Marketing to Developers – Tactics to Consider

Developers value non-promotional, objective, unbiased information above all. So what tactics should you use to reach them?

Developers are smart, skeptical, and curious. They have a lot to keep up with as the IT landscape is changing quickly with languages, toolkits, and frameworks. As such, developers are always on the lookout for products, services, and solutions that will make their jobs simpler and easier, eliminate unnecessary redundancy, and enable them to focus on solving the business problem at hand.

Given this, they value non-promotional, objective, unbiased information above all else. This may be blog posts or articles on technology written by other developers, engineers, or architects.

  • Developers love technology. The deeper you can go on a subject the better, as long as the information you are sharing is adding value, not selling.
  • Tutorials, use cases, best practices, and documentation of successes and failures are particularly interesting to developers.
  • Developers know you learn more by failing since you have to go back and discover why something failed and then fix it. However, few people like to document, let alone share, their failures.
  • Hackathons, user groups, and meet-ups are also popular among developers where they can get together with like-minded colleagues to solve problems different from those they are solving at work. It’s amazing to see the creative solutions that evolve from a hackathon or an application or data challenge.

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Developers like to build things and share their knowledge with others. That’s why the open source community and the Java ecosystem are so rich and robust. Developers are always learning, and I consistently hear that “willingness to learn” and consider others’ points of view are keys to becoming better developers.

Give developers the opportunity to use their creativity to solve a problem and you’ll engage them.

Give developers an opportunity to try your product or solution for free and they’ll readily evaluate how likely it is to solve their problem.

What tactics have you found to be effective?