What Gets Measured Gets Done - Thoughts from the Developer Marketing Summit.
In addition to the two traditional pillars of any developer marketing conference, content and community, a new contender emerged this year: metrics. And not just any metrics – the spotlight was on genuine business metrics. Cost of acquisition, lifetime value, and churn were all cited as metrics tracked by developer program managers at this year's Developer Marketing Summit.
Speakers from Mastercard, RingCentral, Stack Overflow, and our partners at Slash Data underscored the significance of developer programs focusing on numbers pertinent to their core business rather than metrics solely applicable to the developer program. Gary Gonzalez, Managing Partner at Catchy, further emphasized this perspective in his talk on the science and metrics driving developer programs. He stressed the importance of tracking metrics at program and business levels rather than just at the tactical level.
On day one, MC Caroline Lewko asked if we really still needed to say metrics matter. And the answer is yes, we do. The shift towards business-led unified metrics signifies developer marketing and relations programs' growing maturity. Equipping ourselves with precise data showcasing developer share of voice among competitors, a healthy developer cost of acquisition, a high developer satisfaction score, and a robust developer lifetime value prepare us for conversations with C-level executives regarding ongoing program funding and expansion.
Ironically, latecomers to the developer marketing arena are grasping this concept ahead of the old guard. Developer Program leaders from retail banks, telcos, and similar sectors recognize the necessity of aligning metrics with real-world business figures to sustain their programs. In contrast, traditional industry leaders lag behind, clinging to tactical metric tracking such as clicks and follows. This divergence may be attributed to the decentralized nature of many legacy programs, where individual managers set targets rather than the centralized efforts we observe from newcomers.
Of course, traditional themes were also present. Discussions on content's role in driving developer engagement throughout the developer journey, from awareness and consideration to building and advocacy, provided valuable insights into the types of content needed at each stage. A standout session for the Catchy team was a messaging workshop hosted by Atlassian, highlighting the importance of having a developer-first approach when writing product messaging.
Notably, both this event and the recent DevRelCon in London featured a diverse representation of companies extending beyond the traditional developer program heavyweights. Though unexpected at developer marketing events, names like Mastercard, Dolby, WorldPay, Intuit, HP, and others brought fresh perspectives and innovative thinking to the field. Will it be one of these or someone else who will be the first to appoint a Chief Developer Officer and really take innovation out of the building?