In the tech world's breakneck and impatient race, companies often hunt for that elusive “magic bullet”' to dazzle their audience in a flash. Sure, you might get a brief moment of interest, but a lasting engagement is another game.
New research from the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute has revealed that up to 95% of B2B buyers aren’t actively seeking most products or services at any time. They share a refreshing, albeit old-school, secret: in the end, it's the persistent, long-term branding and marketing strategies that triumph.
In the B2B world, most aren’t impulse-buying the latest software. So, how do we harness this principle to be applied to a specialized audience like developers and engineers?
Become a part of their matrix
Developers and engineers thrive on solving problems. So, to truly engage them, immerse yourself in their world. Understand their tools, challenges, and the trends they're excited about.
Notion does this well - especially with developers. With its "block" based system, it allows developers to go free-range with their workspace. Instead of limiting users to a specific workflow, Notion offers flexibility - a trait highly prized by developers and tech enthusiasts.
Notion has also built a thriving community where users share templates and use cases, further embedding their product into users' routines. They provide genuine value by offering a robust free plan and how-to guides, which has drawn many teams to try the platform.
Today, Notion has become a staple in the tech and productivity space and reinforces the importance of genuinely understanding your audience's needs, fostering community, and providing palpable value.
Think marathons, not sprints
Only a small segment of your audience actively searches for solutions at any given moment. When they do, ensure you stand out. Achieving this prominence demands consistent, valuable interactions through insightful content, social listening, or community contributions. Consistent engagement over time is key.
Slack patiently built a loyal user base through developer communities before its wide adoption. For background context - Slack was an internal tool for a gaming company that relied on word of mouth, focusing on developer and tech communities.
Instead of a hard launch, they ensured their tool seamlessly integrated with a developer's workflow, making communication more manageable and efficient.
Through continuous engagement, offering value, and getting feedback from these communities, Slack has over 20 million users today, across various audiences.
Skip the pitch. Deliver real value
Developers and engineers want a quality product, and the usual marketing fluff often won’t work. Instead, offer genuine value – think in-depth technical guides or handy tools that simplify their tasks.
Technical audiences don't always respond well to a hard sell. Focus on addressing their needs and showcasing how your brand adds value to their journey. In a data and analytics space where numerous cloud platforms are vying for attention, Databricks stands out.
Databricks provides starter kits called “Solution Accelerators” which have high-value, frequent use cases. By offering fully functional notebooks and best practices, Databricks essentially reduces the barriers for data scientists and engineers to get started.
It isn’t just about showcasing the platform's capabilities, but aiding in faster implementation and outcomes. Users aren't left to fumble in the dark, trying to figure out how to best leverage the platform. This approach positioned Databricks as a partner rather than just a solution provider.
Stay plugged into communities
Developers and engineers often find strength in their communities. Join their parties by hosting hackathons, coding challenges, or participating in community events. This not only underlines your commitment but also opens avenues for direct feedback and deeper understanding.
For instance, consider how Stack Overflow has become the unofficial break room for devs seeking solutions. Or look at JetBrains' "Developer Ecosystem Survey," which annually attracts over 31,000 developers globally, offering them a platform to voice their opinions on current software development trends, tools, and languages.
This survey’s massive participation provides a rich, diverse pool of insights, which JetBrains cleverly transforms into a service. By analyzing and publishing these insights, JetBrains not only disseminates valuable industry knowledge but also solidifies its standing as a thought leader attuned to the developer community.
The survey results, widely discussed across forums and social media, position JetBrains at the forefront of technological discourse. This approach not only bolsters JetBrains' credibility among developers but also guides their product development, incorporating real feedback from the field.
Share cool, real-world stories
Nothing speaks louder to engineers and developers than real-world results. They need facts wrapped in a narrative.
Share compelling case studies or testimonials that spotlight the tangible benefits and solutions that your product or service offers. Put them in a use-case blog or a forum.
GitHub effectively demonstrates its platform's capabilities through real-world applications, particularly appealing to developers and engineers who prioritize technical details.
Github shared its involvement in NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the Mars 2020 Rover mission, highlighting its ability to manage complex, high-stakes projects. This case study reveals how JPL's developers used GitHub to collaborate on a vast codebase, which is crucial for the mission's success.
By showcasing its application in NASA's technologically advanced environment, GitHub affirms its reliability, scalability, and efficiency for sophisticated development tasks. These narratives hit developers seeking robust tools for their version control and collaborative needs, combining factual success with compelling real-world examples.
To connect with developers and engineers, you need more than one-off sporadic connections. It's about weaving into their professional journey. Products like Notion and Slack didn’t just shoot for immediate sales but rather invested in understanding their users, embedding their products into daily routines and communication flows.
Companies like Databricks have focused on delivering practical solutions to help data scientists and engineers achieve faster implementation and better outcomes. By immersing in their world of developers and engineers, offering authentic value, and consistently nurturing brand memories, you position your business as a valuable partner in their path forward.
If you haven't already, download our Developer Relations Playbook for more insights, as well as expert tips, on how to connect with your technical audience.