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  • 🍐#33: Actionable developer personas, marketing KPIs, and a great explainer video

🍐#33: Actionable developer personas, marketing KPIs, and a great explainer video


What do you call two pears? A pair 🍐;)

This week on the agenda:

  • How to create actionable developer personas (my new article)

  • Which KPIs are owned by marketing (and other depts)

  • CircleCI code and UI presentation in video ad

  • + a few bonus links at the end

Let’s go!

🪧 Promo

Last minute(ish) to get ready for the:

Probably this will be the most folks who get dev marketing in one room this year. If I was in the US at that time I’d check it out.

+You can get 15% off if you use this code “DMPEAR15”

Developer marketing insights

1. How to create actionable developer personas

I never liked those classic user persona slides. I like things to be useable, and actionable. And they rarely were.

I mean, how is that hobby or age or a smiling headshot going to help me market an observability platform?

So, finally, I sat down and wrote my thoughts around developer personas.


  • Some things around developer segmentation can be useful for you (tech stack, geo, enterprise vs startup etc)

  • But “why they need it” is as important (if not more) than “who are they” (jobs to be done)

  • For marketing, knowing what triggered that dev to start looking and what happened after is gold

  • There are various dimensions that could be useful to you (I list all of them in the post)

  • But you should choose just a few that are useful and actionable for you right now

2. What KPIs does marketing own?

Kyle Poyar in his recent post talked about KPIs and who owns what by department.

OpenView is mostly a PLG VC fund with many dev tool startups in there, so it is relevant to us for sure.

And as per marketing, it seems that most often we own:

  • Acquisition like new Signups, and leads (duh)

  • Self-serve revenue but not free-to-paid conversion

While the first one is obvious, the second one is interesting.

If self-served free-to-paid conversion has to happen for any revenue to come then why doesn’t marketing own it nearly as often?

I think it is the tools that departments can provide.

You get to that first revenue through product onboarding, docs, and initial enablement materials. That feels like product/growth.

Once that happens you need to grow accounts.

And when those accounts don’t talk to sales (and in self-served they don’t by definition) you need to continue growing awareness of features, adoption, and usage.

Marketing can definitely help with that and often leads the way.

3. CircleCI code and UI presentation in video ad

Showing code and UI in an explainer video is always a dance and rarely ends well.

You want to show the code to make it devy.
But you don't want to show everything not to overwhelm.

The same goes for UI which should look like your UI.
But show only what is necessary.

It's a struggle but CircleCI does it really nicely in this explainer:

  • They blur out all code

  • But use colors to make it really look like code

  • And the file sits clearly in a text editor (as it should)

They do the same for the UI later in the video.

Just a really clean way of explaining things. Nice!

How can I make this better?

I hope you learned something new. Did you, though?

What would you like to read more about?
Reply to this and let me know.

Talk to you next week,

Need more developer marketing insights?

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3. Bonus links to check out

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