With the widespread adoption of sales enablement tools, such
as automated email marketing tools that enable a continuous cadence of outbound
messages, consumers became drowned in the noise. As an example, 53 percent of
consumers polled by DMA Insights
indicated that they get too many irrelevant emails. For a lot of marketers,
this might all sound eerily like their current programs, but starting in the
early 2010s, some innovative marketers started to deploy account-based marketing
ABM reverses the traditional top-down pyramid, with the
focus on creating a subset of customers that marketers have selected based on a
deep understanding of customer needs and their own product’s value proposition.
According to research
by the ITSMA, 87 percent of companies believe that ABM marketing delivers a
higher return on investment than other types of marketing. Meanwhile, Demand
Metric noted that 69 percent of ABM users said the primary benefit of the
approach was better aligned sales and marketing teams.
Applying ABM to
Developer communities started to take off with the use of
open-source software in the 1990s and early 2000s, resulting in the formation
of groups like Linux and Mozilla. Open-source software now leads certain markets.
To support this, the active developer community has grown to approximately 21
million (according to Chris
percent of total programming pull requests.
The blockchain developer community is
currently dominated by Ethereum, with ConsenSys claiming 250,000 developers
using that platform. This information is supported by Kevin Rooke, who noted
that 94 out of the top-100 blockchain projects were launched on the Ethereum network.
For new blockchain companies, perhaps the best approach to
scale a community is not to compete with the relatively small Ethereum
community, but to attract other developers who are looking for new ways to
build blockchain applications.
To market to these developers, companies initially relied on
word-of-mouth from an enthusiastic community, and then scaled as businesses
deployed open-source software into existing proprietary software environments.
This approach worked well at the onset of the open-source movement when there
were a limited number of new entrants, but the difficulty is in scaling up a
developer community in a highly competitive market for developers where there
are alternative software communities providing similar products.
Adopting the ABM process to building a developer community
can help address this, since it has proven to successfully work in scaling to
target large customer bases. The mindset change it requires is that the focus
is not finding “general” developers but those that represent the target
To build this profile, marketers should understand the
journey that a developer goes through in determining what programming language
to spend his or her time on. Also, working with the technical team of the
company, understand what the psychographic attributes of the ideal
developer profile are. Psychographic attributes include information on
someone’s personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyles.
For companies thinking about this approach, HubSpot has developed a free
guide to help build a psychographic profile.
Once this groundwork is accomplished, the next strategy for
the community manager is to build an outbound engagement strategy based on
getting developers to know, then like and ultimately trust the blockchain
programming language as a long-term platform for them to work on. Using the
profile and daily journey profile, a marketer should have a good idea on whom
to reach on what sites.
Throughout this ABM process, every step of the onboarding
process should be measured and constantly optimized. For example, placing all
content shared in a centralized content management system (i.e., Salesforce)
that can track engagement.
In summary, ABM does provide a new framework on how to
identify the right developer profile at scale. For those community managers
with the willingness to learn from other applications of this approach, ABM
provides a better strategy to succeed in winning developer mindshare and time.