Ecosystem Activation – Engaging Developers
Recall that Ecosystem Activation is about engaging individuals (which may live in customers or partners) and that I’m focusing on developers (versus IT professionals, integrators, or designers). Our purpose in the Acclimate stage is to educate developers on our product capabilities and value proposition.
Start by considering your addressable target audience. This doesn’t need to be the global developer community (about 9 million) but rather those that would have a legitimate reason to integrate with your offering. This represents who you want to connect with in the Advise stage – you just want to be able to reach them with your message.
After defining your addressable ecosystem, determine the number of unique developers you currently reach (hits to your developer pages, impressions from 3rd party advertising, etc.). You’ll need to develop assumptions for the overlap across your communication channels in order to represent unique reach (your baseline).
In the Acclimate stage, we focus on connecting developers to learning channels. Example channels include:
Your own online developer site and events (easy to control the message and measure the activity)
Industry events (conferences) and websites (e.g., Dr. Dobbs)
Community activities (user groups, competitive forums)
Crowdsourcing (developer competitions)
Influencer engagement (assign staff to ‘coach’ industry influencers – more to come on this)
Product launches generate excitement and can be the catalyst to engage and inform developers. Marketing managers own campaign strategies and execution (events and online), as well as messaging and PR relations. This oversight is important to avoid customer & partner confusion (e.g., announcing a new technology can freeze your partners from engaging additional customers if you don’t indicate support time horizons for the ‘legacy’ technology). The technical team (developer advocates or evangelists) own local and online developer engagement, content delivery, and nurturing of influential community members.
Judge the success of marketing and technical efforts in the Acclimate stage by how many developers partake of online and in-person training (participation) and the quality of their experience (satisfaction). Establish a consistent measure (based on % of target ecosystem) to ensure aspirations are in context of the addressable audience.