Developer Marketing Insights
In Meet the Marketer, DeveloperMedia is spotlighting professionals who are focused on marketing to developers. Through this series, we want to provide access to and insight on your peers, like Kristina LeBlanc, a Global Campaign Manager at OutSystems, so you can learn firsthand how they market to developers. It’s also a way to share best practices, and perhaps learn something new!
A Marketing Education in the Beltway
Kristina is a native of Boston. She attended The George Washington University in DC, a school known for its political science program, but Kristina focused on business and marketing. Though she loved living in DC, she returned to Boston upon graduation and began working in cybersecurity before joining OutSystems, where she is currently a Global Campaign Manager.
Organization Is a Marketer’s Superpower
OutSystems produces and markets a modern application development platform. Kristina credits organization as a best practice, enabling her to track campaigns for optimum efficiency.
Side note: Though she gets asked about it a lot, she is not related to the famed actor, Matt LeBlanc — but coincidentally, Matt is a native of Massachusetts as well.
We asked Kristina a few questions designed to highlight developer marketing best practices. Our conversation is presented below, edited for length and clarity.
What do you love about developer marketing?
One of the things I like the most is getting to learn new things about our product — and in doing so, becoming more technical myself, because I’ve never been a very technical person. Working on our webinars and demos and organizing content has enabled me to learn more about our product and the market in general. I really enjoy working with people from across the OutSystems organization. They present on different topics at the events or webinars we have. At these events, I get to meet a lot of developers, and learn their perspectives as well. In meeting with developers, I better understand their challenges and what they’re struggling with in their day-to-day role, and then apply that knowledge to how our content or product is able to help them out.
What are your greatest challenges?
I would say one of the biggest is creating content that developers are interested in. For example, creating technical videos and technical documentation is a lot different than the content that we create for the decision-maker audience. It’s about taking the different themes or use cases that we’re focused on from a marketing perspective, and then transferring that into something that developers would be interested in and find value in. Another thing that I think works well is to keep focused on showing how our product works, and how we are able to help developers versus just selling them a product. Our approach is to provide good technical proof points, and let them use the product themselves versus trying to sell it to them.
What surprises you about the developer community?
We have a Developer Community Team at OutSystems, which is directly responsible for the OutSystems developer community, and they manage a lot of marketing programs like the user groups, hackathons, education, and training programs. Because of this, they’re in the developer community much more frequently than I am. But one thing that has always amazed me is how inclusive and collaborative and fun the developer community is.
We have a forum in our OutSystems community where developers can post questions and ask anything about the product, raise any sort of issues they’re running into, and see if anyone from the community would be able to help. And whenever I’ve checked the forums, there’s always a lot of responses and people who are jumping in and providing answers and feedback. I think it’s a great way for new developers to learn about how they can become an application developer, because there’s always so many people there to help them and answer their questions.
Who is your target audience?
We have a range of people we target. Our primary audience is professional developers, but they come from a lot of different technical backgrounds. Because of this, there could be people who were previously coding on other platforms and in different programming languages that then start to use the OutSystems platform. It also ranges in terms of experience. There are some developers who are in their first job and they’re using OutSystems, while some have been [working as] a developer for 30 years. But while we typically market towards professional developers, we have some training programs and educational programs that are targeted towards universities, and students that are still in college, in order to provide them with some development experience with OutSystems in their university classes.
How long have you been marketing to developers?
I’ve been in this role, marketing to developers, for about two years.
Over the past two years, what changes have you noticed?
I would say that probably the biggest changes have been because of COVID, when everything was switched from in-person to all-virtual events. We have to be cautious of how many webinars we are hosting, keeping in mind that people are also being invited to a lot of online events that used to be in-person. We were able to transition and find good virtual conferences, virtual booths, and everything associated with in-person marketing to try to maintain the same pre-pandemic atmosphere.
I also think developers are starting to get a larger voice and a bigger role in decision-making at the companies they work at. Decisions are not solely made by the IT leader, like what platform they would purchase. I think more and more companies are looking to developers for their input in the buying process. As marketers, we are making sure that we’re arming developers with the information they need to make the best purchase decision and facilitate their input into the decision-making process for their organization, which is really important.
What’s the next big thing?
I think it will be interesting to explore different types of marketing programs for developers, specifically from an account-based marketing perspective. I know there’s a lot of ABM campaigns that target decision-makers, because at the end of the day, they can make the final purchase. But I think, in the future, we need to add more of an ABM angle for developers, which will definitely be very helpful.
I’d like to try it in some of my campaigns to see how I would be able to leverage it. Over the past few years, I think ABM has become a very hot topic. And I think a lot of different companies go about it in different ways. I’d like to try to integrate a deeper ABM angle into some of our current developer campaigns.
How do you track your marketing campaigns?
I’m a big fan of task management, so we use Asana here. Everything that we do is tracked in Asana, just to make sure the different teams are aligned, and make sure all the due dates are on track. I use it to keep a calendar of all of the events we have, all the webinars, any email campaigns, everything like that. From a tracking perspective, we use Salesforce and Power BI for most of our tracking to keep tabs on how campaigns are going. I have Salesforce dashboards to see how we are tracking towards our goals in terms of registration from different companies, sizes, different countries, different job roles and stuff like that.
Any other best practices you’d like to share?
I would say tracking is really important — just keeping tabs on what you’re doing. But then, [there’s] also leveraging any internal shared calendars to see what other teams are doing as well, just to make sure there’s alignment from a topic perspective, and there’s no overlap in terms of emails, or promotions, or anything.
I find it really helpful to work closely with other people in the company that are either developers, or more technically-oriented than I am to understand what sort of trends they’re seeing — what challenges they’re facing, and what they would recommend we focus on. I think it’s good to get other perspectives from people internally. Another thing that I’ve found really helpful is to always try to align with any of the key company themes or use cases that we’re focused on. [And then], finally, making sure that we cover our marketing from an IT decision-maker perspective as well as a developer decision-maker perspective.
Do you miss travelling?
I don’t travel a lot in my current role, because we have a field marketing team that is responsible for a lot of the in-person events, and they do a great job covering our markets. Before the pandemic happened, prior to my time at OutSystems, I went to a lot of conferences to help work in the booth, and help organize people for their presentations. I definitely miss going to conferences and seeing people. Hopefully, it will soon be back to somewhat normal. I know a lot of in-person events are moving forward, or a lot of them are following a hybrid model. I wonder if people will be comfortable going back to more in-person conferences. But I think it’s great to maintain the virtual model in case people don’t feel comfortable.
I was talking to someone the other day, and she mentioned something that I never really thought about. She said that you can have the same exact content and presentations in a virtual conference as in person, but what you miss is when you’re walking in the hallway to go to a different session, and you bump into someone to say hi to them, or meeting new people and chatting. That spontaneous personal interaction. A lot of virtual conferences have the networking section or the virtual booth, but I feel like it’s just not the same when you’re just dialing in from your house.
Favorite flavor of ice cream?
This is hard, because I can’t think of one favorite. I was going to go with either coffee or Oreo, but Coffee Oreo [exists], so I would say Coffee Oreo is my favorite. But I would say either one of those on it’s own is a good option. I’m a very big ice cream person — I like it a little too much! l also love coffee, probably too much. But it doesn’t really do anything to me anymore, I could have a coffee at 8 pm and still fall asleep.
What do you like about working with DeveloperMedia?
They have a lot of different program options that we’re able to leverage from, the email campaigns, the newsletters, and they also have the virtual live stream option, as well as the different technical postings you’re able to do. I think our rep and the DeveloperMedia team are so easy to work with. They’re very responsive, and everything always performs well. I feel like it’s a great working relationship, because we get great results from the campaigns.
It was a real delight chatting with Kristina and learning more about her and her role at OutSystems. Here are some key takeaways from Kristina’s answers:
- Working on our webinars and demos and organizing content has enabled me to learn more about our product and the market in general.
No matter where you are in the organization, product and market knowledge will help you gain a competitive advantage.
- Tracking your progress is really important — just keeping tabs on what you’re doing. But then, [there’s] also leveraging any internal shared calendars to see what other teams are doing as well, just to make sure there’s alignment from a topic perspective, and there’s no overlap in terms of emails, or promotions or anything.
Cross-team communication is key. Keeping track of your progress and the progress of other teams is key to maximizing the impact of your marketing efforts.
- Work closely with other people in the company who are either developers, or more technically-oriented, to understand what sort of trends they’re seeing: what challenges they’re facing, and what they would recommend focusing on.
Never underestimate the value of your colleagues — particularly the technical team, who can help you understand your developer audience.
Finally, working with a trusted partner for media development and selection can help you optimize your campaigns. If you want to learn more about building successful advertising campaigns and the capabilities of DeveloperMedia, check out the D2D Advertising Guide, our blog, or contact us at DeveloperMedia.com.
Matt LeBlanc https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_LeBlanc
Power BI https://powerbi.microsoft.com
DeveloperMedia – D2D Advertising Guide https://developermedia.com/d2d-marketing-an-advertising-guide/
DeveloperMedia blog https://developermedia.com/blog/