You would think WordPress would be an easy sell nowadays. WordPress is not the right tool for every website, but the size of that pool is shrinking. It powers a significant chunk of the web.
Automattic has already leveraged WordPress into business with their VIP WordPress service, meant for high traffic sites. Facebook runs their company blogs on it. Practically every large news publisher has something running on VIP WordPress, like NY Times, Washington Post, CNN, and many others. Using that platform, now it is actively (aka spending ad dollars) going after the SMB market with a hosted solution against the lower priced services like Bluehost or Host Gator.
WordPress has a yearly “State of the Word” thingie. The most recent one:
The significant bit during the speech was the creation of the WordPress Growth Council. Why? Proprietary CMS competitors will spend $320 million on advertising, some of it directly against WordPress. In Matt’s words (around 27:30 in the video):
“Advertising does work…even though I think we have a better product and infinitely better community, we are starting to see in certain markets these tools which are typical proprietary, start to pick up shares.”
The Growth Council as a concept is not flushed out, but Matt / Automattic wants to start working on it, and he wants a small number of companies that work with WordPress to help figure it out. It will be interesting to see what direction they take.