Why every agency needs a developer marketing lead

Steve Ellis

15 February 2017

Developers are the New Kingmakers. And CMOs need to take notice.

Gartner suggests 2017 could be the year that CMOs spend more on IT than CIOs. If that proves to be the case, they’d better be equipped to spend those dollars wisely.

In a world of platforms, ecosystems and communities, CMOs will need experts to guide and execute their strategies and programs in these areas. That might mean hiring in-house expertise, or finding agencies, which are skilled and experienced in engaging these critical but unique audiences.

Coming from the world of software and technology, we get it. We’ve run developer and partner programs for over twenty years, launching some of the biggest software tools and platforms on the planet. Building communities, activating and evolving developer programs to support our client’s commercial objectives.

Now we have invested in a Director of Developer Marketing and Partner Ecosystems to design and drive these programs for our clients. Read about Keith here.

Developers are the New Kingmakers is actually a steal from the title of a book from one of the Redmonk founders, explaining how developers took over the world. We agreed with that premise when it was published (waaay back in 2013) and we agree with it still.

In fact, things have moved on further in the intervening years. When the book was written, the notion of transitioning to a consumption-based economy, reliant upon cloud-based everything, pervasive network access and constant use of apps, all joining up a multiplicity of back end online services, was still in its infancy.

Developers are vital to businesses doing the digital transformation thing

Sometimes it takes longer than youd think for a new idea to be embraced and accepted as orthodox wisdom. This is one of those examples. Even today Im still amazed at the numbers of senior stakeholders in business organizations that fail to see why developer audiences are so strategic.

Developers aren’t just a critical audience to tech firms. If your business has embarked upon digital transformation, and hopes to go to market through new channels, or with new technology partnerships, then you will need to engage developers.

Likewise, if you are running a corporate innovation programme, maybe having opened up your own APIs for collaborative consumption, then you’ll need to know how to find, engage and excite developers.

Flip a developer over and inside is a nascent startup. Another target audience for those corporate innovation programs.

That’s why every CMO needs an agency which knows how to engage developers and partners.

Have you got one?