My name is Hector GHF, and I’m a Global Marketing Leader at Goldman Sachs. I’m here to give you an overview of a robust developer marketing strategy.

Needless to say, this is a blueprint that can be applied not just to finance, but to any software as a service (SaaS) organization, and particularly to any enterprise expanding their portfolio into digital solutions.

My core background is in marketing; I’ve covered both brand building and product development. About four years ago, I became interested in the finance space and joined the Goldman Sachs team, where we recently launched our platform for developers. Before that, I spent a decade at Google in various marketing and design roles.

Financial services is an ever-evolving business

Financial services is an industry that has experienced rapid change in the last few years, and will continue to evolve as new technologies are applied to provide better financial solutions.

At Goldman Sachs, we had to learn about a new audience segment to reach out to, with unique characteristics that differ from the well-known traditional clients.

The same is true for other companies that are going through a digital transformation process. All of a sudden, they see themselves in need of stronger relationships with the developer community.

Everything you need to know about developer communities
Whether you’re building a developer community from scratch or joining an existing, active one, you’ll find that investing time and effort into a dev community offers many benefits to both developers and marketers. We’re taking a look at them in this article.

While these companies have traditionally relied on account-based marketing to reach new clients, developers are saying, “Don't take me out for dinner. I'm not interested in that. Rather, let me play with your product, understand how I can use it, and then I'll decide if it's for me or not.”

This is an actual quote from a user. So, where do we start?

Identifying your product/market fit

As with any business, a good place to start is with product/market fit. This is a common marketing equation that’s usually overlooked. Give the right users the right product at the right time. Simply put, if your product fits in the market, you’re halfway there.

Now, to build a strong product/market fit, we need to start not with the product, but with the market.

What’s the user telling you? What’s the job they’re trying to accomplish? And what are the pain points? Once you have a research-based sense of that, ask, “How can I help? What do I have or what can I develop to minimize your pain points and provide you with convenience?”

And, finally, let's make a business of it. “How much would you be willing to pay for my help? Is it a one time transaction or would you need a subscription for it?” In other words, if done correctly, user experience, product development, and commercial strategy will determine how strong your product/market fit is.

It’s the role of both product and developer marketers to be involved in all steps of the process, and to be the connecting point across them. Both product and developer marketers need to be fluent in all areas and help with the communication flow.

Developer marketers are the champions of the user, the champions of the product, and the champions of the business. So, in simple terms, there’s a problem, there’s a solution being offered, and we give it a specific value which is enough to make it competitive and appealing. Therefore, we have ourselves our unique value proposition.

Your ultimate guide to creating a value proposition
How can you make your brand stand out from the competition with a compelling value proposition? Writing a great value proposition makes all the difference in whether a potential customer chooses your product or your competitor’s.

Understanding your users

We’ve crafted the product with user insights, and now we need to deliver it and delight our users. So, let's do a bit more research on our audience. What's the best way to approach them?

From the product/market fit exercise, we identified a total addressable market, we did some segmentation, and now we have a few target users.

It's important to note that, in many cases, our users aren’t the same as our customers. Whether we’re in B2B or B2C, we need to understand who we’re having a commercial relationship with. So, let's create ideal customer profiles.

Traditionally, we know how to create our buying personas. We understand the roles of these in the buying cycle. But, with digital products, we need to make sure we’re covering the needs of all our segments.

We've probably mastered the office of the CFO, and in some cases, we also know how to address the CIO. Now, are we prepared to demonstrate our value to our tech users? Are we considering the developers at all? They’re the ones who’ll implement our solution, after all. So, we definitely need to convince them.

Around 96% of developer leaders are involved in the buying cycle. They make the decision based on input and feedback from their developer teams. As marketers, we need to understand who they are, where they are, and how we can reach them and engage them better.

The complete guide to developer personas
Do you know your developer audience’s pain points? Are you aware of what makes them tick? Developer personas help you personalize your segment of the market and gain a deeper understanding of developers’ needs, traits, behaviors, experiences, goals, etc.

There are existing studies that can give us some clues about this segment, whether they’re demographics like graphics, popular coding languages, you name it. However, I’d encourage you to get immersed in the developer community.

Remember that as much as we champion the product and the business, we as developer marketers are the voice of the developer, and we should represent them properly. Developer marketing is truly developer relations, so we need to build those relationships.

Once we understand and empathize with developers, we can then craft our unique selling proposition.

Expanding your reach with developer marketing

Now, we’ve shown that we have a few buying personas to address and we're expanding our reach to developers, but we still need to care for other groups like the CFOs and the COOs. Who else is involved in the buying committee?

For most enterprise organizations, account-based marketing is an effective way of reaching customers. Sales and marketing work together to identify and vet high potential accounts, and then plan a go-to-market (GTM) strategy to engage them.

Developer marketing complements this work and should be executed as an orchestrated effort.

Now, let's take a look at the components of a developer marketing GTM strategy.

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