Dev Rel needs open lines of communication to marketing

Dev Rel Bill of Rights, Article 4

Developer Relations is one of the most strategically important roles for any company that wants to build a successful technology platform. We’re working with the community to create a Dev Rel Bill of Rights. In this article we explore article 4: Open lines of communication to marketing.

Developer relations must be able to collaborate on messaging, communications and outreach efforts to ensure that marketing and Dev Rel initiatives are coordinated and coherent.

One of the most important relationships that Dev Rel professionals can have within their organizations is with the marketing and communications teams that define the messages being shared with the world. In some companies, Dev Rel itself reports to marketing, or relies on a marketing team to provide necessary resources to do the work of reaching developers.

Some of the time, though, marketing teams can see their relationship with Dev Rel as one way — delivering messages that Dev Rel must incorporate into their work. But a collaborative, supportive relationship between Dev Rel and marketing that’s two-way can unlock the full potential of taking developers seriously as a key audience to reach with a marketing message.

What’s more, marketing can often serve as a role model for Dev Rel professionals, because as a more mature industry, marketing enjoys the benefit of marketing analytics tools, and even the kind of executive support that can come from a CMO being a C-level executive. Almost no companies have a metrics-based Dev Rel practice or a C-level executive who directly oversees Dev Rel. Until that’s common, bringing these two essential functions into close collaboration is the best way to ensure that both Dev Rel and marketing reach their full potential.

Questions to ask:

  • Does a Dev Rel team have regular, predictable meetings or communication channels with the marketing team? Do leaders on both teams have a method of ensuring ongoing communications?
  • When the marketing team defines its goals, does Dev Rel have a say in helping to shape those goals? Are Dev Rel goals aligned with the timing and intent of marketing’s initiatives?
  • If Dev Rel needs additional resources like personnel, budget or tools, is there a structured process for requesting these resources from marketing?

Read the original Dev Rel Bill of Rights and discover the other articles in this series. And check out Glitch for Platforms, where we’re building the first set of business analytics tools for Dev Rel professionals.