Open source is an approach to software development that sacrifices a measure of control in order to gain engagement from a wider community and produce a more valuable end product.

Open source software has a source code anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance. Open source projects, products, or initiatives embrace and celebrate principles of open exchange, collaborative participation, rapid prototyping, transparency, meritocracy, and community-oriented development.

Wordpress & Linux are perhaps the most well known open source projects but most of the big players have open source projects in one form or another. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Adobe, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, Netflix and dozens more have ongoing projects involving open source.

Last month, IBM acquired open source enterprise provider Red Hat Technologies in a $34 billion swoop. The tech giant seeing the value in the open source, Linux powered company.

What if marketer's could "open source" their approach to opening doors and deepening engagements with their target accounts? What would happen if they engaged their salespeople, relationship teams and internal experts in their Account Based Marketing (ABM) efforts?

Content ideas would come thick and fast from the people that need it most.

Rather than looking for the next content piece, salespeople and relationship holders could suggest ideas and needs directly to marketing based on the conversations they were having there and then. Rather than being told what content to share with their accounts, salespeople would have something that was valuable and applicable for the people they were talking to.

Marketing for marketing's sake wouldn't be a thing. It would go a long way to solving most marketers biggest problems - getting sales to truly engage with content and employee advocacy.

The people that were best placed to solve the problem, would.

If marketing could involve their colleagues in producing content for customers, their insights would be more relevant and valuable. Much in the same way that an open source platform allows the best solution to surface, a more open and collaborative marketing approach would produce a better more tailored end product.

Content could live quickly, fail quickly or most importantly, succeed quickly.

An expert written insight doesn't need to be terribly long or all-encompassing. It solves one problem one person that you know has now. So if the content piece fails to hit the mark this time - there's been no great expense and nothing lost. The same insight can probably be used again to engage a different client.


If IBM is willing to pay $34billion for Red Hat and all the large tech players are keeping their hands in the open source game - there must be something to the idea of decentralisation for marketers. Those that find themselves able to give up a bit of control over the marketing process and engage their colleagues might see greater success.