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 How to Market to Developers with a Product-Led Growth and Enterprise Go-to-Market Playbook

: How to Market to Developers with a Product-Led Growth and Enterprise Go-to-Market Playbook

It feels like every SaaS company is scrambling to figure out their developer marketing strategy. But is it actually any different than all your other marketing strategies? Francesca Krihely has spent over a decade at MongoDB and Synk solving for this persona. In this episode, we rumble through what you need to do — and what to avoid — to build relationships with software developers.


  • The DevSecOps community
  • How to market well to developers
  • What to do when you’re starting a project
  • Understanding the developer persona
  • Importance of design thinking
  • Building a Career
  • Be a “learn-it-all”, not a know-it-all

Listen to the podcast:

Key Takeaways:

The DevSecOps community


The DevSecOps community brings together different technical groups across an organization that never talked to each other, helping them work together more harmoniously.

“For many developer tools, companies, community is the way that they drive their growth and they get started because there’s a strong and passionate community that found an answer to one of their core problems in your product, and they’re excited about it. And with Snyk it’s the same, with Snyk it’s more that the change that we’re looking to usher into the market around.This thing called DevSecOps, which is DevOps but with security in it all the time. It’s bringing all these different technical groups together across the IT and r and d organization that never talked to each other and often stood in the way of one another and helping them work together that they can software that’s safer, release it faster and work more harmoniously together. And that’s the community that is, that we resonate with and that comes to us.”

How to market well to developers


Developer tools are necessary for any technical job and can be difficult to use.

“Sometimes, something that you try on your own laptop is not going to scale up to production. There’s repercussions of choosing the wrong software and making those incorrect decisions are really high. If you ever looked at a developer’s workflow, there’s a lot of tools involved, there’s a lot of process. The actual art of software development and solving those problems is taxing.They’re discerning about these things cuz they don’t want you to say “this is better than anything you’ve ever tried” because they don’t believe that could  be true; they’ve been lied to before. My guidance is speak to them in their language. Help them understand how what you’re doing can help them, not why it’s the best thing in the world and how it’s the best version of what they’ve ever seen you do, but help them understand the problems that you solve.”

Understanding the developer persona


 Get educated first and providing more value upfront.

“The times where folks get it wrong is when they don’t understand enough about who their target audience is and don’t understand their pain points. Or they think they understand and try to simplify it. Or they try to simplify the problem so much in a way that’s easy to communicate.Then folks who are more discerning will say “it’s not that simple, it’s more complicated than that.” When you first get into the world of doing this type of marketing to this audience, go to the subject matter experts or the people themselves and get their perspective on what’s working and what’s not.”

User testing can help you create better experiences


Always do user testing before releasing or starting something.

“One thing that I learned from that is always do user testing before you release something, and always do it before you start something, cuz you need to have some background that you can have defensible reasons for why you designed something. Now the way we do that at SNE we have a more robust conversion optimization program.”

Importance of design thinking


It is important to have constructive conversations in order to create the best possible design

“One of the challenges with anything related to design is that you get a lot of people who aren’t designers saying, I don’t like that and you don’t know why. And they don’t know why you made something that way or why you chose to make those decisions. It helps everyone focus the conversation in a way that is constructive and allows us to make the best possible outcome for and help us move forward in a way that allows us to build a better design for the end user.”

Building a Career


Francesca loves problem solving in computer science and building because it is hard and engaging

“The thing that I loved about computer science and building, programming in general that I’ve always taken with me is the problem solving’s hard and I was engaged by that. And then it was cool to tell a computer to do something and then have it do that and then understand the steps that you had to do to get the computer to do that thing. And then when you missed a step I, I would always say to people, the computer does what you say it should do. And if you missed a step, it was cool to figure out , oh, this was that little thing. I had to put in there to make sure that the logic was totally correct. And that has followed me a long way because much of what of when I’m in my working life is , what’s the simplest way that we can figure something out together?”

Be a “learn-it-all”, not a know-it-all


It is important to stay curious and focused on what one is doing.

“If you’re a learner and not a knower, you’re way more likely to get better and improve. Anytime I think I know everything is when I make mistakes. It’s the same with skiing. When you’re skiing, if you think you know the route you’re on, you make mistakes because you’re not thinking about the obstacles that are in your way and the turns you need to make, and the other people who are there. You’re assuming that you know everything you need to know to run down. But when you get curious about ” huh, how’s the powder feeling today? Or, how’s the ice feeling today?” If you stay curious and stay focused on everything that’s changing, you’re way more likely to have a successful run and not fall and not hurt yourself not injure anyone else. You have to stay curious, stay engaged with what you’re doing, and learn from other people. Listen to your team. Listen to the ideas they have, help them speak their mind. Help them help you do a better job.”

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David Khim

David is co-founder and CEO of Omniscient Digital. He previously served as head of growth at and Fishtown Analytics, and before that was growth product manager at HubSpot where he worked on new user acquisition initiatives to scale the product-led go-to-market.