Building a Community of Developers

Creating a successful community marketing campaign for coders with Mettl.

Industry/Use Case


    This company was founded in 2012 by Spenser Skates and Curtis Liu after they worked on a text-by-voice app called Sonalight and realized that the available analytics tools didn’t let them dig deep enough. They set out to solve their own pain, and ended up building analytics that helps companies of any size gain valuable insights from user behavior.

    Now, it is a fast-growing team located in San Francisco. Their core investors include Benchmark Capital, Battery Ventures, and Y Combinator.


    When we talk the American apparel brand – Nike, and the community amassed, we often forget the time involved. Communities are champions to customer-brand loyalty, providing what’s known as an interactive customer service. However, just as champions, communities from a business perspective require love, time and nurture.

    For them, this was an idea of marketing genius. After all, who would not want:

    1. Better Customer-Focused Product Development,
    2. Reduced Communication Barriers,
    3. Increased Feedback & Customer Concern Identification,
    4. Valuable Transparency, and
    5. Enthusiastic Word-of-Mouth Marketing.

    But to recap the benefits without the seeds is what many would call a fool’s errand. To rev the community engine to a surge, they faced a couple of challenges in terms of:

    1. Customer Community Location
    By choosing the perfect place to build a community marketing effort, a brand is more likely to drive participation. For example, a community of teenagers would be drawn to a Facebook or Twitter based community. A group of programmers may be more willing to participate in a coding forum.

    2. The Purpose of the Interaction
    It’s important to decide on what their customers would want to gain from this interaction. For example, would this be a community to receive troubleshooting advice, special offers, share stories with other loyalists, or a combination of them all?

    At the end of the day, community marketing campaigns rank among the best ways for a company to develop what’s known as a Brand Voice. Why? Simply because, communication within a company is two-sided, the brand has numerous opportunities to interact with customers.

    There are several factors not included in calculations of an online community’s return on investment. The most noticeable is the product and service innovation that comes from being closer to your market. Understanding your market’s problems more clearly can make a tremendous different in your business, as you are able to create more profitable offerings.


    Customer communities may form on their own in a more natural manner, or a company could set the groundwork for it, thereby drawing customers to it. They saw their community potential propel towards their now robust Certification Platform.

    A community for developers and technical aficionados alike? This was their answer, and it was an answer worth a goldmine. Considering the potential of their own JavaScript library as well, it was certainly possible to develop this fast-growth model of a community for people keen to master and acquire certification on the same.

    The Business Solution aimed to also drive immense growth in their inbound, word-of-mouth, and social marketing channels.

    On the flipside, they also partnered with the best service providers worldwide to offer a continuum of complementary products and services for its customers through its Solutions Partners Program. Interesting, right?
    The Certification Program also aimed to enable partners to exhibit their acumen and proficiency with the complete platform. However, this bold idea came with its set of constraints.

    1. Time & Resource Constraints
    Building a technical assessment program from scratch was simply out of the question.
    2. Scale & Functionality Constraints
    They did consider existing certificate application solutions, but not one offered the sophistication, scale and functionality to match
    their global and enterprise-grade needs.

    However, with a sense of pride on their backs, key strategists of the company refused the deterrents. All in all, the customer experience optimization software company wanted to turn their community into not merely a marketing strategy, but a business strategy.

    And thus, the search began to find anything that would catalyse the birth of their business strategy.


    Nike shares slipped 1.5 percent in 2012, hours after the athletic wear company reported a low-quality earnings beat and weak future order numbers in the fiscal first quarter.

    That number refers to orders placed by wholesale customers that were not delivered during the quarter, and have traditionally been considered a proxy for future demand.

    However, in a world enabled by Web 2.0 technologies, they refused to wait four-five years for their efforts to bear fruition. It’s true that communities require an engineered growth, but would anyone want to refuse legitimate growth at an accelerated pace? A catalyst.

    1. Online Assessment & Testing Platform
    It offered the integrated functionality, scientific foundation and brand aesthetics they so strongly desired; an essentiality to maintain consistent user experience across its online properties.

    2. Advanced Web Proctoring Platform
    In evaluating Mettl as a partner, they were largely impressed with the former’s advanced web proctoring platform, which remotely authenticated users, prevented cheating, impersonation, and any other activities of the kind – cases that would compromise the integrity of any assessment.

    3. The Mettl Simulator
    Mettl’s front-end simulator could help assess candidates with their HTML, CSS, and JavaScript skills among others through a customizable, hands-on coding application. Additionally, the simulator was powerful enough to test candidates on their technology as well.

    However, at the end of the day, a catalysis is only about as good as the growth its driven. That’s the most important part, rather – interesting part.




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