Deploying Zones and Refcards for Awareness

Discover how Cloud Elements builds developer interest in their products.

Customer Details

Cloud integration platform that virtualizes and unifies APIs.

Business Results

16,000 downloads on a recent Refcard campaign.

“DZone consistently supplies 60 monthly leads, making it our second highest lead generating partner. And the cost per conversion to an MQL remains below our budgeted threshold.”

Jackie Rebrovic inherited her relationship with DZone from a former colleague, and like an heirloom watch, it turned out to be a good thing.

As the Senior Strategic Marketing Manager at Cloud Elements, she leads demand gen for the cloud integration platform that virtualizes and unifies APIs. The marketing strategy is two-pronged: Speak to product managers about the value of the platform and to developers about how it works. To reach the developers, Rebrovic buys a yearly Zone andRefcard sponsorship.

“With the Integration Zone sponsorship, we get display ads that we use for brand awareness and to point to gated content on our website,” Rebrovic says. “It’s an extensive program.’’ DZone consistently supplies 60 monthly leads, Cloud Elements’ second highest lead generating partner. And the cost per conversion to an MQL remains below her budgeted threshold.

One of her favorite campaigns is a Refcard sponsorship. Cloud Elements sponsored one each of the last two years. Last year’s Foundations of RESTful Architecture led to 16,000 downloads, 6,000 more than their previous year’s Refcard. The performance, and new lead generation opportunities coming this year, encouraged Rebrovic to re-sign for a Refcard sponsorship this year.

The Refcard program is designed to engage developers with in-depth technical tutorials. Sponsors can prepare their own content or engage a writer through DZone. Cloud Elements worked with an outside thought leader on a detailed look at RESTful architecture with discussions of language, maturity models, response codes, comparisons to similar technology, and a lengthy list of third-party resources. Cloud Element’s platform uses RESTful API technology.

Encouraging Thought Leaders

Zone sponsorship includes a content syndication option. Companies place blog and other thought leader content on DZone’s website. Sponsors can choose what to submit or let DZone’s curators select the content. Rebrovic does the latter and says she appreciates the added boost that her dev writers get from the program.

“The traffic pushes back over to us, and I like to shine a light on our blog contributors.  It gives them a nice boost. They can reshare the article from the DZone site boosting their writing credentials.’’

DZone is consistently in the top 10 as measured by referral traffic to Cloud Elements’ website. “And that’s regardless of what campaigns we’re running,’’ Rebrovic says.

Trust is Key

When Rebrovic’s predecessor first searched for publishing options her in-house developers suggested DZone. “Everyone told her that DZone was a trusted source for developer and technical content.’’

Rebrovic also says DZone earns her trust with a team of campaign specialists who are helpful and responsive. “We have monthly check-ins, they ask what our goals are and help me see how different assets are performing,’’ she says adding. “They let you know when something isn’t working properly.’’

An example of that help came when Rebrovic wanted to use her DZone ads to promote Cloud Elements’ lounge at the Salesforce Dreamforce show.  “DZone told us they weren’t sure it would work. We tried it. They let us know it wasn’t working and they helped me get the campaign turned off quickly, so we could try something different.’’

Rebrovic believes DZone is such a consistently good publishing option because they know what developers are interested in. “DZone helps us speak to that part of our audience.’’