The columnist Josh Aberant has practical advice for dealing with situations where your target audience isn’t limited to the developers creating code.
We’ve covered plenty of topics so far regarding how to reach out to the developers, from the best way to use content marketing to the necessity of not making assumptions about them based on the opinions of developers you be familiar with.
I’ve got an important tip to add to the above when your marketing efforts are directed at developers, be aware that you’re not only marketing to developers.
Who are you selling to? Software design, code, or other software is never a standalone product. It’s a part of something bigger that is a product, whether it’s an application or an enterprise-level platform.
In addition, you might be required to think of your potential customer’s product as part of something much bigger: the business selling it or an ecosystem of developers or user communities built around it.
So, developers aren’t your sole audience. Other people will be able to participate in the buying process, and you have to determine who they are and how you can engage them, too.
An extended journey with more gatekeepers
Even without the complexities of dealing with developers, B2B sales have become more difficult. The number of parties involved in the B2B purchase is currently at 6.8.
In 2014 you had to convince just 5.4 percent of these. This means you had to convince 25 percent more buyers during the buying process within just two years due to factors such as decentralization of decisions, globalization, and a fear of risk.
In contacting a team of developers, It won’t be anything different. It’s just a matter of dealing with the specificities of communicating your proposition to developers, a process we’ve previously covered.
But seldom will two or more developers in a single project be from the same cloth. The person working on the product kernel and the one working with UX/UI have vastly different roles and skills. However, they could each have an opinion on the product you’re trying to promote.
Each developer is bound to play multiple roles, too. It’s the way it is within fast-paced businesses. They’ll work on developing apps and modifying existing ones conducting research, testing, buying, and then carving out time to learn new languages and techniques.
Therefore, based on the type of product you’re selling, you’re likely to find you’ll have to devise an engagement and targeting strategy which takes into consideration a variety of developers and also for other stakeholders outside of the development team (who may not belong to the team that is responsible for product development) who will be able to participate in the process. This is almost guaranteed if you’re trying to get into any entity that isn’t a tiny company or developing studio.
Which devs are within the organization?
Let’s look at a somewhat simplified organization chart for a development team.
The entire chart may be an integral part of the same development team and could influence the purchasing process. However, just like every other structure in any other company, everyone has a job, schedule, accountability, and responsibilities.
There are actual “developers” across this chart, but not two of them have the same job or needs.
It’s not even a map from the perspective of a Project Controller, CFO, or procurement/purchase director, which possesses an additional perspective as they’re the ones who hold those purse strings. They’ll be part of the group that SiriusDecisions refers to as”the “Buying Group,” which is involved, in some companies, in the process of evaluating any purchase more significant than, for instance, a router or a brand new box with a paper clip.
Other stakeholders you might want to consider besides those directly involved in the purchase? Direct and indirect customers of the product you sell to your customers as well as the managers of these users as well as the members of customer support/help desks, and developers working on different software that might be in contact with the product of your customer and as well as those who are the “gold proprietor” who contributes money to help fund the development of the product, for starters.
Hitting their buttons
Let’s shift our attention to the team of developers you’re trying your best to win over. What’s a simple instance of how developers could look at your product from various viewpoints?
Let’s say you’ve found two people on a possible customer’s development team, an architect for software and a development manager. Both are essential in evaluating the possibility of purchasing your widget (we hope).
The software architect looks at your application from the top-down view as they are responsible for making large-scale decisions regarding a software platform or product that includes setting the technical standards and coding standards, as well as the platforms and tools you can employ for the design specifications.
A development director is close in the field, directing the development of particular features, modules, and functionalities and allowing developers who are responsible for the actual programming below them.
The developer will require that your product just works within the architect’s framework. The architect will want your product to operate within the framework and not require alternative solutions or shortcuts that cause technical debt. This is a perfect phrase to describe the compromise created when adding functionalities in the short-term results in headaches and a necessity to redesign your product over the long term.
Suppose you can identify those involved in developing your product like this before you start the beginning, and also what their top problems or concerns could be. In that case, you’ll be a lot better off instead of trying to focus on the “developer” you believe your widget will undoubtedly be able to sing to. Since within any business, that assumed archetype of a developer might not even exist.
Be aware of their need(s)
Does it sound discouraged? It should not. If you realize the diversity of your target audience is even within one prospective organization, you’ve made the first step in addressing the issue.
The following steps are listed below. Remember that this path isn’t easy or quick and requires diligence. When you’re done with the day, you’ll have a better-targeted marketing strategy prepared for launch.
The first step is to create a target profile for your account.
If you are aware of the clients you’d like to know and profile, you should create a profile of every company to ensure you have an accurate knowledge of its offerings as well as its marketing strategy and goals, hierarchy,
If you don’t know specific goals for your accounts, make a profile for your ideal account using your data from the past and the key lessons from your past successes or where you’d like to focus your business.
Check out the individuals and teams interested in your product and also gain an idea regarding what “demand stimuli” are that will draw them. Price? Functionality? What’s going to make them sit down and choose you?
After that, personalize your pitch.
In my role as a Growth Hacker and a marketer, I’m conscious of how crucial it is to feel empathy for my clients, which is an excellent way to apply the concept.
After you’ve identified the roles of the players who make up the purchasing decision loop, you can create in-depth personas for each, such as the CTO, product manager, development manager planner, and down to the developers who’ll need to experience a real-world experience using your application.
The more information about personal particulars, job duties or career path, and goals you can include, the more detail, the more effective. It’s essential to adjust your marketing message, including the tactics and channels you employ, for each important person you need to connect with. The CTO might require hearing your talk at a conference, while the product designer may require hearing favorable reviews about you from your online friends. The words you use and the places you speak are vital.
The market is flooded with AI-powered software engines today that do a portion of this for you and keep your buyer profiles up to date in real time. This could be as much as 90% of the work done in persona-based marketing. However, often, it’s the work that isn’t completed. Maintaining your buyer profiles up-to-date is crucial, particularly when it comes to targeting developers.
The last thing to do is Aid them in selling.
If you’ve enlisted them, a part of nurturing them is providing them with a tool they can use to promote your product to the rest of the purchasing group or the enterprise. The assistance you provide will depend on their position; however it could comprise the actual trial, ROI projections the dev manager or CTO could provide to the CFO, or any other information they can provide you that could be useful to help them build your argument.
Be sure to be authentic.
I’ve previously written about the importance of authenticity in marketing devs. One of the most critical aspects of creating it is showing that you view each one of them as a person, not only as a “target” you’ve written about.
For developers, it could be even more crucial to get rid of cliches than with other groups, as they’re susceptible to insincerity and presumption on behalf of marketers. Inquiring what they’re about and what you can do to assist them in achieving success within their companies will make you more successful.