With modern technology expanding as rapidly as it is, there’s an incalculable amount of people in the world that now rely on the internet, whether that’s large corporations or individual people. And alongside this rapid internet growth is the emergence of software and our need for people who know how to build, fix, and solve problems with it.

So, with the development of the software developer community (see what we did there?), it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a new segment of marketing has reared its head to target these people. This has been called business to developers (or B2D) marketing.

But like any marketing approach, there are nuances and specific ways to target this segment. After all, they all have different needs, pain points, and ways they like to be communicated with.

So, in this article, we’ll be covering this, specifically taking a deeper look at,

What is B2D marketing?

B2B, B2C, B2B2C… it’s safe to say there are plenty of popular acronyms and marketing approaches that exist in the marketing sphere.

After all, more and more macro trends are emerging, alongside a vast array of products and services to fill the gaps within these markets. Therefore, there’s now a need to market to buyers within these segments.

B2D marketing is pretty much what it says on the tin. It is the approach designed to target software developers.

Like B2B and B2C buyers, B2D buyers will have their own preferences for how they’d like to be sold their solutions. But something we have discovered is that traditional product marketing strategies won’t usually resonate with this particular market.

This brings us to our next point…

Why is B2D marketing important?

Developers are an extremely important and valuable group of people to reach. They're well paid and invest in a lot of tools and materials that help them to get their job done. If they personally aren’t investing in tools, they still have a lot of influence over what their companies pay for, because of how important these solutions are to them successfully carrying out their roles.  Targeting them specifically is going to benefit your organization greatly.

Another important thing to consider is that developers are a very “online” community. Meaning, if they have a good experience with your brand, your product, or your marketing style, you can count on them to let the whole developer community know about it - and word between them spreads fast. The same goes if they have a bad experience with you. This is going to have a huge impact on your brand reputation, customer base size, and sales.

So, it’s critical that you approach them correctly with your marketing, to ensure their end-to-end experience with your organization and product, from product marketing to product use is positive. This will help to increase customer satisfaction, and in turn, customer loyalty, retention, and overall revenue.

Challenges with B2D marketing

Because the approach to B2D marketing is different compared to the more traditional markets, there are also different challenges that may arise.

Writing compelling messaging

One of the challenges many product marketers face when marketing to developers is writing compelling messaging for their audiences. Developer tools can be extremely complex products and if you or your other customer-facing teams don’t truly understand the product, then it’s unlikely it'll sell.

According to Michael Stowe, Director of Developer Marketing at RingCentral, developers dislike pushy sales teams and aggressive marketing. Rather than telling devs that they need your product, show them how it’s going to help them succeed and meet their needs. Avoid the fluff and offer more of the know-how for what your product or service can do, and then you’ll have their attention.

There are multiple audiences to target

Unlike traditional segments, developers are made up of numerous roles. For example, web designers, software engineers, and data scientists. And with all these different roles, come different needs and pain points. Therefore, segmenting your target audiences is going to be one of the most crucial aspects of your marketing approach, to ensure you understand their specific needs and are pinpointing exactly how your product is going to solve their problems.

There isn’t a one size fits all solution they’ll need

Typically, when marketing to B2B audiences, chances are you’ll be creating and marketing a solution that could fit into many of their roles, responsibilities, and projects.

However, alongside having multiple developer audiences that you’ll need to target, their software tools will also vary widely depending on their role, industry, and project type.

How to optimize your B2D marketing

Based on these challenges, let’s take a look at some ways that you can optimize your marketing in a way that connects well with your developer segments.

There’s no room for BS

It’s a common notion within the developer community that they’re a skeptical bunch. And with the industries they work in, they’re also typically very well educated and will be able to see through any kind of exaggeration that you may want to spread to attract people to your product.

So, first and foremost, it’s imperative to remember to always be transparent and authentic.

Find your audience

One of the best things you can do is immerse yourself in developer communities but first, you need to know where to find them. Developers can be tricky people to get hold of. They’re not known to respond to emails or LinkedIn messages. Instead, look towards developer channels, such as:

  • Discord
  • Github
  • Reddit
  • Twitter
  • StackOverflow
  • Hacker news

Engage with these audiences

Whilst they’re great places to communicate with them, they’re also places where you can research common trends within the community, the kinds of competitive tools they’re recommending to others, what specific issues they may be having in their jobs, and so on.

By having these candid conversations, you'll better understand their circumstances, as well as the pain points of the job. In essence, it’s really not so different from how you apply empathy in the more traditional markets to know about your customers.

Learn the lingo

What better way to ensure you’re developing a connection with your audience than speaking the way they do?

With a highly technical audience, learning, understanding, and using the terminology that they use is crucial. This is going to help to build trust and credibility towards your brand and your product. After all, no one is going to want to purchase from an organization that has no idea what they’re talking about. It may seem obvious, but this is a subtle difference that’ll ultimately have a great impact on how your audience views you.

Dive deeper into the content you create

Creating deep, unique, and informative content around software development is going to separate you from the rest of the market. After all, as we mentioned before, this audience is highly technical and educated, and their roles reflect this. Developers will be seeking out content that is going to help them within their job, so it’s crucial that you provide them with in-depth, knowledgeable advice to catch their attention and ultimately increase the possibility that they notice your brand and your solution.

Join the Developer Marketing Summit

The Developer Marketing Summit is taking place July 14th and serves as the ideal platform for B2D marketers to learn more about how developer relations teams can work with developer marketing to deliver the best customer experience, and define their skills even further, in a bid to prove their worth to their product marketing counterparts.

Get your ticket now, and join over twenty speakers from awesome companies such as Google, RingCentral, Wix, and TomTom sharing their insights into developer marketing. You’re bound to walk away with tons of new ideas, tactics, and proven strategies to take your product to the next level.

Sign up today