You know that feeling when you’ve given a great conference talk? Delivered a deck of stellar slides to a sea of engaged faces? Really felt like you’ve connected?

It’s a feeling that can remain with you –– and your newly inspired audience –– for days.

But when you return to the office, how do you measure how that shared enthusiasm counts towards your strategy?

At JFrog, says Baruch Sadogusky, they’ve found a way to measure face-to-face developer advocacy.

The impact of face-to-face

“Face-to-face is much less scalable than online,” Baruch acknowledges, “but it also provides more value if it’s done right.

“And I would say that the input that we see from a good conference talk which is built correctly, structured correctly, and then given to the right audience is much more impactful than a blog post with an even bigger number of readers.

“I think that goes back to human psychology. When you hear something from who you perceive to be an expert, whereas as when you just read something online, I guess the impact is different.”

It’s the element of human psychology that drives a lot of the developer relations measures at JFrog.

“We are very face-to-face biased rather than online and that’s probably just because of my personal preferences,” Baruch says.

“The composition of the team affects what we do the most. And since I really think that the face-to-face activities provide, considering my personal style, the best return on investment, that’s what I’m doing most.”

Hard to measure

Admittedly, says Baruch, face to face advocacy can be hard to measure.

“Face-to-face is kind of hard kind to measure – and even harder than our general discipline which is hard to measure by itself,” he says.

“There is nothing to learn from. We can borrow online interaction management measurements from marketing but other aspects include massive investments in the net promoter score measurement which is kind of crazy.”

It was as Baruch looked at the existing measurement tools, that he realised if JFrog wanted to scale their face-to-face interactions, they would need to get creative.

“We realised that the only meaningful way to compare different activities, determine what works best and see the impact on the entire organisation is to try and a convert the face-to-face to online.”

The idea is that, once someone is interested in JFrog through a face to face interaction, they need then to convert that person to having an online interaction.

“People say, ‘Okay, I went to this talk and it was awesome. What am I doing next? Obviously, I go online to do something,’ then we are in a very familiar space where we know exactly what to do.”

Do something, anything

For Baruch, this ‘do something’ can be pretty much anything. It doesn’t have to be a sign-up or a download. Simply look at your talk slides online is enough.

“The first goal is to bring people online,” says Baruch, “because from there we can actually measure. So we developed kind of a technique of how to do it.”

So for JFrog, measuring face-to-face really comes back to how well it feeds into online activity. Face-to-face is about finding your audience.

“And, obviously”, says Baruch, “some audiences are more valuable than others. You just need to pick,” he says.

Find the right audience for you

So the question becomes: do you want to speak to a big audience or the right audience.

“So this is really the trick, not only to get large crowd but actually to make sure that these people follow up.

“And, again, not necessarily follow up by just saying ‘Okay, they are now in my marketing funnel’ but follow up with, ‘Okay, they care about what I spoke about.’

“And this is something that I wanna share with the audience of DevRelCon, and my thoughts about how to do it.

“Obviously, it’s not perfect, there’s some stuff missing and the numbers cannot be trusted blindly, but it’s a start.

“And when I speak with my management I can actually speak with numbers not just: ‘You know what? I went to this conference. I think it was great’.”

:: To find out how to measure the immeasurable come and hear Baruch talk at DevRelCon London on 8 December.

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