As a developer marketer, you’re in high demand and play an important part of any software company, particularly those that market developer-first products. You have unique skills in a growing and technical market, but are you getting paid at market value? Are you paid what you deserve?
If you’re reading this article, perhaps you already had these questions in mind. You might be looking for a change or to improve your working conditions, and this article may be the nudge you need to ask for a salary or look for a better-paying opportunity.
Requesting a raise can be uncomfortable, but having the right information is crucial if you want to effectively make your case. In this article, we look at the main talking points that you can use to justify an improvement in your compensation.
Developers are the New Software Buyers
The developer population is increasing and is expected to grow to 45 million by 2030. If your company is marketing a product that is directly or indirectly tied to software, there’s a good chance that developers will be (if they aren’t already) a critical part of your product’s evaluation and purchasing process.
Software buying is evolving, and developers are arguably the next wave of “buyers” who will drive software purchasing decisions. Currently, 95% of developers have some role in purchasing while 60% of developers can approve or reject a technology purchase. That’s why developer marketers are so important and these trends also serve as the undercurrent that’s increasing the market value of your skills.
Developer Marketing Works
There is proof that developer-first marketing works; Atlassian sold $320 million of software in 2015 using a lower-touch sales model (as opposed to the high-touch, high-cost traditional sales model). Redis, Chef Software, Dremio, Stripe, Synk, and MongoDB are other high-value companies that have succeeded with developers as their core audience. And you’re the one who is responsible for its success and the benefits it brings to your company.
Developer marketing increases the number of developers who initially sign up for your product, access an API, or start building applications for a marketplace. It improves the developer community’s ongoing usage to preserve the long-term growth and success of your product. It also helps your developer community become more educated with your product, API, and marketplace. And your role as a Developer Marketer plays a critical role in making all of this happen.
You’ve Gained Developers’ Trust
You probably already know that traditional marketing tactics don’t work when it comes to attracting software engineers, developers, DevOps, and other technical audiences – so your skills in effectively engaging these audiences are vital. Developers don’t want you to sell your product to them. With a sales- or marketing-first approach, you are unlikely to engage this notoriously critical audience.
When you’re engaging developer communities through an educational developer marketing initiative that focuses on edification first and value-capturing later, you gain the trust of this community. By participating in insightful conversations through developer community initiatives, you are also gaining the trust of developers and building a reputation for credibility. These relationships are crucial, take time to build, and are difficult to replicate.
Assembling a Dedicated Developer Marketing Team is Key to Success
Currently, only 43% of software companies have a dedicated developer marketing team. But someone needs to be responsible for owning the KPIs associated with a developer marketing initiative, rather than sharing the responsibility across different departments.
Because you are dedicated to driving product adoption with developers, it means you will put in the necessary effort, and the required long-term time horizon, that it takes to gain the trust of developers. The fact that only 43% of companies have dedicated developer marketing teams also suggests that your presence at your company contributes to its technical and competitive advantage against similar vendors and its competitors.
You’re Creating a Solid Developer Marketing Foundation
Developer marketing requires a long-term strategy; you won’t achieve results overnight. Industry experts suggest that it can take 12-18 months to successfully build a developer marketing program. If developers are unaware of your product, it will take time to engage them and to trial your product. Even if they are aware of your product and have started using it as a free trial or free version, it takes time to achieve commercial success and long-term product adoption.
This means that your expertise is vital to creating a solid foundation on which you can build a successful developer marketing initiative. You understand the complexities of the market and the time it takes to engage developers. Without your experience and the long-term initiative you represent, developers might lose faith in your company’s commitment to the developer community and it would take even longer for your product to achieve developer awareness and developer adoption.
You Deliver Developer Marketing ROI
While the metrics you use to measure developer marketing success differ from traditional marketing KPIs, there are still ways you can demonstrate what you’ve achieved.
Here are the main you need to KPIs used to measure the ROI of your developer marketing initiative:
- # of registrants to your developer newsletter
- # of impressions to your developer portal or content
- Social media subscribers
- Hackathon and developer event attendees
- Blog article views & reads
- Social media mentions
- How many virtual labs or developer playgrounds are being spun up
- How many trials (attributed to your B2D efforts) are being spun-up
- How many applications are being built or have been built
- Number of applications per developer
- Number of 3rd party integrations onto other platforms
- How often are developers using your product?
- How often specific features within a product are being used
- Number of API calls (assuming your company sells or markets an API)
- The average number of logins per developer
- Number of developers engaging with your product 30 days after sign-up
- Monthly growth of your developer community
- # of developer groups & # of new groups added per month
- # of developer meetings per month
- # of developers per group & # of total developers
- Active developer tokens
- Your Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Time to First Hello World (this is a common acronym used in developer marketing circles to refer to the time it takes for developers to experience a product’s value. The lower the TTFHW, the better)
Using Data as a Basis for Your Raise
By arming yourself with data from the above metrics, putting together a request for your raise will be much more effective. By showing management that you are hitting your goals, and adding real value to the business through your developer marketing activities, you can justify your raise.
If you’re not ready to request a raise, make sure you’re tracking these metrics so you have a data-driven way to demonstrate your value to senior management when the time comes.