It's been almost a year since the last blog on DevRel.Page's Digging Deeper series. Before I even start you might notice a new face below the blog!
So, hey! 😄👋🏼, this is Zeus (not the original one --- I wish tho⚡️), current Community Education Coordinator for DevRel.Page, you definitely are going to see my face pop up on our Twitter, Medium and especially on Scribbles! Now that my introduction is sorted, let's actually get back to the blog and start "digging deeper" into the DevRel Carousels!
For the series of Carousels, we'll be publishing every week from now on, Yash and I sat down together and came up with top points about each and every topic on how best we can convey it to the beginners of DevRel. We have created a decent content calendar and we will be writing together a ton of different content pieces for you moving ahead!
For this week, we're focusing on Developer Marketers, one of the less-known roles of DevRel. People often misunderstand the role of Developer Marketers, as just usually marketing, that is capturing the attention of the target audience. Well, a minimal part of it might be true, but not even near to their actual role. Developer marketing involves a lot more dynamics, as here the target audience is developers, who usually/easily sniff out marketing jargon and superfluous messaging, leading to negative connotations and distrust of the brand or claims.
The easiest way to explain this would be by explaining developer marketing, which is a form of marketing intended to target and capture software developers' attention, and the ones who do this type of marketing are called Developer Marketers. It's clear that their role is to capture the attention of developers, to make them interested in trying out the products. Developer Marketers grow awareness, adoption and advocacy of software tools, solutions, and SaaS platforms, focusing on developers.
Developer Marketing is a process of its own and can vary from one company to another. But at the core, it's about reaching developer communities to participate in constructive conversation and adding value as colleagues. It's about solving real-world problems by providing solutions to help developers with their tech stack, which improves the workflow and increases development efficiency. At the same time, dev marketing also helps in creating developer advocacy as they empower and evangelise developers to champion the target product within their professional and personal networks.
Now, this can also lead to a question, as to why just developers, why not go target product managers instead?
Although, in a typical organisational hierarchy, it is generally the product and engineering managers who make the decision of investing in a particular product or technology, they are not the end-users.
Developers have a huge product influence. \
Being the end-users, it is actually the developers who know about such products beforehand. They always prefer to test out various tools and decide which works better. These people are enthusiasts, they go to hackathons just to try new stuff!
But... There's a catch.
One of the mistakes traditional marketers make when engaging with developers is not fully realizing that the developers are only a piece in a larger structure. Messaging for a developer should not be focused on a procurement or product leader or vice versa. The messaging approach is the key 🔑 --- a developer marketer's approach is around making developers excited about trying things out, not purchasing them. Once the first step is taken, they'll themselves sell the idea to their managers.
One of the main things to understand is that Developer Marketing isn't traditional marketing.
To better understand why we can't approach developers using traditional marketing, pointing out the most common hurdles that every developer relations team --- Developers HATE Marketing.
Developers are usually more technical than the rest of consumer leads, so they often are on the lookout for marketing language and unnecessary messaging, which can lead to un-favourable connotations and scepticism of the brand or promises.
Like we mentioned at the start, Developers sniff out marketing jargon and superfluous messaging, leading to negative connotations and distrust of your brand or claims, which makes it crucial for developer marketers to plan their approach.
This seems a bit confusing at first, but the more you read it the more it starts to make sense. The "marketing" in developer marketing steals the essence of it all, because here "marketers" build and optimize existing programs to help reframe products from the perspective of a target developer's need. They don't literally "market" to developers, rather, create developer relationships, support product adoption, and partner with developer influencers and communities to work towards common goals.
Now there can be a plethora of ways that can vary according to the situation but let's try to list a basic process of how they figure out the way.
Figuring out the Developer Personas
*Personas*represent the goals and behaviours of a hypothesized group of users. They provide a composite view of a larger audience and allow to make that audience a part of the product's narrative. For non-developers in developer marketing, or just for those non-developers who are part of a larger team in general, personas help developer marketers to understand the audience with much ease.
" In most cases, personas are synthesized from data collected from interviews with users...They are captured in 1--2-page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and the environment, with a few fictional personal details to make the persona a realistic character" --- Developer Marketing and Relations: The Essential Guide.
Messaging to Developers is actually the essence of Developer Relations. Literally, this whole field is centred around the strategies of figuring out the messaging. For Developer Marketers, this has a lot of elements to it, ranging from the collection of relevant data, testing, personalisation for advanced targeting and increased adoption to the first "welcome nurture". If the strategy works, they get a positive response from the developer, this eventually leads to a clear path for developer-targeted for newsletters, blogs, social media, content marketing and what not!
Brand Positioning or Repositioning as wherever the brand stands right now, one obviously aims to take it a notch higher.
This is like the title of some book --- contains just the title and you have the whole book to fill in. Brand Positioning can contain various tasks focusing on developer engagement and increasing it.
Developer engagements can further have a plethora of things inside them from providing online content, in-person engagements, free education about the products --- various use cases, creating a community... --- you get the book reference right?
Brand positioning is a program of its own and how an organisation wants to position their brand and what strategies they apply, it's totally up to them. However, the focus of a Developer Marketer dealing with this is always towards highlighting the inner essence the developer experiences with the brand, generating a sense of trust and belongingness for the community.
In all, Developer marketers are responsible for creating a developer marketing strategy, building a model of developer segmentation and personas. The approach and target of the product might change the various responsibilities they take, but usually, things like social media and content marketing, email campaigns, blogs, hosting events & conferences, establishing developer rewards and early access programs are among a few other responsibilities that you might see them contributing to on any given day.
I hope that this blog might have helped you dig a little deeper into understanding Developer Marketers and what they do. Make sure you follow DevRel.Page's Twitter and check out our website to stay up to date with digging deeper series!
We took a reference from multiple blogs online plus one of the best resources out there, ie. Developer Marketing -The Essential Guide. If you want to explore more about Developer Marketing strategies used by different folks around the world, we'd definitely recommend you to check that out!
Don't forget to bring your shovel ⛏ for the next blog in our Digging Deeper series.