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What are your lessons learned about successfully marketing to developers?

5 Answers
Lauren Buchman
Lauren Buchman
Tailscale Director of Product MarketingApril 14

At it's core: it's not different from B2B or B2C when you strip it down to the pillars of what makes for any successful marketing.

Understanding your audience:

  • What are their drivers, their pains, their perceptions? 
  • Where do they gather? 
  • Who do they trust? 
  • How do they influence the buying process in their companies? Are they highly influencial and going to drive product sales and adoption organically? Or is enabling them as a post-sales activity a critical pathway to success and a blocker?
  • What is the cost to acquire them? What is the lifetime value of a developer customer to your business?

Understanding your product's value proposition to the audience and how to communicate that to them, authentically. 

Developers are humans, just like any marketing audience. We all have ramp time to understand a new segment and it's about making the same level of investment and curiosity to figure out how to connect with them.

Just as great marketing takes the same work, bad marketing comes from the same problems. Lack of authenticity leads to lack of trust and people tuning you out.

1212 Views
Lauren Craigie
Lauren Craigie
Cortex Head of Product MarketingSeptember 14
  • Don't gatekeep access to hands-on learning
  • While the org-wide value story is important, developer product marketing should focus a little more on "why now, why me" Ensure there are materials that help people ramp quickly and easily.
  • Ensure packaging and pricing reflects an ability to not just try, but get sticky, with an incentive (product-based, as in it makes their lives easier) to share with others. 
  • Be frank, be sharp, be honest
  • Create visibile opportunities to contribute to making the product better. Host AMAs, office hours, quarerly roadmap reviews... enable the community to have a material impact on product development and positioning
300 Views
Vishal Naik
Vishal Naik
Google Product Marketing LeadJuly 14

Build great relationships with DevRel, re-evaluate your perception of what channels work or don't work from your previous experience (because developers do act differently than other personas), and pay a lot of attention to the end user. Yes you're focused on developers, and yes developers have unique needs and actions, but they are driven by users. So think about the user because that's where the developer wants to go, and if you can meet the developer where they are going, you can focus on the areas that will drive sustained health in your platform and yield usage and monetization impact for your developer audience. Oh and be prepared that internally you are often on an island and it's an uphill battle to win internal stakeholders, especially if you're in B2B, but the reward is worth it in the end. 

744 Views
Justine Davis
Justine Davis
Postman Head of Product MarketingNovember 17

Take everything you learned from marketing to typical consumers and throw it out the window. What works for most personas in B2B or B2C will not work here.

1. Developers majorly dislike being marketed to so you have to make marketing feel like it isn't marketing.

Interview, interview, and then do some more interviews to understand their pain points. Record these interviews to reference the exact technical language they are referrring to for messaging.

2. Always message test before sending out messaging to trusted developer personas (have some in your back pocket).

3. Don't infiltrate their channels if you cannot hold your own (ie reddit, slack channels, stack overflow, etc.) A marketer has no business here. This is where developer relations comes in. Hire great evangelists to help have the technical conversations and build trust with the community.

4. Build pricing and packaging for devs - free tier, try before you buy with a self sign up.

5. Content marketing > sales tactics (cold emails and cold calls)

5. Do not by any means, use white papers for a developer.

1367 Views
Amanda Groves
Amanda Groves
Enable VP of Product MarketingMarch 26

The biggest lesson is don't sleep on the value of community-led when marketing to developers. Developers are curious and care about continuous learning opportunities. Focus on being where they are and sponsoring existing developer communities that they are a part of or create something new. Create workshop environments where they can organically grow their skills with peers. Meet ups also work very well for this persona segment.

344 Views
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