Our customer discovery into API marketing
At Catchy, new ideas and business opportunities are welcomed from every team member. From time to time, our open sessions bring us the opportunity to explore possible new ventures for the agency. In one of these sessions, we discussed how some product marketers are struggling to generate adoption of their APIs. This conversation prompted us to take a deeper look into how developer marketing principles could help product marketers achieve success. Some see lots of overlaps between dev marketing and API marketing, while others strongly believe that’s not the case.
Instead of going in circles internally, we decided to get out of the building. We like to implement and live by what we preach. One of our key strategy offerings to our clients is a try-and-learn process we call DVC, Discover, Validate, Create. Building upon the techniques from DVC, as well as customer discovery practices made famous by the Lean Startup movement, we decided to get serious about finding out more about API marketing and run a few sprints on behalf of the agency. We went out, knock on a few doors, and ask more why’s than a toddler. The focus of this initiative was to assess the current market opportunities, understand challenges, and identify what marketers and product managers are doing to address these.
Why API marketing?
The API space has become much more saturated in recent years. Most websites and apps have APIs, and you’ve probably used hundreds without even realising. For example, if you are on a retailers website and want to find out where the nearest store is – that map uses an API to fetch geo data and other information relevant to that particular context. API marketing is a business motion chartered with helping developers discover and realise the value of leveraging an existing platform.
APIs are becoming much more readily available because companies have realised they can leverage developers’ innovative technical skills to come up with new and exciting uses and features, which ultimately translates into business growth. In a busy and crowded space, with some of the biggest names in tech to compete with, how do you attract developers to your API?
On our customer discovery, we spoke to marketing and product specialists in the API space to find out what their challenges are, day-to-day considerations, and anything else they wanted to tell us. We documented our discoveries and all the interesting findings, both good and bad.
The first steps into discovering the relatively unknown
As with any good piece of research or exploration, we back ours with some methodology.