Advertising has its limits. Too little, and you may not get the attention of your developer audience and the results you expect. Too much, and you run the risk of oversaturation, and of  irritating or alienating your developer audience. The key is finding the sweet spot where you raise a level of awareness, generate interest, create demand, and trigger an action. To illustrate the steps needed to make that happen,  in this article, we’ll use a modified version of the famous AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) funnel as a guide.

Funnel Logic

Getting From Point A to Point C Through the AIDA Funnel

In planning the frequency of your advertising efforts, the goal should be to offer your developer audience a frictionless journey from the point of Awareness to the point of Conversion. The steps of the AIDA funnel are still relevant — it describes how humans become aware of an opportunity and make a purchase decision. The AIDA funnel has been modified many times to reflect changing marketing conditions, and here we’ve modified it one step further with a digital dimension, because this should be your basis for strategy evaluation.

The Digital Funnel for Developer Advertising

The Rule of 7

The “Rule of 7” is an old marketing maxim that states an advertising message has to be heard or seen 7 times by a consumer before it registers in their consciousness. This rule was developed long before social media came along and offered the capability to engage with developers at multiple touchpoints. While social media offers more platforms, bandwidth, and formats, it also multiplies the competition for your developer audience’s attention. Given the opportunities that digital marketing offers, the effectiveness of your advertising is not so dependent on the specific frequency, but rather the strategy that you employ to broadcast your message.

Impressions to Action

Traditional marketers tend to fall back on a modified “Rule of 7” and they quote 5 to 20 impressions before a purchase intent is indicated. But the digital revolution has rendered this perspective obsolete. Digital marketers aren’t so much concerned with impressions as they are with conversions. The success of converting an observer to a customer depends on the quality of your web presence, your content, your call to action, and your deployment strategy.

Awareness vs. Saturation, Irritation, Stress, and Fatigue

Outside of the telecom, insurance, and pharmaceutical industries, most companies don’t have the deep pockets to advertise with a frequency that will alienate their audience. So go for it! Make sure your advertising gets seen by lots of people, and gets seen often. If you feel that your advertising is harming your reputation with your audience, conduct some primary market research and make changes accordingly. Another way to prevent these issues is to judiciously use A-B testing for design, messaging, and content.

Frequency Comes First

Make the frequency decision an integral part of your marketing strategy. As you construct your marketing plan or schedule, account for outreach efforts that will determine the frequency according to the channel. You can rely on developer advertising experts like DeveloperMedia to help with channel placement recommendations. DeveloperMedia can also recommend a schedule for targeted eblasts and other outreach that can ensure you hit the right frequency.


The frequency of your outreach should not be viewed as a simple adjustment of your tactics, but rather holistically as an integral part of your marketing strategy, because the adjustment of one tactic will impact your other marketing campaign efforts. To address the steps of the AIDA funnel, get your audience’s attention, feed them content to support their interest (at a frequency which generates results), and finish with a strong call to action. How hard can it be?


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