Marketing to developers isn’t easy, especially when there’s a general lack of resources available for something as niche. Here are some swipe-worthy resources to get started with in developer marketing.
Developer Marketing Basics
If you’re new to developer marketing, here’s a great place to start with getting a grasp of the basics. Learn some important concepts, and dive into marketing to a more technical audience.
What is Developer Marketing by Iron Horse
The anatomy of a great developer marketing plan by DataDab Insights
What is Developer Marketing by Nisha Baxi
What is Developer Marketing by DevRel
What Is Developer Relations (And Why Should You Care?) by Mary Thengvall
Hands on with Developer Marketing by Karl Hughes
B2D: The No-BS Dynamics of Marketing & Selling to Devs by François from Snipcart
The Developer Advocate’s Guide to Metrics and Reporting by The Worst Dev
Some companies publish a wealth of information about how they operate internally — giving valuable insights into how they run marketing, sales, and grow in general. Two that constantly warrant cross-referencing multiple times are:
GitLab’s Marketing Handbook: The marketing team at GitLab consists of Integrated Marketing, Brand and Product Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Operations, and Analytics, Sales Development, Growth, Corporate Communications, and Developer Relations & Community. Their handbook documents their philosophy and processes.
Posthog’s Marketing Handbook: Posthog does an incredible job of updating its internal handbook, covering everything from company insights, their strategy, and their goals. The marketing section dives deep into how they structure the team, what they’re responsible for, how they approach specific channels, and tons of other information.
Blogs & Websites
Mary Thengvall writes a lot on the topics of Developer Relations and Developer Marketing. The DevRel Path To Success and DevRel Qualified Leads are particularly good reads for those struggling to tie community growth initiatives to commercial goals.
SWYX (Shawn Wang) is a go-to resource for many in technical marketing given his engineering background paired with his commercial chops. The Light and Dark Side of the API Economy makes for a really great read, but for a great listen, tune in to his podcast recording on Jack Bridger’s Scaling DevTools, as they talk about Crossing the Chasm.
Scaling Devtools is an incredible podcast run by Jack from Bitreach. He talks to some marketing leaders in the API space to understand what helps them grow developer tooling. Two episodes worth tuning in to apart from SWYX’s are Making DevTools more human with Carla Sofia Teixeira from Miro and What is good developer marketing? With Nimrod Kramer from Daily.dev.
Developer Markepear by Kuba is another great resource aimed specifically at marketers in API tooling. While building developer focused landing pages is a great teardown, the Developer marketing guide (by a dev tool startup CMO) is by far among the most in-depth and comprehensive guides to developer marketing out there.
Florent Merian also maintains an
awesome-developer-marketing swipe file that’s packed with great resources specific to API marketing, including landing pages, onboarding flows, ads, and copywriting examples.
Developer Marketing Resources
In addition to the websites mentioned, there’s a ton of highly specific posts that tackle common concerns and questions about marketing APIs to highly technical audiences.
The B2D model and marketing to developers enters the concept of what B2D is, and covers some fundamentals on dev marketing.
The Go-To-Market Challenges of B2D Companies takes a shot at the struggled faced by commercial teams when bringing API products to market, as well as some insights into what developers react well to. Tom also has another great post on how Developer Marketing parallels Consumer Marketing.
Enterprise is sexy now. But B2D is sexier. This is a great read on the topic of companies starting to target developers more over the past few years, and how the attractive segment is giving rise to a whole new ecosystem.
A Primer on Developer Marketing covers how it’s hard to market to developers, and brings up the question of ditching your traditional marketing playbook.
Developers Hate Marketing is a publication from Apigee, with 24 pages packed with insights on what developers react to, and how to bring technical products to market.
In a Twitter thread, Nick Moore dives into 50 lessons learned in developer marketing, where he highlights the good, the bad, and the ugly of his time spent in marketing technical products.
For many more single posts specific to developer marketing, check out the full list on
awesome-developer-marketing on GitHub.
API Docs Inspiration
In dev-centric products, docs aren’t just a requirement, they’re basically a feature. Great docs make marketing products so much easier, so here’s a list of some API docs that are extremely well designed/structured for inspiration.
Developers are a big fan of show, don’t tell. These case studies highlight how some dev tool companies had some serious Ws, with a lot of insights to learn from.
Many know how difficult (or impossible) it can be to scale a dev tooling company using paid ads. Developers are known to be anti-ad (for good reason). So seeing how Snowflake went from PPC to IPO is a great case study in seeing performance marketing work for developer tooling.
Another golden-child in developer tooling is Stripe. Stripe’s model of product-led, developer-centric growth is a classic read into the community-first approach that helped them scale to the point of enterprise-readiness, eventually taking over as a default payments API for businesses and individuals across the globe.
How GitHub Built a $7.5B Sales Machine is a fantastic insight into GitHub’s rise to being the default option for version control and hosting code, with a particular focus on their enterprise adoption and their profitable sales motion.
This Twitter thread is a great case on Segment’s growth, their slowdown after crossing $10M ARR, and their meteoric rise back to 100% YoY growth.
From Open-Source to Enterprise: How Vercel Built a Product-Led Motion on top of NextJS is another great read into how Vercel defined its commercial offering on top of NextJS, and built a solid enterprise GTM.