The Mautic project is thriving, with a 300% increase in contributions since the acquisition of Mautic Inc. in 2019 and a 1000% increase in GitHub pull requests. With a clearly defined governance structure the community continues to grow from strength to strength.
But what of the future for Mautic? Where are we going? Why are we going in that direction?
Here we set out our mission, 10 year vision and three year strategy.
Empowering businesses and organizations to deliver fully integrated marketing campaigns by providing powerful, world-class open source marketing automation software supported by a thriving, worldwide community of passionate contributors.
In short: Free your marketing with Mautic
Mautic’s 10 year product vision is driven by our mission to put powerful, world-leading marketing automation software into the hands of more businesses and organizations, and to grow a passionate, worldwide community of contributors.
Our vision is to be the ultimate fully featured and scalable marketing automation layer that can stand alone or be dropped into any existing tech stack, enabling organisations to seamlessly deliver an integrated, personalised digital experience that delights marketers and customers alike.
We make the world a better place by empowering all marketers to deliver outstanding marketing campaigns with open source software. It is important to us that a marketer anywhere in the world in any size of operation can access the same tools and technologies as a well-funded startup or a multi-million dollar enterprise. It’s also important to us that Mautic grows and scales with the success of the marketer. Equality and equity matter, we are making it happen with Mautic.
To date, Mautic is powering the digital experiences of tens of thousands of organizations around the world, from micro businesses to massive enterprises. Companies with marketing technologies based on Mautic such as Acquia are recognized by Gartner as being industry leaders. Our technology powers some of the most engaging, inspiring digital experiences in the world.
For Mautic to grow and dominate the marketing automation world as the tool of choice requires the product itself to further develop as a strong, robust platform which is feature-rich, reliable and continuously innovating. It also requires a well organized, efficient and strategic approach to growing and developing all the supporting functions of the community.
To fully achieve this is likely a 10 year journey.
Mautic's 10 year vision (2023-2033)
Over the next 10 years, our vision is to expand Mautic in the following ways. These arise from our six areas of focus: features and functionality, ease of use, stability, support, scale, and community.
Growing a sustainable ecosystem
First, we expect to establish and refine ways for individuals and organizations to play an active part in Mautic’s future success. The contributor experience is foundational to this growth. We need to ensure that it is - and continues to be - sustainable for the individuals and organizations who work with Mautic to contribute effectively, bringing new ideas, innovation and improvements to Mautic.
To ensure rapid progress in this fundamental area and to focus attention, we have a 3 year goal to double the number of new and returning contributors and to triple our financial supporters. Our Year of the Contributor Initiative articulates our current areas of focus.
We will also focus on growing the Community Partners Program and encouraging more organizations who rely on Mautic to give back both financially and through regular contributions.
Developing world-class features
Second, we expect to expand the features incorporated in Mautic, enabling the modern marketer to deliver experiences that delight the customer, while being a delight to use for all marketers of all abilities.
We endeavor to listen to our users and plan to develop features that put Mautic at the forefront in the marketing automation industry. These new features will come from community-driven contributions, Strategic Initiatives, and funded development projects.
Becoming a fully API-first application
Third, we expect to mature Mautic architecturally to be a truly API-first application, empowering developers to do more with Mautic. This will require us to consider our architecture and to implement substantial changes to the foundations of Mautic, and will open the door for further innovations which support users of Mautic to integrate fully into their marketing technology stacks.
Mautic's 3 year strategy (2023-25)
Mautic was launched in 2015 as a completely disruptive solution in a market dominated by closed source, proprietary marketing automation tools. Since 2019, the Mautic community has grown in autonomy, establishing a governance structure and developing a growing, worldwide user base.
Mautic is uniquely positioned in the market, with a vision to grow and dominate the marketing automation world as the tool of choice for the marketer.
- Too many takers, not enough makers: Many organizations and individuals use and benefit from Mautic. A very small percentage of these contribute back to Mautic. If we are to meet our ambitious goals, we need to drive practical and financial investment into the Mautic product and community. This investment needs to be sustainable for the contributors, and directed toward projects and initiatives which help us to achieve our vision and mission.
- A complex multi-faceted product: Mautic has many features, integrations and plugins which means that we have a very large surface area to cover. Our challenge is to build the right balance of knowledge and expertise in our contributor base across the entire product as a whole, in addition to having small teams who deep dive into the individual areas as subject experts. To develop a more stable, fully featured product which excels in the market, we need to grow and nurture the skills and expertise across these areas, along with having teams responsible for taking care of the product as a whole - for example User Experience and Accessibility.
- Product awareness: Within the open source community and the wider marketing world, awareness of Mautic and the many SaaS solutions built upon Mautic is relatively low. This makes it difficult to attract talented contributors and employees, and for Mautic-based services to be considered within procurement processes. Raising awareness of Mautic benefits both the Mautic project and the organizations who base their services on the product.
- Competition: There are many big players in the marketing automation space, backed by large companies with substantial R&D capabilities and who are continually innovating. While Mautic was ground-breaking at its inception, it has not kept pace with industry developments and many features expected by the marketer are missing. Other open source tools have emerged which offer similar capabilities to Mautic, so we must continue to grow and evolve to reach our goals.
- Stability: While the rate of releases has accelerated dramatically over the past two years, this has at times been at the expense of product stability. If organizations are to rely on Mautic, we need to improve the stability of our product and the documentation that we provide.
Our strategic priorities
- Increase participation: To achieve our ambitious goals, we will have to leverage our open source community and ecosystem. Engaging users of Mautic with the global and local communities is vital to the continued growth of the project. We want to support more local initiatives starting up, creating grass-roots opportunities for people to discover Mautic and learn from other users. We also want to empower local organizers to run contribution events to drive interest and uptake in giving back to Mautic.
We will clarify and streamline how developers in the community (both individuals contributing in their own time and those contributing on behalf of organizations) can propose and create new features, and make it easier for marketers to get involved with early-access testing.
- Improve quality: We have already started to implement several ways to improve our automated testing. Over the next three years we aim to both increase the amount of code we cover with tests, and to enhance our existing static analysis rules to ensure that we are writing code that is high quality. We also aim to make the manual testing workflow streamlined and easy alongside this, attracting more community members to contribute in this vital way.
- Improve product innovation: Some areas of Mautic have not been reviewed, updated or improved since they were originally created. Long term, we want to make every part of the product a first-class citizen, with a team of people who are focused and dedicated to its improvement, documentation and growth. In the coming three years, we aim to have a dedicated Tiger Team established and actively engaged in the development process for each Mautic component.
- Streamline Mautic core: The process of decoupling plugins from Mautic has already started, and over the next three years we plan to implement a lean core with the option during installation or at post-install, to install individual or curated lists of plugins. We also plan to further extend the Mautic Marketplace to enable providers to offer paid-for plugins and themes with a percentage of the revenue coming to the Mautic Community to support further growth.
- Increase reach: Raising awareness of Mautic is beneficial to our community and to our entire ecosystem. As more people are aware of our product and community, the demand for plugins, hosted SaaS services and other related offerings grows. Part of our strategy therefore needs to be aligning with the Marketing Team to ensure that we are highlighting the benefits of Mautic and proactively reaching out to potential users with compelling content and engaging onboarding workflows.
Mautic has come a long way since it was founded, with a growing, international community and ecosystem which is supporting ongoing expansion and growth. For Mautic to continue to grow we have some challenges to overcome, and a clear plan of how we are moving towards our goals.
We invite you to consider how you can support us with meeting those goals, whether it be through financial sponsorship, practical resources, or by supporting our initiatives. Every contribution matters, and every contribution makes a difference.
References and credits:
Community members from the Mautic Leadership Team assisted with reviewing and improving this document, with Acquians Jan Linhart and Dries Buytaert also providing helpful feedback which was incorporated.
Several open source projects have outstanding strategic plans for their growth, which have inspired and supported the development of our mission, vision and strategy. Thank you to those projects for making this available to the world, to help others grow!