At Catchy we have been talking to our clients for a long time about the increasing influence of developers in technology and purchasing decisions. Never has this been more clearly articulated than in this piece from our friends at SlashData – the Influence of Developers. As part of the wider, and always excellent, State of the Developer Nation series this section tells us that fully 77% of professional developers have a say in tool selection, and this figure excludes single or lone wolf developers. Therefore we’re witnessing a shift in marketing and business development activities from top-down to bottom up, targeting developers is becoming a viable strategy.
It seems that the rise of the developer is an unstoppable force, their influence is spreading into all areas of technology creation. SlashData uses four developer types in their work, front line coders, team leads, product managers and CxO’s and while we don’t disagree with those there is always plenty of discussion to be had in the developer marketing world about ‘what is a developer?’. At Catchy we take a slightly wider view of developers but we all agree that this is a very broad and diverse group of technical decision makers. Addressing the needs of this group and cutting through the noise to reach them is no easy task.
This is why at Catchy we almost always start with a back to basics approach for developer marketing. We have a golden rule – Do not spend any money or time marketing your developer program until you have a clear and well thought out value proposition. This needs to include what it does ( this one is not always as obvious as it sounds) and why developers would use your tool versus competitors’. Then you can move on to segmenting and identifying the target groups within the broad landscape of developers.
The value proposition is a basic building block for your developer program. After that you can consider how and where you build your developer community; how you will manage your developer relations; what channels and events can be used to engage developers; and so on. But this all starts with an understanding of the importance of developers. If you’re working in a company with a role in developer program management or developer marketing and you’re struggling to get the wider organisation to see the value of developers then send them a link to SlashData.