Why marketing to developers is so hard

marketing vs developers
Marketing and developers, not always mix well together

Developers are like mythological creatures. They can smell marketing bullcrap from a mile away, so it becomes tough to use “regular” marketing to convince them to try – let alone sell them – a new tool or platform.
One of the reasons for this legendary power could be that they tend to be very logical and detail-oriented and often want to see facts and accurate data when evaluating a product rather than vague claims or hype.

Developers have an innate drive to solve problems and improve things. Once they overcome a challenge, they eagerly share details of their approach with peers. If you attend tech meetups you will notice that: developers love to showcase their expertise while spreading knowledge that others can apply to their own projects, celebrating their solutions, and helping spread new ideas across the community.

Does that sound familiar? Yeah, it’s pretty much word of mouth! That’s because developer marketing should rely on actual recommendations and community more than broad marketing campaigns.

When you want to market to developers, having strong testimonials and product specifics are super important, but there are improvements to the way you explain things to a developer:

Some features are obvious

If you know that some features of your product are prominent, like “it’s secure” or “it’s faster,” make sure that when you market to a developer you should explain accurately why that feature matters and why it’s secure and faster.

For example, at Dashcam, it becomes evident to any user – very early on – that once the screen and log data captured by the app is hosted on your computer and private to yourself.

It also becomes clear that if you want to collaborate with others, you need to create a “workspace” where you can invite other users to collaborate, and at that point, the data isn’t private anymore because it’s uploaded to your own safe workspace.

These features are obvious and highlighted immediately but during the app onboarding, and throughout various parts of the site, we go into great detail about how these work!

Which features bring you immediate benefits

It’s essential to explain the benefits of what a particular feature might bring to the user, especially when they’re not immediate.

For example, it’s not immediate that Dashcam’s ability to track logs works on every part of your stack; using logs to debug alongside video capture is like having a superpower!

Showing the full picture

Showcasing your features and benefits is good, but do you know what’s even better? Showing people why a scenario in someone’s life can be improved repeatedly. Just like I said at the start of the post, making repetitive tasks a part of the past is an immediate winner for a developer. Developers hate boring repetitive tasks. Show them a full picture of how their life will look better, and you might have the developers’ attention.

So, how can marketing work on developers?

In my opinion, developers value solving problems and really hate flashy marketing. Conciseness, practicality, and examples overshadow jazzy marketing lingo.
Developers love to talk to each other a lot, online or offline – thus, building a community with like-minded members can help develop an “echo chamber” that reinforces any marketing initiative.
Developers don’t like repetitive and tedious work more than anyone else, and if they can find a way to automate it, they will. Additionally, they expect robust functionalities and honesty – so bake that into your product and marketing plans!

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