THREAD: đź’» 50 Lessons In Developer Marketing đź’»

I spent the past few weeks scouring the web for the best articles, reports, and interviews on developer marketing.

Think developers hate marketing? Think again. They just hate yours.

1 Tweet = 1 Lesson = 1 Article

Let's go 🚀
Lesson 1: Developers Are Buyers

According to Cloud Foundry research, 59% of companies are giving developers more authority to choose their tools. Avoid marketing to developers at your peril.

via @cloudfoundry…
Lesson 2: Developers Are Also Stakeholders

According to Developer Media, 34.5% of developers very often, often, or occasionally cancel the choices a purchaser has already made. So again, avoid marketing to developers at your peril.

via @Developer_Media…
Lesson 3: The More Experience, The More Influence

According to SlashData research, the more experience a developer has, the more they're able to make recommendations and influence decision-makers.

via @SlashDataHQ
Lesson 4: Developers Don't Need You

Developers can truly build instead of buy. Why, they might ask, should we use your bug tracking tool, when our team has super special needs, and the only option is a custom-built system?

via @PovilasKorop…
Lesson 5: The Developer Buying Journey Is Cyclical

The ride doesn't stop at conversion. Developers trust their peers, so the more customers you can turn into advocates, the better you can build a groundswell of support.

via @ironhorseio…
Lesson 6: The Funnel Will Break

According to @cliffsimpkins, who runs dev marketing at @Azure, the funnel goes like this:

Awareness > Consideration > Conversant > Explorative


Devs go to business decision-makers. And a new cycle starts.…
Lesson 7: The Developer Funnel Runs To Production

The developer marketing funnel consists of five stages:

- Visits to the developer portal
- Signups
- Trials
- Completed apps
- Production apps

via @googlecloud…
Lesson 8: Form A Developer DMU

A developer decision-making unit (DMU) structures your marketing. It consists of:

- An initiator
- A commercial decision maker
- A technical decision maker
- Influencers
- An approver

Lesson 9: Developers Are Multiple Buyers In One

Developers start as skeptics and can turn into blockers if your product doesn't work or teachers if it does. Eventually, they can even be guides and evangelists. Focus on "buy-in" buyers.

Lesson 10: Take Advantage Of Fragmentation

CIOs care about the number of vendors they have to manage. Developers just care about using the best tool. According to @sogrady, "Fragmentation is now the rule, not the exception."…
Lesson 11: Look Like A B2C, But Make Money Like A B2B

Market like a consumer startup: show off what your product does and why it's useful. But make money like a B2B, and sell bottom up from startup to enterprise.

via @yonasbe…
Lesson 12: Focus On Product, Marketing, Market Alignment

According to @pkopacki, former CMO of @realm and @heroku, your product, marketing, and market all need to be in alignment—lest you lose credibility, trust, and resonance.

via @scalevp…
Lesson 13: Developers Buy With Time And Risk, Not Money

The money is either trivial or on the corporate card. What developers are spending is the time it takes to learn a new tool and the risk that they've wasted that time.

via @GSto…
Lesson 14: Form A Core Team

The foundation of your developer marketing team consists of 5 roles:

- The DevRel
- The Product Manager
- The Dev Marketer (usually a product marketer)
- The Editor
- The G2M


Lesson 15: Content Is King

According to former VP of Marketing @Auth0, @mgonto, “Content has always been our biggest source of sign ups and revenue.”

At one point, 95% of revenue came from content.

via @SlashDataHQ…
Lesson 16: Hire A Writer

According to @lkilpatrick, who runs DevOps and Developer Experience @nutanix "The most important hire you can make is a phenomenal content writer." Have them write tutorials, API reference docs, and blog posts.

via @devrelcon

Lesson 17: Your Documentation Is A Content Asset

At @twilio, CMO @saravarnibright uses their documentation to set them apart: "It’s a big factor in our developer brand and one of the first things developers say about us."

via @velocitytweets…
Lesson 18: Content Must Be Specific

Answer these three questions:

- Is it relevant? (Not just to "developers," but, Swift-using iOS devs)
- Is it honest? (Not marketing BS)
- Is it actionable? (Not just "interesting")

via @twentworth12…
Lesson 19: Write Tutorials

According to Evans Data Corporation research, 90% of developers read online tutorials for some or every new technology they adopt. More importantly, 87% share useful tutorials with their peers.

via @ContentLabIO…
Lesson 20: Write Developer Diaries

Not thought leadership. Write from the perspective of a developer, not a brand, and offer a functional, direct line of thinking to the development of a product or feature.

via @ironhorseio…
Lesson 21: Write A How It Works Page

And put it above the fold. "You're probably thinking, 'This isn't marketing, this is product,'" says @DanielleMorrill, Inbound Marketing @GitLab. "That's the thing. A great product is great marketing."

via @heavybit…
Lesson 22: Create Templates

@TylerLeonhardt says he, like many devs, rarely opens up a blank file. Instead, he works from templates or boilerplate. Provide templates or samples so devs can get started and reach "Hello World" faster.…
Lesson 23: Make The Technical Space Your Domain

Traditional content marketers often write in a problem space (e.g. @Zapier and productivity). Dev marketers should write in a technical space (e.g. @LogRocket and web development).

via @ContentLabIO…
Lesson 24: Explain Why, Not Just How

Your tutorials aren't IKEA manuals. The goal isn't to teach developers to build a dresser; teach them to be dresser-makers. Give them the "why" so that they can go out and build.

via @draftdev + @KarlLHughes…
Lesson 25: Marketing BS Is Net-Negative

From @codacy:

🙅 "Check out Codacy, the world’s best code review tool – try free today!"

đź‘Ť "Codacy automatically flags errors so you can fix them quickly, directly from your current workflow."…
Lesson 26: Speak Their Language

Write about common use-cases, development stacks, your engineering team. Just don't write marketing fluff.

via @getstream_io…
Lesson 27: Take A Library Approach To Terminology

Don't explain every term (devs will you're for beginners). Do explain some terms (or else you'll inaccessible). Balance with a library of terms and concepts.… +…
Lesson 28: Use Multiple Content Lanes

You need at least three content lanes:

- Technical content for developers
- Business case content for managers and execs
- Use case content for both

The more stakeholders, the more content lanes.

via @ajtatey…
Lesson 29: Content Is Ripe For The Picking

@matthewpruitt writes "Get scrappy and start digging through all of the raw assets available to you. I promise that there will be something that you can transform into engaging content."

via @SlashDataHQ…
Lesson 30: Own Your Mistakes

Bite the bullet when you're wrong. Don't delete comments, ignore emails, or report tweets. Address every single one and use them to improve your documentation, your roadmap, or your product.

via @the_fln…
Lesson 31: Skip The Ads

According to Kenny Crippen, Senior Frontend Developer at @ironhorseio, "Ads wouldn’t sway me one way or another, but the advice of another developer is usually gold for me.”…
Lesson 32: Skip The Drip Campaigns

"Unlike traditional business and consumer audiences, developers tend to consume content all at once or not at all." Make your content organized, accessible, and self-serve.

via @ironhorseio…
Lesson 33: Check Your Developer Checklists

Developers run through a checklist before trying out a product. Does it solve a need? Does it have social proof? Does it have integrations? Is the pricing transparent?
via @SamCRichard + @OpenViewVenture…
Lesson 34: Sell Features, Not Benefits

Counter to what every marketer learns. Developers don't want a journey. They come to you with a mental checklist and want to know that your product does X, integrates with Y, and supports Z.

via @helen_min…
Lesson 35: Earn Their Trust

Make resources self-serve, accessible, and transparent. That includes documentation, change logs, and API status page. Devs want software with a committed team behind it.

via @poweredbysearch…
Lesson 36: Give Them Code

- Communicate that your product is for them.
- Confers legitimacy on your content.
- Gives them instant visibility into your framework and language
- Legitimacy. Code is the opposite of fluff.

via @ContentLabIO…
Lesson 37: Developers Want Example Implementations

According to research, devs care the most about:

- Example implementations
- Getting started guides
- Documentation
- Product pages

Developers care the least about live chat.

via @ContentLabIO…
Lesson 38: Developer Marketing Is Like Consumer Marketing

According to Redpoint VC @ttunguz, "Developer marketing is influencer and brand-driven." Developers use a product, write about using it, a confer essential social proof.…
Lesson 39: Open Source Is A Marketing Channel

Developers turn to open source but OS can be impractical and insecure. They move downstream to products built on top––and potentially yours. Supporting the project = marketing.

Lesson 40: Your Most Important Metric Is "Time To Hello World"

Reduce the gap between reading and actually implementing code as much as possible. "Until developers have the first experience," @adamd writes, "you’re simply a tool that might help them."…
Lesson 41: Developers Want To Use The Product

According to @ApurvaBDave, Head of Marketing at @GoogleCloud, "They want to use the product to accomplish a meaningful task at some scale that is meaningful for their ongoing operations."…
Lesson 42: Developers Like Free Trials

What piques a developer's interest?

- 35%: A free trial period
- 24%: A video or animation of the product in action
- 22%: How it stacks up to the competition
- 15%: Relevant case studies

via @bugherd…
Lesson 43: Create A "Ready-to-Run Project"

Create a project developers can download and tinker with. Make the path to "aha!" as quick as possible.…
Lesson 44: Provide A Community

According to Devada research, a full 88% of developers agree that software vendors should provide an online forum, community, or program that facilitates peer-to-peer communication.

via @AnswerHub…
Lesson 45: Start A User Group

If you have 100 customers, it's time for your first user conference. When you put employees, customers, and prospects together, they'll reinforce their decision to use your product

via @jasonlk…
Lesson 46: Dedicate Resources To Community Engagement

Developers will sniff out a self-interested imposter. Dedicate resources that can be attentive and active above and beyond what's immeditely relevant to your company.

via @ironhorseio…
Lesson 47: Make Positioning Consistent

@vidya_peters, CMO at @Marqeta, recommends creating self-serve marketing frameworks. At @MuleSoft, this canon consisted of 20-25 articles and everyone who read them knew how to position the product.…
Lesson 48: Invite Guests To Your Webinars

Don't use your webinars to sell. Invite an objective guest to talk about the problem space around your product. Take an educational approach, instead of a marketing approach.

via @DuckbillGroup…
Lesson 49: Developers Aren't "Developers"

This whole thread made this exact mistake. Developers are not homogenous.

- What kinds of developers?
- What do they know?
- What tools are they using?
- What are their problems?

via @radiomorillo…
Lesson 50: Get Out Of The Way

@vidya_peters, CMO at @Marqeta says "Developer marketing is an oxymoron." Storytelling is for the C-suite, investors, candidates, press. Give developers your tools and enable them to connect to other developers.…
That's all, folks! Thank you for reading this far.

If you enjoyed this thread, please scroll back up and retweet the first tweet! It helps a ton.

And this is just the beginning: Follow me for more developer marketing tips.

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