In today’s dynamic world, marketing plays a key role in the success of companies and organizations. In the technology sector, where innovation and development are inextricably linked, there are several approaches to promoting products and services. Two of these approaches worth exploring in more detail are Dev Marketing and Tech Marketing.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the differences between Developer Marketing and Tech Marketing and how these two strategies can complement each other. We will look at the specifics of the two approaches, focusing on aspects such as audience segmentation, communication methods, advertising channels, and marketing objectives. We will also provide examples from both areas and offer insights into how technology companies can leverage the synergistic potential of these strategies to further enhance their marketing efforts.
Let’s start with basic terms and definitions.
Dev marketing (developer marketing) is essentially marketing aimed at developers. It involves a combination of specific tactics designed to increase awareness and adoption of programming tools and technological solutions among various groups of professionals, including backend, frontend, and mobile developers, as well as software and system architects, and data scientists.
Tech marketing is a much broader concept than dev marketing. It could even be argued that dev marketing is a specific subset of tech marketing, specifically targeting developers.
Tech marketing essentially refers to technical marketing. It involves marketing that is tailored to technical audiences, such as those emphasizing technical specifications or addressing specific technological challenges – in such cases, it becomes dev marketing. Additionally, tech marketing can also encompass the marketing of technical products, which is the most common form we address when discussing tech marketing.
Just like in the case of dev marketing, the target audience comprises programmers. However, in tech marketing, the recipients can also include IT decision-makers, business professionals, marketers, product managers, and other individuals who may not necessarily possess technical expertise.
Basic differences between dev marketing and tech marketing
Different audience segmentation
Dev marketing is aimed at a technical audience – usually developers, while tech marketing aims to reach a diverse audience.
Dev marketing involves delivering more technical and detailed messages, including various types of documentation, specifications, responses to technical inquiries, tutorials, and even open-source projects accessible to everyone.
Conversely, tech marketing prioritizes straightforward and easily understandable messages. The aim is to make complex and intricate technological projects accessible to individuals with limited technical expertise or non-technical backgrounds.
In dev marketing, traditional channels like social media, AdWords, or newsletters can certainly be utilized. However, a distinctive aspect of effective dev marketing is the incorporation of specialized platforms and tools, such as GitHub or Stack Overflow.
In tech marketing, as in the case of non-technological products, a wide range of channels is used, including popular social media platforms, websites, blogs, paid advertisements, events, etc.
The Purpose of Promotion
Dev marketing aims to persuade programmers, architects, or engineers to select a specific product or service. It seeks to demonstrate that by using this particular product, their work will become more straightforward, enjoyable, or automated.
Tech marketing can encompass various objectives, including building brand awareness, as well as, as mentioned earlier, generating leads and ultimately increasing sales.
Synergy between dev marketing and tech marketing
Dev marketing and tech marketing are not mutually exclusive concepts. On the contrary, it is common for a company to employ both of these marketing approaches concurrently, and they often complement each other.
For instance, technology companies can utilize tech marketing to target business customers and, simultaneously, employ dev marketing to facilitate seamless integration of their services with existing systems. To achieve this, they establish developer-focused portals, where they publish technical documentation, plugins, code snippets, or SDKs, demonstrating to their clients’ developers that integration with their tools will be straightforward.
Conversely, companies offering products for developers can leverage traditional marketing methods to reach a broader audience.
Specific examples of dev marketing and tech marketing
One of the best examples of great dev marketing is Stripe’s. You only have to go to their homepage to see that the message is primarily aimed at developers who, infected by the vision of easy integration with Stripe, want to integrate it with every next project they have to implement.
Let’s look at an example of using tech marketing – in the same industry, with a very similar product. However, the approach is different, focused on a different recipient, on a different decision-maker, more business-oriented. We are talking about the marketing strategy of GlobalPayments.
So is the Adyen company. Again – a very similar service, almost identical – and a completely different approach.
What about dev marketing itself?
The examples above are, of course, hybrids of sorts. Stripe focuses primarily on marketing to developers but also offers technical marketing. Similarly, GlobalPayments and Adyen primarily pursue a tech marketing strategy but also integrate dev marketing.
But are there companies that do development/tech marketing separately? Yes. Excellent examples are GitHub, Snowflake or Bootstrap, where developers are familiar with these platforms, while people without a development background may understand them less well. And that’s fine – they are not their target audience. They will not decide whether they want to use these tools or not.
Catering to the Non-Technical Crowd
These are also not isolated cases. Some companies create complex technological products intended for use by individuals who may not possess technical expertise. Therefore, the message must be tailored accordingly. Good examples in this regard include Brand24, Basecamp, or LiveChat. Although it must be acknowledged that, in some cases, a touch of dev marketing may be present in these businesses, the majority of their marketing efforts are directed towards a broader audience beyond technical individuals.
There is no single, specific, and universally the best approach for every business to adopt.
Both dev marketing and tech marketing can be employed to promote virtually the same tech product. Moreover, in the vast majority of cases, it is advisable to seek synergy and utilize both of these promotional approaches. This approach often yields the most favorable results.
Ultimately, what matters most is that our message reaches precisely the audience we care about.