Media losing clout among Developers

Richard LavenMarket ResearchLeave a Comment


Having studied more than 55,000 developers across the world Apollo Research has found a clear shift in influencer trends, with developers opting to seek news and information from fellow developers and organisations that supply developer tools, over and above industry writers and media.

One of the biggest challenges for any marketer wanting to target developers is to find out who they engage with. This is no easy task due to the mind-boggling number of influencers involved. Our research team set out to examine what developers read, who they follow and where they go for information.

So what did we find? Well for a start, we discovered that John Resig, the Dean of Computer Science at Khan Academy and creator of jquery has almost twice as many developers following his Tweets and blogs than global media brand Wired.

Let me tell you a little bit more: if we separate out the top 100 influencers of Developers into discreet groups, we get a much clearer view of the types of influencer that strike a chord with developers. The table below shows five of the most prominent groups.

By way of explanation: if we focus on one of the groups ‘Technology Organisations’, we can identify the 100 companies followed most by developers. Combined, they reach 64.4 per cent of all developers and each one of those developers is reached 5.8 times (which means that the developers follow an average of 5.8 of these 100 companies).

Take a look at the chart below to see the contrast between the importance of technology media and technology experts to developers.

We ranked each expert and technology media from 1 to 100 depending on their reach among developers. The experts and media at the top have a similar reach but as we work down the rankings, the reach per expert descends at a shallower rate than the media.

These findings represent a considerable opportunity for anyone targeting the ‘hard to reach’ developer audience or running a developer relations program and lay the foundations for a highly defined marketing strategy since through social media it is possible to directly approach individual influencers who reach this target audience.

So for starters, how about inviting them to speak at your developer conferences? And when you send out your invites, make sure they go to the right people. There might be little point inviting German Drupal favourite Anja Schirwinski to address UK-based Drupal developers when Robert Castelo is your man and would it be a waste of time asking Castelo to talk to a group of Germans?

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