Who is #MaherDeveloper and how did we find him at Planet soft?

It's no secret, our IT market is very developed, especially in terms of the demand for developers - we are almost like Silicon Valley, there are few but they are worth a lot. Numerous IT companies are present, such as the local Planet soft, which is also a regional leader with several offices in the Adriatic region, and which, like the others, has a great need for IT experts. However, there are numerous other domestic as well as foreign companies, which have IT departments present in our city and headquarters and clients exclusively abroad. The situation is not easy, everyone is fighting for the same IT experts, and Planet Soft's owner Vedran Jarić and director Aleksandar Milinković became aware of this issue a long time ago and began to think seriously about how to approach it, and do it in the way they normally do – but following the world's best practices in the work of IT companies, and adding a personal touch and implementing something quite special.

And, the decision was made, and so our director is Aleksandar, otherwise, an experienced IT person with a strong affinity for marketing (but just as not everyone can be an IT person, neither can a marketing expert, so that remains of interest to our Aleksandar) he was thinking for days how to overcome lack of developers for an increasing number of projects and clients. The company needs a couple of good and experienced developers, but they are rare beasts. It takes time for developers to grow, although college education is a very good basis, with experience, they become juniors, mediors, and seniors, hence the slower growth compared to the business needs. Our Aleksandar is scratching his head, thinking in terms of marketing: "Well, this is a marketing paradox, a target group that is almost impossible to attract - everyone already works for some foreign companies or like freelances, they are not looking for a job, and on the other hand, they are in high demand and can choose, the conditions are worldwide and are paid very well…".

How do find experienced developers?

Where are these developers and how can you get to them "in their heads" and how can you attract their attention and motivate them to apply? A question that causes insomnia, but also represents a real challenge. Today there is special marketing - HR doctrine known as "Employer Branding" - branding the company as a desirable employer, which developed over the years and experienced its heyday at a time when human potential became the biggest capital of companies. During the brainstorming at Planet soft about this issue and the need for an Employer Branding campaign ("we have no choice but to follow the rules"), at Branka's suggestion, we discovered Suzana Pletikosa, a seasoned marketing expert, known for accepting good branding challenges, and an agreement was reached - we will include Suzana, we will design and launch an unusual Employer Branding campaign for our market to attract and motivate more experienced developers to apply.

And how do you find experienced developers?

This time, our Suzana came up with a good idea, it's not easy - it's a marketing paradox, but how many times in life can you work on a challenge like this, the dream of every marketer with an obsession for target groups and campaigns for "in the head", and that's how our creative process... What's more, the client is so advanced and aware of the need for marketing innovation and wants something out of the ordinary!
It started with a ping-pong of ideas and research, and the first one and the most interesting one - who are the experienced developers, what qualities do they have, what interests them, studying myths, are they not on social networks, how do they think and how to attract their attention? Ok, we realized that the more experienced developers are a bit older (we will not reveal the years and generational affiliation), they grew up in some nice times that were marked by the first computers such as the Commodore 64, the first video games, the super popular magazine "Computerworld", but of course that they are also crazy about Star Trek, Star Wars and have a particularly pronounced sense of humor, among other things. If you have fellow developers, there's no way you haven't caught up with him and laughed a lot together.

How to have a successful campaign?

What to call the campaign, which of course has to be in the form of # (we still thank the person who invented the hashtag, great thing), there was a lot of brainstorming, and creativity was lured to the surface in various ways. And as it usually happens, the "AHA" idea came in the "nevermind" moment, when we were watching some travel-.culinary show (yes, we traveled before corona), and #MaherDeveloper was born. Even the sometimes grumpy Vedran and Aleksandar had no objection to this proposal and so we set out to create the "==>#MaherDeveloper Wanted" campaign.

Now, that was just the beginning and everything had to be designed and recorded especially. Questions kept pouring in: what and who should be the protagonist, our #MaherDeveloper - is it a famous face? No, although we have great domestic actors who fit the character and a certain amount of acting skills is required, the choice fell on the "natural" character - our friend Sanjin "Fljama" Vidović, who looks like a spitting developer even though he is not, and he may be and tells the story. Then we started brainstorming about the concept itself and how to produce the campaign, where our Suzana played numerous roles as an octopus - creator of the final concept, producer, organizer, draft script writer, agreement on production with the great tandem of "Dragan" - Gajić and Gajanović, how to organize the scene - the Pletikosa' family tendency to keep important things from the past, played a big role and thus one of the main protagonists and part of the scene, Suzana's old Commodore 64 (we won't say from which year again) was found, all next to the famous Čajavec cat for TV, mom's milieu and similar.;
but Planet Soft also came up with a lot of additional input information and great ideas and helped in each segment, and it was decided to strengthen the segment of script writing in the form of the eternally young and talented Saša "Gaša" Gašić, and that's how we started. 


We were ready just in time to start recording the material when the corona came and everything closed and we weren't even allowed to record because of the risk of spreading the virus and the "lockdown". Enthusiasm did not fall despite the difficult times, and as soon as the opportunity arose due to the easier situation and the permitted work on the recording, we had a low start and started immediately.

The recording itself was very funny - and how could it be otherwise when you need to record the protagonist holding a Commodore 64 in his lap and saying "if you know what a turbo is and you remember that sound", and other ridiculous jokes, you could immediately see that great energy and momentum and there was no doubt about the outcome of the campaign.


Since this is a special target group, which has been researched in detail and for which the famous so-called "candidate persona", and since the campaign was carried out by an advanced Planet soft and a marketer who has long been obsessed with digital marketing channels, the conclusion was clear - the main marketing materials are video and great photos for a couple of uses, specially created new page career web page and from the campaign channels: organic and paid social media - Planet Soft Facebook and Instagram account, of course, YouTube, along with a couple of activities on the inevitable LinkedIn. Of course, everything was spiced up with a dose of content marketing, i.e. writing blogs and texts for the needs of a clearer definition of Planet soft's services and solutions, but also to strengthen PR efforts.

We also had many other ideas for so-called co-marketing with other companies that have nothing to do with IT or advertising, but we can leave something else as a surprise for some future campaigns.

Of course, we monitored and measured our campaign, and tested a few things a little atypical for advertising of this type, such as special lead generation ads.
With all of the above - from Planet Soft's understanding and desire for innovation and an unusual campaign, the excellent team that worked on it, and the knowledge of the best channels and types of modern campaigns, we managed to achieve a lot - we received a lot of quality applications and hired a couple of necessary #MaherDevelopers, and in less than a month of the campaign, we also achieved this: the reach of Planet Soft's social networks increased by an abnormal 20302%, the number of page views by 561%, the number of followers by 1700%, and the number of ad impressions was over half a million and with 1,500 clicks on ads, for an incredibly optimized budget.
We hope to continue working on such interesting campaigns, as we have continued to work on improving our online presence, and image, increasing the number of partners and projects we are working on, and soon a new website. Since we are growing, we are still accepting applications for #MaherDeveloper and we hope you will like what we have done and what we continue to do.



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