Marketing For Developers With Justin Jackson

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Marketing For Developers With Justin Jackson

The boom of the app store and the ease in creating new ideas has forced developers to warm to the idea of doing their own marketing, and Justin Jackson is the expert you're looking for.

· Mobile Zone ·
Free Resource

We've all been there; the app is created, and you just wait for the revenue to flow in, but nothing happens. There's no avoiding the need for marketing. Lucky for us, Justin Jackson has written Marketing for Developers and now he even has a video course. The book has had rave reviews and Justin's insights are well respected, so let's find out more about him now

DZone: Can you introduce yourself to our readers? 

Justin: Hi, I'm Justin. I've worked in the tech industry since 2008, mostly for SaaS startups. Nowadays, I do product consulting and make my own stuff. I live in Vernon, which is a little town in Canada's Okanagan valley. We moved here for the lifestyle. In the winter my family and I ski, and in the summer we go to the beach.

DZone: What brought about the idea for Marketing for Developers? 

Justin: I've been blogging and writing a newsletter for 8 years. The most common question I got was from software developers: "I've built my thing; now how do I market it?" I wanted to address product marketing from the ground up. The biggest mistake I saw engineers making was building a product no one really wanted. So the book starts by explaining how to find an idea people really want, and then doing your marketing from that standpoint.

DZone: How do you bridge the two worlds of marketing and development? 

Justin: Technical marketing is actually a lot like programming. You start with a hypothesis, you test it, and then you iterate on it until it works. I think it's actually easier for a developer to learn marketing, than it is for a marketer to learn programming. Once a developer gets it, they're basically unstoppable. They have both halves of the equation. 

DZone: Your video course and book use a lot of real world experiences right?  

I interviewed 10 people for the video course + the 5 case studies in the book. The principle of building something people want definitely works. Interestingly, the tactics I describe to research an audience's pain, and identify the primary pain point, was shared by almost all the case studies.

DZone: Could you share some key points for  creating a marketing strategy?


  1. Build something people really, really, really want. This is key. You can't throw good marketing after a bad product.

  2. As soon as you start building your product, have a landing page up where you can collect email addresses.

  3. Share your process with people who sign-up, all the way up to launch. It builds anticipation!

DZone: For those of us lacking imagination, could you give us an idea of marketing stunts that could be used?

Justin:  My favorite "marketing as engineering" project was this one by Si Digital. People on the internet could deliver an electric shock to their team members, and watch it live on webcam.

DZone: How do you find the time for all your projects?

I set a deadline. Once I have a deadline, I make the time to make sure I ship on time. Setting a deadline is the only productivity hack you need.

DZone: What projects do you have on the go for 2016?

Justin: My main "fun project" is a podcast called MegaMaker. It includes a public challenge for people to make more in 2016.

On the business side, I'll continue to do short-term marketing projects for people around the world.

DZone: What apps can you not live without?

Justin: I'm pretty simple. I use the Apple Notes + Voice Memos apps 10x a day. I also use the default Apple Mail app. 

For 3rd party apps, I use Tweetbot, Slack, Day One, and Pocket. I've also been experimenting with Anchor and Nuzzel lately


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