Working as a mobile developer, I created multiple apps during last couple years for companies I worked for, and eventually for personal projects. At the beginning, I though the goal for any developer was the release itself: shipping code and moving on, but I quickly found out that it was more frustrating than everything to stop here. That’s how I started thinking about what should be the next step and if a developer can actually do marketing and how.
After every app published, I used to check analytics everyday and see if people downloaded it. However, there are plenty of apps out there and if you don’t have a marketing plan, your app is just lost with millions others. I guess it’s the same for any product. For me it was really frustrating to see my work becoming useless because nobody use it. Then eventually I started reading books and asking questions to see how marketing can help me doing a better job and finally make apps more relevant and findable.
It sounds logic to me to mix development and a bit of marketing as I was always interested about how to get more traction, how I could improve acquisition, or if the app had a great retention rate, etc. I think it’s a good motivation for developers to know how far their code influences people’s life, even if it’s in a minor way.
During last year, I invested a lot of time about marketing and mobile growth. During meet ups, I asked the same question over and over: “Do you have / know a developer that do a bit marketing too?”. The answer was always no. Usually, Marketing team ask a tech task to the Tech team and that’s it. Once, someone answered me “Probably best is to do what you are best at” but I guess without trying you can’t be better at it.
Finally, after couple books and classes about marketing and growth hacking, I started put in practice what I’ve learned with small projects. Last one I’m working on is FreshDope, a weekly hip hop music selection. I’m not sure about its format yet, but It helped me a lot to understand how to target an audience or how Google and Facebook Adwords works for example.
At the end, my question stays opened as I’m not sure how far development and marketing can be mixed into a one daily job. However, I would love to keep pushing this way and find out what’s gonna pop from it.