Developer Program Marketing Project – The Discovery Strategy © 2013 Tina Whitfield

A few years ago, a client asked me to deliver a marketing strategy to entice developers to join their stalled developer program.  The client spent several years frustrated over the lack of traction with developers.  They had a terrific SDK, top technical support, and an executive team that regularly spoke on the developer circuit.  Yet, their marketing support – funds and ideas – were weak.

While they couldn’t offer more marketing funds, they could beef up their co-marketing ideation to give developers a springboard to market themselves since most development houses lack their own marketers.  But, before the company’s marketing support could be taken seriously by developers, the company needed to show they had awesome creative talent.  To do so, they enlisted my help to build an interactive call-to-action marketing campaign that would capture developer contact data, strengthen brand recall, and drive social influence of the new marketing support added to the developer program.  Below is a basic outline of the campaign approach.  The result: the campaign did exactly what it promised and what the company expected.

Project overview

Developers look to the greats like JJ Alaire (ColdFusion); Marc Andreesen (Netscape); David Bradley (Control+Alt+Delete); DaniellDeveloper Program Funnele Bunten Berry (Dani Bunten); Brendan Eich (JavaScript); Rebecca Heineman (Bard’s Tale III); Kristen Nygaard (SIMULA) and hundreds more.

Developers seek their place in history, their contextual achievement in the development of code that is remarkable. Discoveries are made every day and many times, the process begins with the acquisition of tools rather than the application of patents.  What if we could give developers the opportunity to time-stamp their concepts on the day they first acquired their toolkit so that when the code is ready for market, the world would know they were first?

I propose building a History Wall of Discovery… a visual, interactive, socially driven timeline within a micro-website devoted to honoring the coders that come first in their application vertical they are creating for others to build-upon.

The example proposal presented today builds a framework for honoring competitive development.  Each area works in parallel to drive attachment rates to the History Wall of Discovery while building an information funnel: Renovating the developer website to take social beyond the discussion forums into more commercial social engagement and analysis; evangelism events promoting the History Wall and education around the tools while gathering developer information; and of course the build-out of the History Wall micro-website.

Developer Centric Strategy and Planning

Facts and Preliminary Assumptions

Initial Project Proposal for discussion

I.     OBJECTIVE(S):

Increase adoption of platform developer tools by software developers

II.   DELIVERABLES:

Each phase is dependent on the approval of the previous phase.  Each section is dependent on the approval of the previous section.

A. STATEMENT OF WORK (SOW) BASED UPON DISCOVERY SESSION

A detailed SOW should be provided for review after discovery sessions are completed.  Today’s example proposal of deliverables is to gain directional feedback from the client and approval for next steps

A. SOW Phase 1 Documents

–        Concept Planning: “We are working for you”

–        Strategy: Social CRM campaign and evangelism events

A. SOW Phase 2 Documents

–        Program Design: TBD

–        Execution Plan for Social CRM:

Step One:  Initial thoughts include renovating developer website with social engagement to include campaign to enlist developers and product managers to engage in joint development of next generation tool kit.

Step Two: ‘Your Place in History’ micro-website: a visual, interactive, socially driven timeline

–        Execution Plan for Evangelism Events: Initial thoughts include highly creative events (perhaps a developer contest with a $10K award and the opportunity to visit the Company’s campus to spend 2 days with the platform and tool developers) at global developer events such as Meet-ups for the client platform and Meet-ups focused on competitors or multi platforms solutions.  Events followed by direct email marketing

–        Program Measurement Tools for Social CRM: Social listening: buzz, influence, quantity and quality (value of influencers), value of conversations, sentiments, and avg. time from project launch to developers acting (downloading tools).   The results of the social listening will impact direction and strategies for the Developer Relationship Marketing Program

–        Program Measurement Tools for Evangelism Events: Tracking local lift in tool requests following events.  And, tracking audience behavior following receipt of email direct marketing.  The results will impact direction and strategies for the Developer Relationship Marketing Program

A. SOW Phase 3 Documents and Meeting

–        Quarterly Program Review (following quarterly targeted brand tracking study)

III.    FORMAL PROCESS/TASKS:

A.   CLIENT DISCOVERY QUESTIONS

Discovery Questions

B.  IDENTIFY OVERALL CREATIVE CONCEPT

C.  DEFINE PLATFORM PROGRAM STRATEGY AND ASSIGN LEADS

D.  DEFINE SUPPORTING STRATEGIES AND RESEARCH NEEDED, DEVELOP PLANS AND ASSIGN TASK OWNERS

–        Communications strategy and planning – online and offline

–        Marketing strategy and planning – online and offline

–        Measurement plan and tools

E. Deliver Statement of Work

F. Deliver Project Contract

G. Execution Begins

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