Developer relations (A.K.A. DevRel) has its own set of key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll want to keep track of to measure how successful your developer marketing strategies are.

But what are metrics? And how do you choose the right ones for you? In this article, we’re answering these questions and delving deeper into the developer relations metrics you should keep in mind when measuring your campaigns.

What are marketing metrics?

Marketing metrics are used to monitor and measure performance over time, as a way to gauge the success of your strategies – for example, if you want more people to become aware of your product, then tracking web traffic or brand impressions on social channels can tell you whether people are noticing you more.

There isn’t one, definitive set of metrics you should absolutely use. The metrics you pick will depend on several factors, such as what you want to achieve with your strategy. So, you’ll find that you’re not always using the same KPIs and must instead choose what’ll give you the best information.

Examples of marketing metrics include:

  • Click-through rate
  • Impressions
  • Engagement rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Follower count
  • Number of subscribers
  • Email opens

In short, think about what you want to measure, as well as your goals, and this will help inform your choice. Otherwise, you risk getting data that doesn’t apply to you and is irrelevant to your marketing efforts as a result.

You can find more metrics – and what they mean – in our “Developer marketing 101: the top terms you should be aware of” blog.

7 DevRel metrics you should consider

Developer relations has different goals than developer marketing, since it focuses more on establishing, maintaining, and growing relationships with developers, instead of focusing on increasing awareness, product adoption, and evangelization of tech products.

It’s about the people and their actions, which is why developer communities are so important in this industry.

With this in mind, take a look at some of the metrics you want to keep an eye on, so you’re aware if you’re meeting your goals or if you have to tweak your strategies and/or approach.

1. New users or members

This is an easy metric to measure because it’s so quantifiable, as it refers to new members in the community (as well as on your website, and demo or trial sign-up, for example) as you expand your DevRel efforts.

To drive more engagement and increase the number of sign-ups, be authentic, build trust, and create great content that’s valuable for your audience.

7 top tips for creating great content for developers
You can use content to build trust with developers, get new leads, increase conversions, grow relationships, and so much more. Whether you’re looking to increase brand awareness or drive more sales, you need content.

You can measure this metric by monitoring the views you get on your content, the number of visitors and subscribers, checking the time spent on page, and so much more.

2. Documentation

Documentation is important in developer marketing because devs are a unique audience with specific pain points and needs that differ from many other personas – therefore, marketing tactics that may work in a B2B or B2C setting, won’t work in B2D (business to developer) marketing.

By creating documentation, you’re allowing developers to dive into your product’s details more easily (which can lead to a boost in adoption), provide them with ongoing support they can use whenever they need, etc.

From compiling all the questions devs may have about your offerings to building a list of documents that showcase the code used, you can greatly benefit from documentation.

But how can you tell if it’s working to drive more sales/product adoption, or whether it’s keeping devs engaged? Simply keep track of questions developers are asking and confirm whether your involvement has changed anything – or do they ask the same questions over and over again, for example?

Additionally, to tell if your documentation is working, check if there are fewer questions asked in general. If the number’s decreased since you published it, then your documents are doing their job and keeping developers satisfied.

Other ways to check the success of your documentation is to look at page views or time on page or to ask developers directly with surveys.

3. Active users

You may have a huge number of users on your dev community, product trial, or demo, for example, but this doesn’t mean they’re engaged.

This is why you should measure active users instead, as they’re the ones who participate in discussions, ask questions, and more. To convert people into active users, make sure to answer their queries in a timely manner and provide solutions to problems as soon as you can.

Tracking this metric is easy – you can track things like the number of developers asking questions or engaging with your product, the social media users who engage with you, and the devs who sign into your platform.

This is a huge north star metric, and another way to gauge whether your strategies are working is to look at this metric’s growth – is the number of active developers rising every day/week/month?

Why developer communities matter
Today, we’re focusing on developer communities. They’re channels or platforms that allow devs to engage in discussions with one another, as well as in conversations with experts. It provides a place for them to thrive and grow as well.

4. Product usage

How are developers interacting with your product? Are they even interacting at all?

This KPI can tell you whether your product, be it a SaaS product, an API, a tool, etc., is solving your audience’s problems.

If you find that developers aren’t using your product, then it could be that they don’t find it useful or that it doesn’t meet their needs. This is why it’s so important to get developer feedback before the product goes live. You’re able to tweak features to match devs’ requirements, which can increase adoption rates.

How do you measure success with this KPI? There are several ways to do this, including by tracking churn rate, star ratings, and reviews, as well as measuring the duration of user sessions on your website and checking the number of daily active users, just to mention a few.

5. Net Promoter Score

Another metric you may want to keep in mind is Net Promoter Score (NPS), which indicates how likely people are to recommend you to someone they know.

This is measured on a scale of 0 to 10 with the goal of putting people into categories. Those who answer between 0-6 are considered detractors, 7-8 passive responders, and 9-10 promoters, which also means they’re the most likely to recommend your product to a friend or co-worker.

The Net Promoter Score is then calculated by: NPS = % of promoters – % of detractors

If you have a higher number of promoters than detractors, then the strategies you have in place are probably working!

6. DevRel Qualified Leads

Mary Thengvall, Director of Developer Relations at Camunda, talks about DevRel Qualified Leads, a metric that reflects the talent you have and the “value of the work” you can “uniquely do”.

This term doesn’t relate to sales, despite being similar in name to the sales term.

Instead, here, ‘qualified leads’ refers to external people who can contribute value to the company – while you may not be responsible for the number of leads the marketing team gets at an event, for example, you can pass contacts to the rest of your team and, together, you may have a better chance of reaching goals.

DevRel Qualified Leads allow you to keep track of who did what and to attribute value to tasks, so that you can more easily see what works and what doesn’t in your campaigns.

Event networking tips for developer marketers
Building your contacts and forging relationships is crucial as a marketer, so these networking tips aim to help you put your best foot forward.

7. Customer Satisfaction Score

Also called CSAT, this score measures how satisfied customers are with your company, product or interaction. For this, you’ll use a numbered scale and can ask a question as simple as, ‘How happy are you with your experience?’

In the developer marketing industry, you can use things like star ratings or community feedback to understand just how satisfied devs are with your offerings, for example, which can help guide your marketing decisions in the future.

CSAT scores depend on the industry you work in, but you’ll want an overall score of between 75-85% no matter what, which indicates your customers are happy with your service, product or communication. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, if you provide computer software, your score should be 77%.

You can send out surveys to gauge satisfaction levels before devs are meant to renew a product subscription, for example, or to check whether customer support did a good job – so, there are multiple benefits of using CSAT scores!

In short

Measuring the impact of your marketing strategies is crucial to know whether they’re working or if you need to tweak anything – and choosing the right metrics and KPIs is equally important, since they allow you to get the right data (i.e., data that’s relevant to your campaign).