This article is based on a talk from the Developer Marketing Summit March 2022.

My name is Jess Petrella, I’m the Group Product Marketing Manager at Unbounce. I have 10+ years of experience in SaaS, and you could say that I’m focused on product marketing all day, every day.

In this article, I’ll talk about introducing new technical audiences to your company by crafting well-researched personas that everyone can get behind.


Here's a sneak peek at how you can introduce a new technical audience to your company:

importance of user profiles and buyer personas in developer marketing

And here are our main talking points:

Let’s go ahead and dive in. 👇

What is a user persona… and why do we need them?

By definition, a user persona is a semi fictional-character based on your current (or ideal) users. Personas can typically be created by talking to users and segmenting them by their various data points.

In practice, we use personas to align our teams behind a shared understanding of who our target audiences are. It’ll also lead to improved developer experience, tailored developer community initiatives, and developer education programs, as well as optimized communication channels, value propositions, and messaging.

There's over 55 million ICT (information and communications technology) professionals working worldwide, and user personas help you focus on who your product’s for. If it can’t be for everyone, it's definitely for someone.

What does a technical persona look like?

This is an example of a high-level user persona matrix. In this example, we’re talking about a fictional company called Awesome SDK.

This is high-level and simplified, because when you're starting out with a new set of user personas, you want to go through a lot of validation work and to keep things simple. Then, give yourself, your team, and your company time to build and adapt stories from there.

Personas are your identified high-level users. Your segment refers to unique segments of users found within your high-level user category. Then, characteristics are unique characteristics of each user segment.

Lastly, use cases are unique for this segment and your product. Use cases can also be goals. Typically, for a more technical audience, a use case will help create a little bit more differentiation.

In practice, let's assume that AwesomeSDK is building out their personas for the first time and they've identified the solo developer, describing it as “solo likes to find projects of interest and work on them alone for personal gain”.

While they've talked to folks who use their product within this persona, they've defined two separate segments. One is a group of people that are income-motivated, and another is recognition-motivated. This means that their characteristics and use cases will differ.

For an income-motivated solo developer, their use case is ideal to build projects to make a passive income and gain promotions in their current job. A recognition-motivated segment within a solo developer persona, who’s a bit younger than the income-motivated segment, is looking to build projects to win awards and prizes and grow their resume.

How to create personas

The 4 stages to great personas