Digital advertising presents the advertiser with a lot of options, particularly when developers are the target audience. In the work of creating developer-focused marketing campaigns, it can be easy to forget that the frequency tactics that are effective for a wider audience may not be as effective for developers. This brief article offers four advertising frequency considerations to keep in mind as you work to build your developer marketing campaigns.

This article also includes a digital-focused version of the famous AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) funnel. It illustrates the steps needed to compel developers to go from noticing your product to making a purchase. The AIDA funnel has been modified many times to reflect changing marketing conditions, and because a developer’s focus is digital, then digital marketing should be your basis for strategy evaluation. While not obvious, advertising frequency is one component in the AIDA funnel.

It is important to note that many marketing leaders are now promoting a “flywheel” concept to augment the funnel, because the funnel lacks the recurring nature of the purchase cycle. What was generally accepted, that sales are recurring, is now explicit using the flywheel model.

Now, let’s discuss four of the biggest considerations in determining digital advertising frequency for your developer audience.

#1 Saturation

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, or  irritating or alienating your developer audience. B2C marketers seem hell-bent on oversaturation, with uninterrupted advertising on the Web, as well as repetitive commercials on TV. It’s important to balance your audience’s tolerance for pain with your budget. The sweet spot is where you raise a level of awareness, create demand, and trigger an action.

#2 Conversions

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 relevant — they describe how people become aware of an opportunity and follow through with a purchase decision.

Digital funnel

#3 The Rule of 7 Has Changed

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 as dependent on the specific frequency, but rather the strategy that you employ to broadcast your message.

Traditional marketers tend to fall back on a modified “Rule of 7” referencing 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.

#4 Frequency of Banner Advertising

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, and that’s a good thing. When developing your advertising budget, first select the best media outlets for your spend, and consider the potential return of your investment (ROI). Banner advertising will give you “impressions,” but impressions can be a misleading measurement because they don’t necessarily lead to clicks or conversions.

While it’s important that your advertising gets seen by lots of people, and gets seen often, it has to be seen long enough to make more than an impression. Most websites that accept advertising rotate their banners, and it’s important to understand how long your banner is visible. Make sure your banner has a strong call to action, or in this case, a strong “call to click.” Another option to consider is a static banner, which will be more expensive, but can also be more effective.


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. Use the AIDA funnel to model and monitor your strategy and progress. 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. Product advertising can be frustrating because there are so many variables that can affect results, but with the help of a trusted advisor like DeveloperMedia, your chances of success can be measurably improved.

As you construct your marketing plan or schedule, be sure to account for outreach efforts that will determine the appropriate frequency according to the specific 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.


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