How to Build Trust in Developer Marketing

Reach developers where they like to learn.

Developers are hard to market to, and if you didn’t know that from personal experience you may have heard it from us since we talk about it a lot. We’re like that joke about people that can’t stop mentioning that they do Cross-Fit or are vegan (although honestly, those people are kind of impressive).

But we’re not the only ones who talk about these difficulties. One of my colleagues recently returned from a conference focused on marketing to developers. The hosts described in detail how much developers hate to be marketed to.

They also invited a panel of developers to discuss whether any marketing works with them. As part of the panel, they did a live critique of a few (made-up) ads. It turns out some things resonate with them (think: specific, actionable and not too wordy). And it lines up well with what we’ve found from studying what works for customers of our site.

What Do Developers Want?

Developers aren’t a separate breed, but they do approach life a little differently. Engaging them can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. You need to communicate with them in the spaces they prefer. For instance, developers love to learn, and in our recent research findings, we found that 60% of developers like to learn about new products & resources through blogs. If they’re learning a new skill 83% prefer reading tutorials.

Gaining a developer’s trust is paramount, and you can do that by positioning your product in an authentic and engaging way. To quote our recent post on content types that resonate with devs, “Developer readers are savvy. They will be unimpressed with the standard claims that your product happens to be the best. They’ll notice if you promote the benefits of your product without mentioning its downsides (or any other alternatives on the market).”

You may be thinking “Okay yes, developers are hard to market to, but so what? What are some legitimately helpful tips? What do I actually need to know, and what will actually be helpful?”

Those are necessary questions, and that’s why we try to ensure that everything we say (and do) is backed up by data. For the past two decades, DZone has been a place for developers to gain knowledge and share with their peers, and it’s also helped marketers in the technology sector reach the developer audience. Our eguide, “Marketing to Developers”, is based on best practices and the research that we’ve done of our own audience on


Our eguide dives into:

  • Specific tips for marketing to developers
  • Common mistakes dev marketers make
  • Critical developer demographic information
  • The growing influence of developers within their organization
  • Defining characteristics of devs and common personality traits
  • Developer work preferences regarding management and engagement

The eguide doesn’t just focus on the marketing aspects, but also key issues developers are going through that can help you inform how you message to them.

If you’re interested, download the free report here.

Happy reading!