Picture this: It’s Tuesday afternoon and yet another request just got added to your to-do list in Airtable. You take a look and immediately think to yourself, “There’s no way I can get to this. In fact, why does it even matter? They’re never going to use this asset anyway.”

If that sounds familiar to you, then allow me to make a recommendation. Take a page out of your PM’s book and start using an adoption framework for your work.

The best developer marketers today don’t think about success as what can be achieved WITH them; rather — they believe success is what can be achieved WITHOUT them involved at all.

What product marketers need to know about engaging developer audiences
In this article, I’ll share what I’ve learned so far, why I believe it shouldn’t be about developer marketing but the developer experience, and how to approach each stage of your go-to-market strategy as it relates to crafting it to fit developer audiences.

Just like product marketers, product managers sit in the nexus of a few different functions - in this case, the user, engineering, and design/research teams. To make sure they are prioritizing the right things at the right time, they use frameworks to organize their work and help them lead with empathy to the problem that needs to be solved.

One popular framework is the 'job to be done' (JTBD) framework.

The idea is simple: If you think critically about the context of the request before taking action and get to the heart of what the requester is trying to achieve (i.e., the job) you may uncover an additional unspoken need that can help both you and the requester save additional time.

Here is an example of how Intercom used the JTBD framework to 5x their qualified sign-ups for their product.

For example, let’s imagine you got a request from a member of your sales team for a one-page leave-behind.

Without the JTBD framework...

...you'll reference your messaging/positioning documentation to figure out what'll best resonate with the customer. Your messaging house is built on a foundation of strong customer research, and once the one-pager is complete, you’ll feel confident you have solved the problem and saved the day.

But let’s put ourselves in the shoes of the person who made this request in the first place. As a sales rep who’s under pressure to make a quota, you are often scrambling to find the information you need, and even when you do find it, you may not know when or how to bring it up, so it ultimately goes unused.

It’s crunch time and you stick to what you know.

My self-taught journey into marketing (and why I find it useful)
For me, marketing used to be just this thing you should ignore. When I used to watch ads, I’d think to myself, “they are just trying to sell me stuff. I should just ignore it.”

With the JTBD framework...

...you'll first evaluate what the next step is after you deliver the requested collateral (to be clear, you’re back to being a PMM). You will think about what the rep is trying to accomplish with this one-pager and start to ask these questions to the rep before diving in.

In this discovery, you may realize that the stated need was for a one-pager but the real need was a better understanding of the buying journey.

The rep wanted a one-pager as ‘leave behind’ material for the prospect to share internally but, from your discovery in the buying journey, you realized that the best results were when our team was directly engaged with the VP.

Sharing this data with your rep A) circumvented the need for the one-pager, B) changed the approach of the rep for a more favorable outcome, C) and highlighted a potential gap in your sales playbook.

PMs often use the JTBD framework to make sure they understand the full customer workflow. Oftentimes, the spoken need is short-term/shortsighted, and understanding the next step/what happens after the need can help you deliver even more value up-front.

The best developer marketers are using PM frameworks like this one to stay ahead of future asks and make a dent in the never-ending list that is product marketing requests.

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