla, the choice of browser is probably set in stone.While you're definitely right about the first point, I don't understand what makes you think that Google and Mozilla are such close buddies. Opera also has a close financial relationship with Google (and probably other search services, as Mozilla does.) I don't know the extent of the Google Opera relationship but I can't imagine that Google (or any other popular search service) would turn down additional traffic from Opera so the ball's really in Opera's court to figure out if it wants to and how it could be a more compelling partner. At Mozilla, we're somewhat constricted in the companies we partner with and how we partner because we have to put the user first rather than the business relationship. Opera doesn't suffer from that handicap and can do what's "best for business" any time it likes. That should make it even easier for Opera Software to be a more compelling business partner than Mozilla. Why Opera hasn't leveraged that is beyond me.————thelomen, you said:> Mozilla had a quite great "stunt" with the fuzzer, > although it didn't reach too far out of the "hardcore" > web users. They still managed to give the impression of > contributing to the greater good (ok so I've seen the > latest Harry Potter).It wasn't a "stunt" at all. It's part of Mozilla's fundamental mission. See, one of the things that makes Mozilla different from Opera is that Mozilla is a public benefit organization — that means we make things for the public good, not for the financial reward to our shareholders. If we fail to generate for the public good, we could lose our public benefit legal status. Opera, on the other hand, is a publicly traded company with a legal responsibility to its stock shareholders to maximize profits. If Opera fails to maximize profits for shareholders, they can take action against Opera — everything from using the Board of Directors to shake up management to suing the company for damages. So, we did more than "give the impression of contributing to the greater good." We actually do contribute to the public good. That's our fundamental and legally mandated mission. And that's something that makes Mozilla very different than Opera Software or Apple Software or Microsoft. – A

  16. Asa: A name change would be interesting, and something I've thought about myself (not that branding is my area of expertise either), but probably not very realistic. There are other companies, like Apple, "fighting" over common terms.And regarding Google, if I am not mistaken Google hired at least a couple of people to work on Firefox. I don't know if this is still the case, though.As for Mozilla's business model, you have the luxury of not having to make money, so in the "big picture" it doesn't really matter if your product is any good. The donations will keep flowing in anyway 😉 On the other hand, commercial companies need good products simply to stay afloat. There's the knife on the throat compelling commercial companies to create great products, while non-commercial entities do not have this "guarantee" that they have to make good products.And while Opera Software has focused on making good products, it has also spent lots and lots of money on "the greater good" by putting actual cash into open standards for many years.So as you can see, the picture is not quite as black and white in your favour as you are painting it 😉

  17. A name change would definitely be very interesting. I'm not a branding or marketing guy either in any way. But in my opinion choosing Opera—a name that appeals mainly to highly educated, upper class, old people—a name that detracts so many other people, and especially young people— as the name of the browser, can't be a good choice.(I have nothing personal against Opera:) I love the browser, and like the art form. But I wouldn't have chosen it as the name of my browser.)

  18. Asa:>I don't know the extent of the Google Opera relationship but I can't imagine that Google (or any other popular search service) would turn down additional traffic from Opera so the ball's really in Opera's court to figure out if it wants to and how it could be a more compelling partner.It's hard *not* to come to the conclusion that Google doesn't care about Opera when so many of their web apps actively block the Opera browser from using them, even when the app works fine with Opera (Google Calendar, for example). It's very disheartening to us when one user (xErath) can devise a script on his own that fixes so many of Google's web apps.

  19. Originally posted by AsaDotzler:

    Maybe Opera Software could change the name of the browser to something other than "Opera" which has to share search engine ranking with opera the art form.

    Originally posted by haavard:

    Asa: A name change would be interesting, and something I've thought about myself. …

    Originally posted by rkm:

    … Choosing Opera —- a name that appeals mainly to highly educated, upper class, old people, a name that detracts so many other people, and especially young people —- as the name of the browser, can't be a good choice.

    Oh! I know little of one, more of the other perhaps, making no mention of the etymology of the word itself,http://www.yourdictionary.com/ahd/roots/zzo00600.htmlbut I love them both and on a good day, even in feeble old age, I can distinguish them if I google 'opera'.Frankly, I might have asked Asa whether perhaps opera should be reborn from the ashes of this work of browser art, this opus — in the manner of phoenix. Or, if that word be taken already, firebird. Or (if taken too) fire-something-else — something fast enough to dodge patent darts, if not so nimble or so fleet of foot on this 10-year-old machine.A true work of art, alas, will seldom be fast in the making, though it will always be unique. It will need only to make itself known by any name it chooses; but then must it satisfy any user who takes it up — excepting perhaps only those (who trammeled with the triple disability of ignorance, underclass and youth) cannot anyhow distinguish opera from an opera. rkm, don't undersell the intelligence of youth. haavard, don't think for a minute the name of the browser makes a bit of difference. Internet Explorer — this is a name? — didn't get where it is by striking upon a name youth understand; nor did firefox get where it is today by virtue of its name. It would have done just as well with any other name. And Asa knows that.

  20. Many people (bloggers, commenters, colleagues, etc) still think Opera is ad-supported. It is not well known that it is free.

  21. Since this is about marketing and not about the product, I have taken the opportunity to clean up the comments section… Posts not directly related to marketing will be removed.

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