Here are the specifics of concern to evangelists (links will appear when content becomes linked):
- Job Descriptions
- Evangelism dependencies
- Deliverables and Events Budgeting spreadsheet
- Events and Conferences
- Calendar of Announcements
- Social media
- Social media strategy
- Sentiment analysis (of favorable words or not)
- Responses to social media
- Competitive Comparisons (by analysts and others)
- Competitive Strategy
- Competitive Comparison Kit (for people to run for themselves)
Objections, and how to handle them
- Target Customers
- Customer References
- Proof Points
- Email databases (User Acquisition)
Remarketing of current or lapsed users
- Product websites
- Product wikis
- User Forums (Google, LinkedIn, Reddit, etc.)
- Product Roadmaps
- Release Schedule
- Enviornments for development, testing, demos, training, etc.
- Demo presentation scripts
- Beta activities
- Live event sign-up administration
- Video production capability
Live Video Streaming
- Participating in Conferences
- Running Conferences
Dynamic projections of tweets, etc.
- Recruitment follow-up
The list above is partly an extension of the vocabulary defined in the Pragmatic Marketing approach.
What do technical evangelists do?
Technical Evangelism is a new role even within some internet companies. So there is confusion about their contribution.
Even though evangelists work mostly with prospects rather than paying customers, evangelists have a different role than Salespeople and Marketing people, even though they may perform those other roles (especially in small companies).
Developers, “customer success”, and technical support people may do evangelism work when needed.
Why technical evangelists?
Organizations need to attract customers from among developers differently today than before, and differently than with other professional groups.
Marketing with traditional media such as radio, printed magazines, and television commercials have less reach among developers than before. While magazines such as Wired and MacWorld are still being printed for newstands, attention from developers has moved to on-line channels such as YouTube, Google groups, Hacker News, and personal blogs.
Conventions and meetups do result in some personal contacts being made, but have limited reach among the total pool of developers.
The acceptance of open source and cloud-based recurring billing over time has replaced up-front “perpetual” licenses. So salespeople cannot afford to personally visit every prospect.
The Pipeline of decision points
So a combination of old and new approaches are necessary to:
- Attention (visit site)
- Trial use on desktop/individual account
- Discussion with others in the organization
- Trial production use
- Recognition of value
- Widespread production deployment
- Production usage recognized as “stable”
- Public customer testimonial
Later on this page we identify how to get efficient at getting people along this pipeline.
Who looks into these at your organization?
Tradtional marketing focuses only on the initial attention. by identifying the total market still needs to be defined.
Traditional sales focuses only on getting customers to sign.
Traditional technical support waits until customers complain.
Transcend technical complexity
The role of a technical evangelist grew out of a need to better handle the exponential growth of the complexity of software products that require integration of many many components:
- Access to AWS, Google, or Microsoft Azure cloud
- Shell scripts to move files and invoke programs
- Puppet or Chef recipes to build services
- Kupernetes to spin up instances
- Kafka to manage messaging traffic
- Git client and GitHub cloud to manage version backups
- Artifactory asset repository to manage binary assets
Sumologic, Logstash, and Kibana capturing logs from servers for analysis
- Eclipse, or Visual Studio to edit programs
- Jenkins or Bamboo for running continuous integration jobs
- SonarQube or other static code scanner
Gatling, JMeter or other tools to impose artificial load
Oh there are also communication tools:
- Photoshop or Sketch or Visio to create images
- Camtasia to capture screencasts and edit videos
- Jekyll to generate static markdown text in the correct folders
The best evangelists enable internal and external developers to understand and master technologies faster and easier.
The primary competitive advantage any organization can have is the ability of its people to learn and absorb new technologies and concepts faster than their competitors.
Ideally, a complex product line would have several evangelists so each can focus on a particular technology. However, technologies need to integrate well, so evangelists need to collaborate across the organization.
In short, evangelists accelerate the flow of useful information around a creative organization. From developers to technical support. From developers to end-users.
Evangelists may construct training courses, but they do it to gain early expertise with new products and how it’s used, not as a revenue-generating activity.
Evangelists do this by building communities around technologies.
If I were to suddenly becomes a developer evangelist, here’s what I would do:
Be proactive with time:
[ ] Find out what conventions to participate in, and apply to speak.
The longest critical task are sign-ups for conventions, which happen 6+ months ahead.
[ ] Have a travel schedule to organize meetups, customer meetings, and training events well ahead of time.
[ ] Protect the “margin” of time blocks during the year, month, week, day to breath and catch-up.
Know your customers:
[ ] Identify reference accounts? Arrange to talk with them regularly to see get ahead of their needs.
[ ] Go through the list of Fortune 500, the list of Unicorns, and target. Have them in the company’s Salesforce sytem. What is the status of each organization (the status within the pipeline)?
Focus on what people need and want
Coming up with a better “angle” to attract attention is only one part of what needs to be done.
[ ] Identify what prospects and customers need at each point in the pipeline.
[ ] Identify what peers need, and when.
[ ] Brainstorm the breakthroughs and disruptions. Cultivate thought leadership.
Keep others informed:
[ ] Plan out the calendar of emails to keep in contact throughout the year.
It takes time to come up with attention-getting subject lines appropriate to times when people are most likely to be attentive during the year, the month, the week, the day.
[ ] Draft the timing of tweets and other social media.
There are a whole series of events leading up to and following up on an event.
[ ] Meet with peers to clarify roles and how each can help each other.
[ ] Leverage peers in the industry.
I am working on a way for people to contribute tutorials on specific tutorials so that someone can get productive across all that one needs skill.
[ ] Schedule and hold online hangouts regularly.
Measure efficiency and effectiveness
[ ] Draft a budget.
It’s a paradox that the way to avoid too much focus on activity rather than outcomes is to have a budget of where time and money will go. Insights come from discussions about the budgeting (the priorities and risks) not the budget themselves.
Sure, the resulting outcome is to move people along the pipeline at the least cost and time.
The fast pace of innovation today means that evangelists need to be involved during the design and construction of products – not after a product is done and developers have moved on.
In other words, evangelists need to be among designers and developers to ensure enough time to devise the most appropriate messaging. Evangelists need to be involved with overall marketing planning and execution so their social media postings are worded and tagged for maximum engagement by the public.
Evangelists need to work with QA to re-purpose test programs and data for use to construct the demo ennvironment and scripts needed for pre-sales work.
Please help evangelists
Given the confusion, evangelists need help, especially from managers and executive who are seeking a change in the culture of customer satisfaction.
If you’re an executive, rehearse with evangelists how to explain their role and contribution to others. Make sure evangelists get the information and cooperation they need to do their best job.
Let me know what you think. Fork this repo and send a pull request. Shout out below: