Market Research Discussion

Continuing the discussion from Marketing Meeting Transcript: July 28, 2020:

On the topic of Market Research…

As I’m sure everyone is aware, thorough market research often takes a substantial amount of funding. Since we don’t have that option, we’ll need to find a way to research on our own. Here are some ideas lifted from to start the discussion:

  • Using free or low-cost data: Aside from census data, numerous sources of free or low-cost business data exist. Examples include local government offices, local economic development offices, regional Small Business Administration offices, public or university business libraries, and trade associations and journals.

  • Interviewing customers yourself: Talk to current customers to get a sense of what they like or do not like about your offering. These interviews can be conducted in person, by phone or through physical or virtual feedback cards. Even better, interview individuals who are not currently customers of your company. You can find these individuals through referrals from your current customers, man-on-the-street interviews or social media.

  • Leveraging social media: Social media is an easy way to access your customers either directly or indirectly. You can directly ask your followers on Twitter or Facebook, for instance, for feedback about your company’s offering. You can also observe how they interact with your brand’s social media accounts.

  • Administering free online surveys: Tools like SurveyMonkey allow users to create and send surveys for free or relatively little cost. Consider consulting the market research department at a local university or college where current students may be able to help you craft the survey questions and analyze the data for free.

  • Interviewing noncompetitive businesses in your industry: Identify noncompetitive businesses in the same industry as your company. For example, a noncompetitive businesses to a restaurant is a food wholesaler/distributor. Talking to the owner or a member of management can give you perspective into local industry trends.

This is by no means an exhaustive list and some of these bullet points likely aren’t appropriate for us, but it’s a way to begin the conversation. I’m happy to hear your feedback.


Interesting ideas.

I think something like this, shared through targeted advertising on social media (targeting WP users, generally,) could both confirm the value of the things we’ve been working on (ie, they want it to be faster, they want less breaking changes, they want less cruft,) and it could also reveal things we’ve not yet considered or have overlooked.

Survey monkey has a few plans to choose from It looks like the Advantage Annual plan might be a workable option at $384/year for unlimited surveys and up to 5000 responses per month. I’m not sure what kind of action it would get on social media (or the cost to run a campaign), but, that seems (to me) to be the easiest place to target the right users. Just a guess; I’m no marketing guru. :slight_smile:


I have done something like this in the past and would recommend hosting the “quiz/survey” on a page on the site so that after a respondent finishes they can be directed to our content rather than tried to be sold to sign up for a third party :slightly_smiling_face:

Otherwise, I agree and it also acts as a great way to build a mailing list (if they agree to receive marketing).


How difficult would it be to get access to something like the w3techs database or build a similar, smaller list ourselves? This seems like probably the best way to get a large list of WP sites, starting with WP 4.9 at first.

We should then have real humans contact sites on that list - no automated mass mailing please. And I agree with Wade that we should be pointing people to a page on our site that has a newsletter subscription form.

This seems to me like a definitive way to move forward on both the “build more awareness of ClassicPress” goal and the “market research” proposal, in terms of making a hypothesis (“WP 4.9 users are the most likely to want to migrate to ClassicPress”) and testing it. There would be a lot to do in order to get this set up and working but I think it is probably worth it.


There’s quite a comprehensive list here:

calmPress - the “other” fork of WP 4.9 - isn’t on this list but I contacted w3Techs to get CP added so maybe calmPress haven’t done that. In any case, it’s not looking very healthy right now.

I think maybe a little SEO on the CP website wouldn’t hurt either. For instance, we’re not currently ranking for “wordpress alternative” / “alternatives to wordpress”, “migrating from wordpress” and a few others we probably ought to look at.

EDIT - list of technology reports available for a one-off 399 € but they only cover one type of technology (e.g. WordPress). Example here:

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What we need is a list of sites so that we can contact them individually. I think this isn’t something w3techs is likely to provide. Also they are most likely significantly understating the number of sites using ClassicPress.


Best option might be BuiltWith who will (for a fee) provide a list of all sites running WordPress and this can be filtered by version. Sample:


$300 per month but we only need it for one month really. You can export to CSV.

How many sites do we intent to target at once?

What about a Facebook Ad campaign targeting the keywords “wordpress”, “cms” etc?

I just focus on trends. I know the numbers are pretty meaningless but I’m relatively happy if the overall trend is upwards. It’s on a downer atm :frowning:


Similarly, from that perspective: trends around .0000howevermany% are too small a sample size for up/down variations to be statistically meaningful.

I am morally against giving Facebook any money. Fortunately I don’t think that would be a very effective option for what we are looking to do here anyway.


If we’re targeting 4.9 users, we should target keyword “wordpress” and maybe the version number “4.9”, … The term “cms” is too broad to target existing 4.9 users and it would be a different campaign, specifically targeting those who are looking for a content management system (regardless of CMS or version.)

I’m also against giving Facebook money, however, that should not preclude it from happening if the marketing team feels it may be a worthwhile endeavor. That said, I’m not really sure what network would be the best to run campaigns on. It’s probably all a crap-shoot.

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Anyone who has more experience with this feel free to say otherwise, but in my relatively limited experience direct contact is by far the best way to do marketing. Other avenues may seem easier but generate far less in the way of results for the amount of effort expended.


If we are going to run ads, my recommendation would be Reddit. We can specifically target key subreddits such as the following:

  • r/Wordpress (108k members)
  • r/WordpressThemes (6.4k members)
  • r/ProWordpress (6.5k members)
  • r/WordpressPlugins (10.2k members)

And then we could hit general web development subreddits too:

  • r/web_design (480k members)
  • r/webdev (521k members)
  • r/webhosting (51.6k members)
  • r/php (124k members)

I spent ~$40 dollars on Reddit Ads targeting 3 subreddits and saw a 29k reach and 92 click throughs over the course of a week which I thought was pretty good compared to FB/Twitter/Google Ads. I wrote an article about my experience with Reddit Ads.


I’m finding the number of clients that use FB is getting smaller and smaller all the time. Instagram and even LinkedIn seem to be more popular now.

So I guess an ad campaign on LinkedIn might also be worth considering.

I have no experience of Reddit but that’s looks a reasonable return to me. Certainly far better than the ad campaigns I’ve done on Facebook.

The only reason I mentioned FB is because that’s the only platform on which I have experience of ad campaigns. But I am no fan of FB. That’s putting it mildly.


I’ll be very blunt here, it doesn’t make sense to do a paid advertisement for ClassicPress, like what’s the end goal, more people to use CP? or a call for developers? I don’t know but it just doesn’t sit well with me, perhaps, I am looking it from a weird perspective. That aside!

I think we need to step up our content marketing game. Aside from having a great product, content marketing to me is one of the most significant user acquisition for CP.

I know, it’s not that black and white, writing around a CMS isn’t an easy job. But, what if we look at it this way, we set like a guideline to target our specific audience in the most efficient way.

For example, we not only write about how CP can help our target audience but a solution to the problem.

Here is what I mean:

Generalization: CP can help you create a better website.
Targeting an Audience:

  • Creating a music blog with CP
  • Build an online shop in 5 minutes (Introduce CP, and tender the solution)
  • and so on.

Off topic: I haven’t found a guide on how to properly setup a music store with plugis + store integration, etc. So many targeted guides like this also are hanging around waiting to be plucked

Also, it doesn’t matter if a specific guide or certain category has been written a thousand times, it’s a competition and we should show the world we can do better.

I don’t know if I am making sense, I am just trying to look at it from another perspective, I know it isn’t easy!



I personally don’t have a problem with trying an ad campaign. This is more direct that writing content and waiting for people (devs and users) to come to us.

I agree that good content is also crucial, although we do have some good blogs posts already. For instance, if you Google “github desktop tutorial”, you should find the post by @ozfiddler on or around page 2.

But, as you point out, there are so many other topics we could write about too.

And on that note (pun intended), if you want to draft a blog post on setting up a music store, I’m sure that would go down very well. :slight_smile:


The advertising I was speaking of was to promote a survey so that we can know the actual needs of potential users. At this point, we’ve only guessed at those needs, based on our own needs. My suggestion is not about acquiring users or devs; it is about getting the market research that will allow us to move forward.

Marketing content is great…once you know who to put it in front of…based on market research. Marketing anything, at this point, is just casting wide nets in the dark.


calmPress hasn’t been active on their site or on Twitter in about a year. I believe this was one guy trying to manage the whole thing, and it never got out of Alpha. Kudos to him for making the effort, though!


On the paid-promotion-for-a-survey conversation: We have the most followers/greatest traction on Twitter, so I suggest a paid campaign on Reddit and Twitter and just go with an organic campaign on LinkedIn and Facebook. Here’s the current follower numbers:
Twitter: 1,558
LinkedIn: 56
Facebook: 101

Thanks for your comments. I am a huge proponent of content marketing as an effective tool in an overall marketing strategy. What ClassicPress needs are content creators. If you’d like to contribute, we’d be happy to have you!

I agree. So… assuming we are going to move forward with some sort of survey – what are the questions that we want to ask? Creating a good survey is more than asking questions, it’s about asking them in the best way so that the information we get back is actually useful.

The other thing I’ll mention here is that we want to keep the survey relatively short – any more than 9 or 10 questions and people will drop off without finishing the survey.

Drop your question suggestions below!


Have we ever approached him to ask if he’d consider joining ClassicPress?

I was working with him in the beginning and he was very jealous of his CMS and showed great disdain for CP.

He had two versions, a Beta one that was virtually just WP 4.9 and an Alpha one, where he was going to make major changes.

The Alpha version removed so many needed features, especially from the Admin panel, that it became virtually unusable.

After a lot of negative feedback, the project then went cold. I feel he is a “benevolent dictator” over a team of one. I doubt he would have any interest in teaming up with CP.


Ah well. It was just a thought :slight_smile: