Defining the Target Audience

Where does the developer audience fit in the B2B world? While many of the attributes of the B2B, B2C and B2D markets overlap, there are significant differences which should be taken into consideration when developing your marketing and sales strategy targeting developers. You may think that marketing to B2B consumers would be considered a more personal interaction since you are appealing to them on a highly emotional level, but because those sales are more transactional (low cost and high volume), a personal relationship is never fully developed.  In contrast, in business sales to developers, the stakes are high and reputations are on the line. This is where having a deep understanding of the persona behind the purchase order comes into play.

Being B2D

Business-to-Developer (B2D) marketing is B2B marketing tailored to the developer persona. Establishing the developer persona can be accomplished through interviews, developer community involvement, primary research, or through secondary research using surveys. Once you develop the persona(s), you are all set…except that time is the great deceiver. Markets change over time, and these changes can be subtle. Even if you feel you know your target audience well now, remember that time marches on, and demographic shifts should be considered when you review and revise your developer persona(s), preferably on an annual basis.

B2D marketing and advertising efforts should focus not just on the lead developer, but also on the personas you have created for the DDMU, or Developer Decision-Making Unit. Like most business environments, software development expenditures occur with input from a variety of sources — most importantly, from front-line developers.

Once contact has been made with a developer, seek to understand their role in the organization. You may have to work up and down the food chain to firmly position your product in the organization and obtain the buy-in needed before a purchase. Understanding motivations, proclivities, and aspirations can help you go beyond the features, benefits, and specifications of the product to address your developer audience.






Value PropPersonal – What will improve my business, position, or my career?Personal – What will improve my business, position, career, or my team’s performance?Transactional, less complex than B2B
How do I benefit?
Personal, but trust takes time to develop.Mass-marketing

Social marketing

Influencer marketing
Sales cycleTypically a long sales cycle.Longer than B2C, but can be shorter than B2B; depends on the cost of the product and the commitment involved.A transactional (shorter) sales cycle.
Business driversDecisions are based on specifications and performance, but can be influenced by emotions.

Save me money, save me time, or reduce my risk.
Emotionally driven.
Make me feel better — improve my life, upgrade my status. Decisions are based on emotion.
Engagement tacticsTargeted advertising, social media, demo, trial, referral, reference customer, word of mouth.Mass advertising, social media, word of mouth.
How Does B2D Compare with B2B and B2C Marketing and Advertising?


Marketing to developers is a flavor of B2B marketing. Because you are dealing with developers on a personal level, trusting relationships must be built. The stakes are high because reputations are on the line — a risk mitigated by the fact that purchase decisions are typically made with input from the developer team (the DDMU). While this may increase the complexity of the sale, it also assures you of a more receptive audience for the next sale!

Need a developer audience primed to hear from your brand? Contact DeveloperMedia. With their years of experience and proven track record, you can obtain outstanding results from your B2D email marketing efforts.


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