Don’t Over-Slice the Developer Market

At Microsoft’s Build 2013, I had many conversations with folks plugged in to the developer market. There were a handful of themes I heard repeated, and I’ll share the first with you today.

Developer market and developer marketing

Microsoft’s Dmitry Lyalin, told me,

“The role of the developer is expanding. We are expected to be not just be the web guy or desktop guy, you’re expected to be the developer. You have productivity being pushed down on you from corporate level and you are expected to have your skill set transpose across a bunch of technologies.”

As marketers, we have a tendency to want to target our audience as much as we can. But what I heard from Dmitry (and others, including Real Live Developers), is that developers are increasingly just that — developers. They build software; they choose the appropriate tools, technologies and even devices to achieve the “user experience” they want to achieve. They do not self-identify by the software’s end destination. In other words, they’re not web developers, desktop developers, mobile developers or server developers. They are just developers.

In the last couple of weeks after the Build conference, I’ve talked with several marketers about targeting and segmenting the developer audience in just this way: web developers vs mobile developers. Our research bears out what Dmitry said: developers are, increasingly, just developers. Particularly when you’re in the awareness and understanding phases of the marketing funnel, over-slicing the developer market means you’re not telling your story to those who could benefit from it, and you’re limiting your potential market. Instead, for most marketers, a focus on “developers” is enough.

Image via Microsoft.

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