It’s no secret that open-source software - once the territory of computer freaks, geeks and rebels - has gone mainstream. This development has brought a whole range of challenges and opportunities to both the open-source ecosystem as well marketing professionals in businesses. Obviously, measuring the Return on Investment (=ROI) of marketing activities has remained a top challenge and continues to be a vital way for marketers to understand the effectiveness of each particular investment and marketing campaign.
Contrary to a common misunderstanding, open-source software isn’t about cost, or better, the lack thereof. Its true value lies beneath the surface and is revealed on closer inspection. While commercial products tend to only favor visible and flashy features, open-source software dives in deeper and takes these features as well as harder to measure qualities such as stability, security and similar less glamorous attributes into the equation.
Traditionally ROI arguments are made by companies to figure out where and how to grow, while vendors create ROI maps to help figure out sales pitches to customers. Plus, proving ROI often goes hand-in-hand with making an argument to increase budget: No ROI tracking, no demonstrable ROI. No ROI, no budget. But estimating ROI can be tricky, even for seasoned marketing professionals and software decision makers.
Everyone loves free beer. You get it, you drink it, you enjoy it. The giver simply pays for the beer and gives it to you to enjoy without you needing to do anything. This is the “gratis” part of the phrase meaning that there are no additional hidden costs to a free beer.
Everyone loves kittens too. Well, let’s say most do. And kittens usually come for free. But you’ll have to provide the kitten food, you’ll periodically take the kitten to the vet for medical care, and you may also buy the kitten toys and suchlike. So although the kitten itself is free, there’s a financial cost involved in having a kitten. As cute as kittens are, what the heck do they have to do with software?
Assuming you’ve selected the open-source software TYPO3 CMS as the content management system you want to build your site on, you’ve opted for a software that is free of charge and that also has ever so many modules, i.e. extensions, that can be integrated and don’t cost you a cent. But building a website on open-source software doesn’t mean the website is going to be free - it requires configuration, maintenance and ongoing support. Your web developer will need time to set up the system according to your wishes and the major cost for any project (whether open-source or commercial software) is going to be implementation including design, configuration and - best of all - customization. This is where it gets incredibly attractive and highly appealing.
TYPO3 CMS is a content management system that has the structure it takes to develop complex websites together with a golden nugget in store for you. The payoff you get is that - amongst other pros - you’re able to create a highly personalized website with each and every feature you’ve ever dreamed of.
TYPO3 CMS is open-source software, meaning that you have access to the source code. Additional features can be added to the source code with relative ease and the software can be adapted to perfectly suit customers’ needs. You have the freedom to customize your website to be exactly as you’d like it to be. You want an extra language integrated? Go for it. You need a specific feature? You’re free to integrate it.
It probably won’t be you doing the work, it’ll be the developer or agency you hire to do so. Yes, a significant cost factor is eliminated by opting for open-source software. But money is a resource to be used and it’s important to keep it in motion. This can be done in a way that directly benefits your business. And by doing so, economic growth is pushed as well as your own system becoming more powerful.