The greenblood channel for developer marketing
The greenblood channel is how tools, SDKs and libraries spread when developers move to new teams.
What is the Greenblood channel?
The greenblood channel (“greener pastures” + “fresh blood”) is the natural process of tool pollination that occurs when developers move to new teams.
It is a natural, self-sustaining cross-pollination of best practices, methodologies and tools that occurs between tech companies and across generations of software hires.
The big companies understand this channel extremely well and tap into it on a regular basis. It is the cornerstone of their marketing strategy. But few other companies are tapping into greenblood marketing, so this is now one of the best ways to sell software in 2020.
I’ve come up with a mnemonic, “GREENS”, to explain the greenblood channel because that’s so dated and totally not what marketers are supposed to do, but I’m a geek, so I’m going to be corky about it. :-)
Here’s how the greenblood channel works.
1. G — Grok
2. R — Rotate
3. E — Endorse
4. E — Embed
5. N — New generation
6. S — Spread of the tool
G — Grok
(“grok” means to learn deeply)
Alice is a cool developer chick. She recently learned about FooTool through her workplace, or maybe through a hackathon. It doesn’t really matter, but she really likes the tool anyway, and starts using it to solve her problems.
She starts telling her friends about FooTool and how great it is. She even uses the community version in her personal projects.
R — Rotate
At some point, Alice is hired by a new company, Acorn Corp. Her new team is excited about the new hire, and totally curious about what tools she uses.
Alice mentions a few different tools. She makes special mention of FooTool, which she loves the most from the bunch.
(bad Alice, you shouldn’t play favourites with your tech tools :-|)
E — Endorse
Within a few weeks, Alice gets her hands on her first major project (yay!). Alice strongly recommends using FooTool in the project. She already knows how to use it, and talks her co-workers’ ears off about FooTool and how great it is.
She talks about FooTool at a lightning talk which is very well received. She’s asked to do a lunch-n-learn about it. She sends a few tutorials for FooTool to Acorn’s #developer slack channel. All the devs at Acorn now know about FooTool.
E — Embedded
Because Alice has been recommending FooTool so much, Acorn’s head architect agrees to experiment with using FooTool in Alice’s new project. Alice integrates FooTool into her project successfully.
The team is happy with FooTool and its features, and Acorn’s head architect requests IT to buy 4 FooTool licenses, opting for the Business package (DING DING DING! SALE!!!!).
But what’s even better than the sale is what comes next.
N — New generation
Alice has now been at FooTool for 6 months. Over this time, she has expressed how awesome FooTool is and has continuously advocated for its use.
Because there is already a project that has successfully used FooTool, dev teams across Acorn start using FooTool. Acorn expands its FooTool license to the Enterprise edition and adds 12 more seats to the subscription.
S — Spread of the tool
It has now been more than a year since Alice used FooTool in her project.
Many developers at Acorn have used FooTool and come to love it. They’ve talked about it with their friends. Some have tweeted about it. One even wrote a tutorial for FooTool.
When developers are hired to work on Acorn’s source code, they learn FooTool. When they leave, they take FooTool with them, and FooTool organically spreads throughout the local economy.
Some people think it’s word-of-mouth, but FooTool knows it’s because of the greenblood channel.
Greenblood marketing is hands-on
Developers need to first try your product hands-on, then be convinced that it’s right for them.
The only way to do this is by handing your tool to them and asking them to play with it and see how they like it.
Then you need to take their feedback and implement it in your tool.
Then go back, get more feedback, and repeat.
If you’re interested in learning more, leave a comment below or find me on LinkedIn. Would be glad to grab an e-beer and shoot the bull.
Cheers my friend, and may the force be with you.