The Client

TomTom logoTomTom is the leading independent location technology specialist, shaping mobility with highly accurate maps, navigation software, real-time traffic information and services. To achieve our vision of a safer world, free of congestion and emissions, we create innovative technologies that keep the world moving. By combining our extensive experience with leading business and technology partners, we power connected vehicles, smart mobility and, ultimately, autonomous driving. Headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in 30 countries, TomTom’s technologies are trusted by hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

The Problem

Anika Nieh, head of global developer and enterprise marketing at TomTom, recently began working with ContentLab, a Developer Media company, to help overcome the following challenges.

Awareness. Most people are familiar with TomTom as a provider of personal navigation devices. Today, the company is transforming from a consumer hardware company to a B2B software company. TomTom licenses its real-time maps, navigation software, traffic information and services to leading tech companies and automakers, and recently revamped its developer portal dedicated to helping developers easily build location-aware mobile and web applications with TomTom Maps APIs.

Technical Content. TomTom’s developer marketing team was preparing to launch a blog and needed a large volume of high-quality content to populate it. The team needed enough content to support a steady, weekly posting cadence.

We launched our self-service developer portal in 2016. This year (2019), we began creating a dedicated, focused team to grow our developer community.

Anika Nieh
Head of Global Developer and Enterprise Marketing at TomTom

The Solutions

ContentLab worked with TomTom to implement the following solutions.

A Content Runway. ContentLab delivers content at a predictable cadence from a range of developers. This includes a variety of content lengths and types, including short articles suitable for blogs (up to 700 words), standard articles (800 to 1,200 words), and extended articles (1,200 to 2,000 words).

The Right Content Mix. TomTom needed expert-written content, both to introduce developers to the TomTom Maps API and to establish thought leadership in the mapping space. ContentLab authors provide a mix of how-to articles and posts to educate developers about the TomTom API and to create brand awareness and authority among the developer community.

We don’t have a huge team, which is a challenge we face as we build our developer community. With developers, content is still king – so it’s critical that we provide relevant, helpful content to help them succeed. ContentLab has been incredibly helpful in that regard, since we don’t have all the resources to produce the amount of technical content required. Additionally, we need content written from different angles, which ContentLab has helped with via its wealth of developers.

Anika Nieh
Head of Global Developer and Enterprise Marketing at TomTom

Woman creating awesome content

Why ContentLab

We asked Anika what convinced her to engage with ContentLab. She identified three key factors:

Experience. Developer Media, ContentLab’s parent company, has more than 20 years of experience working with and reaching developer audiences.

Quality. ContentLab’s community of skilled developers produce content of consistently high quality. This was a key deciding factor.

Good Partners. Anika found ContentLab easy to work with, in part because of a shared understanding of her goals.

ContentLab was easy to work with. They were flexible and really understood where we were going. They were really collaborative, which is important, because the lessons learned as we developed content were applied to the next content pieces.

Anika Nieh
Head of Global Developer and Enterprise Marketing at TomTom

A team reviewing content

The Results

The partnership with ContentLab helped TomTom achieve the content runway it needed for its developer marketing campaign, which has improved the quality of visitors to its developer portal.

Traffic volume is not the best indicator of performance. It’s the quality of people who come to your site. You have to look deeper into the numbers. Who actually registered? How long did it take for the developer to make their first API call? What use cases are your APIs being used for? It’s easy to get hung up on just traffic volume in the beginning, because it’s so easy to understand. You need to dig into the actions visitors take once they are on your website to understand traffic quality, usage drivers, and continually listen to the data and take action on improving the experience for your users.

Anika Nieh
Head of Global Developer and Enterprise Marketing at TomTom

A team of developers consuming content

Best Practices

There were some key elements that helped the partnership between TomTom and ContentLab successfully produce content. Here are the best practices Anika Nieh and TomTom identified.

Clear Points of Contact. Having a clear owner on both the TomTom and ContentLab side of the relationship helped create content that met expectations. Even if your content provider is external to your company, you need someone internally on your team with a percentage of their time dedicated to the engagement.

Employ Themes. Having themes is really critical. In the beginning, it was the sky’s the limit. We had no themes. Reducing that broad concept to buckets of content has been hugely helpful. Ours are:

  • Build Different (tutorials)
  • Decode It (deep product dives)
  • Thought Leadership
  • Spotlight (a spotlight on a specific developer) Man holding a piece of content

Create a Content Calendar. This is standard practice, but it often gets overlooked. The content calendar goes beyond the blog. It should provide a unified view of when everything is happening, so you understand how your content elements interact with activities such as a product launch or a conference. It’s important, and it took time to get this in place for our DevRel team.

Good People. You need to work with good people. Obviously, that includes your own team. But, to succeed, the outside companies you work with need to think of themselves as an extension of your team.

Final Words

My advice is to experiment. At TomTom, we’re six months into having a team dedicated to growing our developer community, and we’ve found that running experiments is key to learning what resonates best with our audience. We are continuously running sprint campaign experiments to test out hypotheses we have around platforms, regions, messaging, and audiences. Testing fast, failing, picking yourself up, and testing again is critical.

Anika Nieh
Head of Global Developer and Enterprise Marketing at TomTom

Man and woman working on content

How ContentLab, A Developer Media Company, Can Help You Achieve Your Content Marketing Goals

If your company is looking to achieve the same results as TomTom, contact us.

ContentLab has a proven track record of helping clients achieve their content marketing goals, and we’d like to help you do the same. Contact us today to find out how we can bring winning results to your next marketing campaign.

Contact us today.

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If you’d like to explore options for technical content creation services, visit ContentLab to discover how leading tech companies are connecting with developers via high-value content written by practitioners, for practitioners.