What a developer community can tell you about martech

When you’re seeking to adopt a new component of your martech stack, it makes sense to take an in-depth look at the tool’s functionality and interface. You might also ask questions about the vendor’s roadmap — what its developers plan to add to the platform or tool in the coming months.

What you might not think to look at is the developer community surrounding a particular tool. The members of this group aren’t employed by the vendor but, for whatever reason — their own utility, their company’s agenda, etc. — they’ve developed add-ons or integrations that enhance the overall functionality of the software.

Software vendors can foster a developer community by clearly documenting their API, by releasing an SDK, by providing support and by testing, curating and showcasing these add-ons and integrations in an app store or extension directory or something similar.

The subject arose when Intelliphi principal Anand Thaker and I were discussing the characteristics that help prospective users differentiate between B2B Marketing Automation platforms. (Thaker generously served as advisor for our Martech Intelligence Report on the sector.) He believes a vendor’s partner and community ecosystems play important roles in helping enterprise users select and fully utilize a tool’s capabilities.

Looking at developer communities is especially helpful when considering a partnership in a category like B2B Marketing Automation, because a brand’s marketing efforts often center around this critical platform. Therefore, integrations that link the platform to CRMs and other martech platforms are essential for it to fulfill this purpose.

And cultivating a community of developers around a platform can provide benefits that are far from obvious at the start. “Third-party developers,” says Detlef Johnson, the SEO for Developers Expert for Search Engine Land and SMX, “can extend the application beyond what the original founding developers imagined.”

Find out more about key considerations for B2B Marketing Automation platforms by downloading our Martech Intelligence Report on the topic today.

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