When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. I’m a developer marketer and when I see products and services with capabilities that require technical acumen, I see a justification for dev marketing. I’m wrong in doing so, as the picture is bigger than that. Just because a developer will eventually use, i.e. implement, a product is not a strong enough justification to invest in building and managing a developer marketing competency. If that’s the case, what makes it a necessity?
Dev marketing, as we see it, is the collection of prioritized marketing tactics aimed at incentivizing third-party developers to choose to build with a particular tool or service. In order to justify investing in this type of business function, the organization needs to account for how it generates value. Simply put: what influence can the developer exert on the sales cycle. If the developer is simply a user with no say on what he or she gets to build with, your organization is not at a stage where it needs dev marketing.
Business stakeholders are placing a lot of trust in internal technical subject matter experts. While there is still a segment of the market that might ignore the needs and motivations of developers, it doesn’t take long before devs become a driving force in how the company thinks of its digital assets. If your P&L relies on legacy tactics and the imperative is to extract as much value from the old model as possible, dev marketing is not for you. Now, if your organization is not just looking for a lifeline until the inevitable, you must take a deeper look into how dev marketing works and start to building the competency.