In today’s Meet The Team, we hear from Ziwei Chen, Marketing Strategist at Catchy, about her growth within developer marketing and best practices to share with other developer marketers. 

A graduate from Northwestern University (IMC), Ziwei lives in Chicago but is currently exploring her next base to take her WFH experience to the fullest. As part of Catchy’s consulting team, Ziwei builds marketing strategies across various developer programs to help our clients achieve growth.

Can you describe the scope of what you do at Catchy? 

At Catchy, I support strategic work streams for our clients across different programs - it can be as broad as a developer marketing program strategy or as specific as the content outline of an ebook. For each strategy project, I typically start with foundational research (such as stakeholder interviews, audience research, and competitor analysis) and then translate my learnings into strategic deliverables (such as positioning and messaging, GTM strategy, and marketing roadmap). 

In addition, I dedicate the other half of my time to Catchy’s Developer Signal Hub. Developer Signal Hub is a social-listening program where we utilize a stack of tools to analyze conversations among the developer audience, report on metrics especially for developer marketing, and provide actionable recommendations. I am responsible for bringing fragmented data together to deliver actionable insights by building queries, setting up dashboards, and creating comprehensive reports. At the same time, I am also driving the product strategy of Developer Signal Hub towards a matured agency offering. 

Which Catchy value do you strongly resonate with and why? (Collaborative, Fluid, Inclusive, Accountable)

Fluid. 

I see fluidity in two different ways at Catchy. On the one hand, you are faced with many uncertainties and ambiguities and it is important to be comfortable with them. On a day-to-day basis, we handle ambiguities by asking questions, identifying alternatives, testing hypotheses, and drawing on previous experiences. 

On the other hand, there are many opportunities at Catchy to gain new skills and take on new projects beyond your existing responsibilities. For example, I volunteered to participate in the Developer Signal Hub workstream with an initial interest in analytics. As the workstream has grown to a more robust offering, I picked up user research, product roadmap, and other new projects related as the product owner. 

What do you like about working with Catchy?

Catchy supports clients across different industries, company sizes, and maturity of developer marketing. I very much appreciate the variety, which not only builds my ability to learn quickly but also keeps me humble and curious. I have learned a lot about mobile apps, fintech, AI, open source, and many other industries that I was not familiar with. 

Behind all those varieties, however, is Catchy’s unique focus on developers. I love the fact that Catchy is seen as an expert in this field and people come to us for our expertise. 

How is developer marketing different from other marketing?

To begin with, I think many marketing principles still apply to developer marketing - for example, you have to understand your developers (consumer insights), there are different types of developers (segmentation), and developer behaviors are different across different stages (customer journey).

Compared with consumer marketing, developer marketing is different in that developers typically don’t like traditional marketing fluffs and deals - developers are very solution-oriented and they like to find answers by themselves. 

Compared with enterprise marketing, developer marketing is also different, especially in two ways. First, developers are not decision-makers but rather key influencers. Second, communities play a much bigger role among developers than enterprise buyers. 

Any piece of advice for marketing strategists?

Learn from peers. There is never a single, correct way of marketing strategy. Instead, different strategists might approach the same question differently. It can take the shape of using a different framework, using the same framework but making small tweaks, or combining the same framework with another framework. For example, when I first joined Catchy, I learned about a value proposition framework from another colleague (blog) and actually used it on a GTM project shortly after. 

At Catchy, we have a bi-weekly huddle for the consulting team where we share ongoing projects, exchange feedback, and document learnings that can be shared with others. Stay tuned for more content on developer marketing strategies!