Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…
Decisions can make or break a career, depending on the costs and possible outcomes, but risks are mitigated for developers if the responsibility for a decision is spread amongst the project team. And while the team leader is fundamentally the decision-maker, they will generally gather input from all team members, and may involve stakeholders outside the development team who have a vested interest in the project. Those stakeholders could include business leaders, financial staff, or sales and marketing.
Businesses understand that their success is a matter of producing results, so the critical part of the decision may not be whether to invest in a new software service or tool, but which product to purchase. For your product to be the winner in the decision-making process, it has to be top of mind within the project team, and there are some tactics you can use to make sure it is.
Influencing Developers and Decisions
It makes sense that the developer team lead is the decision-maker for a variety of reasons. There is implied power that comes with the position, and we can assume that they became the team lead due to a base of knowledge and experience, so there is power derived from their expertise. As a manager, they have influence over team members, and can be influenced by their team members. This is important, because while it’s natural to focus on the team lead, a strong base of support from within the team can and often will influence a purchase decision.
Tips for Influencing Developer Decisions
- Partner with someone who knows the developer marketing community, like the folks from DeveloperMedia. Nothing beats experience, and DeveloperMedia has the connections to promote your products to the right audience, in the right channel, with the right message. Take a look at DeveloperMedia’s D2D Advertising Guide for free tips on marketing to developers.
- Do the personas that you developed for your developer audience include the team leader, team member, CTO, and product manager? Each of these can be an influencer in decision-making. Understanding the decision-making cohort for your product can enable you to “access all areas” in the sphere of influence. Hold the team lead close, and their influencers closer.
- When it comes to channels or media choices, consider alternates, but do not waver once you commit to a path. Newsletters, blogs, and trials are all viable paths to market, and you have to find the right one (or a combination) which gives you the brand recognition to ensure that your product is considered in the decision-making process.
Influencing a purchase decision not only requires intimate knowledge of your audience, but also requires a marketer to understand the best way to reach the developer. A lot of channel and media options are available, but there are also plenty of resources (specifically surveys) available to help you make decisions. Consider your options, and if you need help, support is available from DeveloperMedia.
SlashData – State of the Developer Nation 2021
DeveloperMedia Advertising Guide
DeveloperMedia – Developer Influence