First, Do Your Own Development

Make sure you do the development involved in creating the developer persona(s) of the developers you need to attract. Understanding your audience is fundamental to successful developer advertising campaigns. Let’s look at three basic demographics using the Evans Data Developer Marketing Survey 2020 as a guide to provide baseline data.

  • Education.  Of those surveyed, Over 70% had a bachelor’s degree or higher. While some people have a natural talent for understanding technology and software, the dynamic nature of the profession requires the developer to have a higher level of formal education to stay abreast of changes in programming languages.
  • Gender.  Almost 80 percent of those who responded to the Evans Data survey were male. However, overall, the number of female programmers is increasing.
  • Age.  As we cross the great digital divide, more digital natives (people born from ~1988 onward) are in the workforce, and more importantly, they are in management positions, making purchase decisions or recommendations. According to Evans Data survey results, the median age of developers is decreasing globally.

With these insights, what do you have to consider in crafting your developer personas? Let’s address them in the context of targeting your advertising to developer personas.

Developing Advertising for Developers

  • Well-educated audiences are skeptical audiences.  A level of skepticism comes from education and experience. Are developers more skeptical than most people? Yes, because they’re professionals in a field that is very demanding, competitive, and technically focused. This raises the threshold for advertising, because it has to grab their interest professionally, technically, and emotionally.
  • Pay attention to gender, race, and other forms of bias.  A significant portion of bias is based on perceptions and stereotypes, and unfortunately, it can be unconscious. As you develop your messaging, question the impact of each statement, image, and nuance. Avoid gendered pronouns. Use a variety of images that represent the spectrum of people who could be developers (and anyone can be a developer!). The most important thing you can do is to make sure the images and copy you choose speak to unmet needs, without distracting your audience from your message by whalloping them with assumptions that all developers are a single race or gender.
  • Is it ageism or is it good targeting?  As a marketer, it’s important to shift your frame of reference to the age of the target audience. Depending on who you are trying to influence in the developer decision-making unit, your messages will change based on their role. The role will be influenced in part by age. So, what does this mean? Make sure your ad delivery, messaging, and distribution channels map well to the target age demographic of the developer personas you have built.


Advertisers currently face a variety of challenges. Among those challenges, advertisers are trying to reach a complex developer market.

Age, gender, and education are three prime areas of consideration for persona development, and they will determine the ability of your advertising to resonate with the target audience. If these traits can be aggregated by the community and addressed with a trusted partner like DeveloperMedia, your chances of success will improve significantly.


Evans Data Corporation Evans Data Corporation | Homepage

Evans Data Corporation 2020 Developer Marketing Survey

D2D Advertising Guide by DeveloperMedia