Developer Marketing and Developer Relations – Audiences, Metrics and ROI

As part of my August 2017 DevRelate webinar, “Developer Marketing & Developer Relations – Similarities & Differences“, August 8 & 10, I’ve put together additional background research and information about several high level aspects for each team member. In this blog post I am focusing on the audiences, metrics and ROI. Take a look at each of the aspects and let me know what you think about the details related to your own experiences and knowledge of industry experts you interact with.



What are the audiences that Developer Marketing and Developer Relations team members focus on? In creating the documents, messages, presentations and preparations for meetings, there are many audiences that will be targeted. In my years as a developer, manager, executive and advocate, I have talked to customers at all levels of their organization. I’ve given presentations to focused audiences and also larger diverse audiences. Here is a list of common audience members that Developer Marketing and Developer Relations members talk with, present to and write for.

  • C-Level
  • Division/Department Manager
  • Technical / Development Manager
  • Project Lead / Team Leader
  • Developer / Software Engineer
  • Software Architect
  • Researcher
  • Product/Marketing Manager
  • Business Development
  • ISV
  • OEM
  • Students
  • Hobbyist/Tinkerer/Maker
  • Thought Leaders
  • Authors
  • Editors


Metrics and ROI

Measuring everything that Developer Marketing and Developer Relations team members do is key to constantly improving outreach, messaging, lead generation and enhancing a company’s top and bottom line. Some metrics and ROI measures are direct and straightforward. Other metrics and ROI measures are harder to directly attribute to specific events, content generated and interactions. Several sure ways to track more results is by coding everything via calls to actions at conferences, meetups, hackathons, meetings, presentations, panels, etc. Adding short URLs for follow up activities, codes to include in product orders, and spaces to tell everyone what why a developer made a decision, purchased a product, attended a follow on event will help add to your metrics and ROI calculations. Here are several metrics and ROI measures that Developer Marketing and Developer Relations team members should track.

  • Leads
  • Revenue (Direct/Indirect)
  • Developer Satisfaction
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Market Share/Growth
  • Technology/Product Adoption
  • Product Quality/Improvements
  • Developer Retention/Renewals
  • Content Creation
  • Followers/Likes/Reposts/Retweets
  • Developer Credibility


Additional Webinar Information and Links

You can find additional links and information for the webinar at


How do you Measure Developer Marketing and Developer Relations activities, time spent, and budget spend?

Send me an email with additional metrics and ROI measures that you use to track your successes, improvements and things to fix. If you have additional developer focused audiences, pass them along as well.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99

Benefits of Joining and Staying in a Developer Program

More than 80 percent of developers tell Evans Data, in the Developer Relations Program Survey 2017, that they belong to one or more developer programs (free and/or paid). A majority of developers have consistently told Evans Data that they won’t use a product, service, platform, API, device, framework, library and other technologies if there isn’t an associated active developer community. The top reasons for joining and staying with a technology and a developer community are included in “The Four T’s”: technical support, technical information, training and tools. Being a part of a thriving developer community, developers tell Evans Data that there are three primary benefits that they report to their executives and managers: time saved, increased productivity and improved quality.


Time Saved

When your developer program provides great documentation, getting started guides, step by step tutorials, sample template projects, pre-built client and server libraries, videos, and code snippets programmers can save time learning your APIs, building applications and reusing code. In the Evans Data Developer Relations Survey 2017,  more than three quarters of developers report that they save time because of their membership. The savings amount to being able to get more work done each week. Being able to access latest updates, bug fixes, and workarounds allows developers to avoid wasting time trying to track down a known problem. Talking with other developers in program forums and newsgroups can also save hours of wasted time that others have already incurred.



Increased Productivity

Using great tools, SDKs and content helps developers streamline their design, development, testing and deployment work. Leveraging the work done by your R&D team and developer advocates to help community members results in increased productivity for themselves and their teams. In my years of experience and with feedback from community members, it always helps to have someone show you the best practices and how to(s) for a technology allowing you to focus on what makes your solution unique to your company’s business. Copying sample code and reusing libraries and frameworks also saves time that can be used to work on other development projects.



Improved Quality

One of the best measures of developer program membership, according to developers in the recent Evans Data Developer Relations Program survey, is the improvement in the quality of their code. We know that developers write code. At the same time, developers also read code. Being a part of a developer program allows developers to avoid worst practices, talk with other developers about how to performance tune code, find and create workarounds for issues, write unit and system tests, use audits and metrics tools to identify code smells, and more. Hearing about development problems and solutions from other developers in community forums, in articles and on webinars helps another developer avoid the same problems, traps and pitfalls. Being able to access a bug tracking database on  a developer program site will lead to better quality products being built by your customers and your own R&D teams.



Additional Benefits Heard from your Community Members?

Do you have additional developer benefits that you’ve heard from your developer community members? Send me an email with your list.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99


What priorities should I focus on if my DevRel resources are limited?

I love doing webinars and hearing from attendees in the Q&A part of the event. It’s also great to receive emails after the webinar ends. During the webinar I can give quick answers for the questions and point attendees to additional sources of information. After the webinar I can do additional thinking and research to provide a more expansive response. Last week during my “Developer Relations Best Practices and Tools of the Trade” webinar, I was asked a wonderful question. The question was “If my resources are limited, what priorities should I focus on?”



Limited Resources? Activities that Won’t Take Long

When you have a small developer relations staff and/or budget you should look for the things you can do to communicate and grow your developer membership program. Here are some of my thoughts about the content and activities that you should consider.

  1. Write short blog posts with technology/product tips, tricks and how to(s). These don’t cost money and if you keep them short, you won’t have to spend a lot of time.
  2. Tweet news/tips to your developers and to the developer community
  3. Use Facebook Live/Video to put up short videos where you talk about your products/services/APIs – use your smartphone and just be yourself every day. Developers will love hearing from you, seeing you and also seeing something you are doing – showing a product/demo/solution quickly.
  4. Have your community members also share their videos, articles, tips/tricks – give them points/discounts if they help you with content.
  5. Automate as much as you can with programming/systems/tools – very important when you don’t have a large staff – that’s why I use Buffer for my Social media with the plugins it has for Chrome/FireFox/etc browsers -when I see an interesting article or finish a blog post – I can quickly post it everywhere.
  6. Build automated response systems for questions and emails coming from developers – this might take a little more work/development – to use Machine Leaning, Deep Learning and Bot technologies to handle the volume of email and forum posts from developers and give them answers and tips – leaving your team time to handle the tough inquiries.
  7. Provide bug tracking and workaround infrastructure – Atlassian Jira for example, allow your members to post bugs, post workarounds, post proposed fixes – they will help share the load to get better quality into your product/service.
  8. Allow your community members to add comments/content to your online documentation/wiki. Some worry about polluting the documentation – so you may set up the system (something like MediaWiki for example) to allow proposed comments/edits/additions/code/fixes and have someone review before including – make sure to have the member assure you that they are giving you the content and that they haven’t copied if from copyrighted materials (via the submission form).
  9. When you think you have automated as much as possible – then look at those things that are left and try to automate them as well.
  10. Create an MVP (Most Valuable Professionals), Community Leaders team to extend the # of devrel team members you have. Intel has their black belt members, Microsoft has their MVP program, Google has advocates, etc.
  11. When your engineering team is too busy to help, find ways to make it easy for them to help. For example, when I am doing webinars or technical sessions, rather than have the engineers prepare their own presentations, I would buy them lunch (they have to eat) and record a conversation with them and use it in the session or transcribe it into a document/slide deck.
  12. Have programming contests by your members to build apps using your products/services – give electronic based prizes – you’ll get more sample apps built or at least you’ll have apps stories to write about if members don’t want to give you their apps.
  13. Engage students/interns to help you – they don’t cost much (sometimes $zero if they get school/college credit) and can help with some of the work you need to get done and they also gain experience working with a company, it’s products/services/APIs.
  14. Interview your customers to create case studies and success stories. Record the interview and provide it for members. Transcribe the conversations to create documents for your developer/product web site – programmers talking to programmers about what they built, how they built it, what they learned, what more they want to do.



Top 3 Priorities to Focus On

I could say that you should do all of the above and more. But, if pressed to list three top priorities for content to generate for your developer community, here is my list.

  1. Content – tutorials, quick guides, How To(s), Sample code – “Content is King!”. Ask tyour engineering team to help.
  2. News – keep them up to date on product, API and company news – email newsletters once or twice a month.
  3. Videos – short (3-5 minutes) created by you, your team, engineers and leading community members.


Other Ideas and Priorities?

If your Developer Relations program, team and budget are limited, do you have additional advice? Send me an email and I will share them with our DevRelate community of Developer Relations professionals.

David I Facebook Avatar

David Intersimone “David I”
Vice President of Developer Communities
Evans Data Corporation
Skype: davidi99
Twitter: @davidi99