Is Coding the Next Must-Have Skill of the Modern Marketer?
In a data driven world, more is expected of digital marketers these days. So should the modern digital marketer also learn to code? Absolutely. Let’s discuss why…
Being a marketer in the modern digital world becomes more and more technical. The business demands more data, more analysis, and more data-driven decisions. It’s pretty logical to come to a conclusion that a modern marketer should gain more tech skills to be competitive and successful in the fast-evolving digital marketing industry. One of the most in-demand tech skills seems to be coding. But not everyone is so sure that all marketers should be able to code.
If you are on the fence about whether or not you should learn to code, this article is just what you need. In it, we will discuss all the benefits a modern digital marketer can get from being able to code. Let’s dive right in!
Benefits of Learning to Code as a Marketer
Firstly, why should you consider learning to code as a digital marketer? Here’s why:
1. Better teamwork, more efficient communication, and decision making
To be able to run effective marketing campaigns, you have to work closely with designers and developers. Understanding the technical side of things, both its advantages and limitations will help you to scope your projects better, create proper and detailed specifications for developers, and communicate with your team in a more effective way.
Knowing the programming principles, you will have a better understanding of what can and can’t be done and of the time and budgets your requests should take. So the additional skill will help you plan and allocate resources better.
Besides, being able to speak with your tech-savvy teammates in their own language will help you establish flawless teamwork and save time and effort for everyone involved.
2. Do quick fixes yourself
Developers are usually swamped with tasks. So when you have a minor issue that can be fixed in a few minutes, you usually have to wait for days, don’t you? Unless it’s very urgent, of course. Then you have to prove the urgency and find someone who’s not too busy with the other urgent tasks.
Knowing the basics of coding, you can fix those minor issues yourself. If you are in the web design industry or in email marketing, knowing HTML and CSS will help you fix smaller things in the design, create and customize your own emails, and even build landing pages yourself.
If you are in-app development or gaming, learning the basics of Python or Java could come in handy. Although, these backend languages are more difficult to learn without prior knowledge. Other programming languages have their uses for a marketer too. Just make sure to choose the language used in your projects.
3. Streamline the processes, automate, save time
The modern world is very fast-paced. We all strive to save our time whenever we can. Learning to code will help you with that. How? Even if you are not a full-blown programmer (you don’t have to be that), simply knowing the basics and how to use the tools can speed up the processes for you.
You can build forms, pages, buttons, etc. without writing a line of code yourself. There are no-code / low-code tools that can do that for you. But you need to know what those tools are, what they can do, and how to use them. For example, you could use Webflow for building landing pages, or Zapier to create simple automations.
Webflow allows you to create landing pages with no, or low, code in the browser
And if you can actually code yourself, you can write scripts to automate the most tedious parts of your work. Putting those tasks on autopilot will free your hands for more creative stuff and make your time more productive.
4. Measure your marketing campaigns more accurately
As we’ve already mentioned, modern business demands more data-driven decisions. So knowing the impact the campaigns are having is crucial for a marketer. Coding knowledge will provide you with tools and tactics to measure your success, programmatically control AdWords, gather and analyze data, and query and manipulate databases. And, with the help of all of that data, create more effective ads.
5. Experiments and more data
One of the best ways to receive data for your marketing campaigns is experimentation. Take your favorite A/B tests, for example. There is no better way to find what resonates best with your audience — pics with people VS pics without people, green “buy” button VS red button, “contact us” tab on the right side of the menu VS on the left side, etc.
To set up an A/B test, you need a designer, a copywriter, a coder, etc. All of these people have to do their parts separately, and only then does the test go live. While you can take on the parts of the designer and the copywriter for small things like testing the button colors, taking on the coder’s role is impossible if you have no coding skills.
But the whole purpose of an experiment is to gather data fast. When you can’t do it yourself you need to wait for a specialist to get free and do it for you. You lose momentum.
With the coding skills in your toolset, you can set up and run fast experiments and gather and analyze the data on your own, without waiting for the developers to get free and do it all for you.
6. Competitive advantage
Modern digital marketing is a very competitive industry. But that’s not all. Business these days demands more multi-skilled professionals and interchangeable team players.
Adding coding to your CV will allow you to meet this market demand and get an advantage over those marketers who can boast only marketing-specific skills — you’ll almost certainly increase your chances of getting a digital marketing job. Besides, multi-skilled marketers stand out as versatile team players, and HRs love such professionals.
7. You can have all the benefits with just the basics
Being a marketer, you do not need to be a full-blown coder to make an impact. All you need is the basics of code and an understanding of the programming principles, popular frameworks, and common practices. And that will be enough to help you improve your marketing campaigns, enrich your teamwork, and reach new levels in your career.
How to learn to code as a Marketer
There are many different ways you can learn to code — no one size fits all, but the best way is definitely to build your own side projects. To get started we recommend to:
- Sign up to a coding exercise platform e.g. you can learn to code on CodeGym by practicing the skills on their 1,200 coding exercises and master enough coding skills in a few months
- Build a small project e.g. a todo list
- Repeat step 3
- Apply your new found coding skills in your day job
Learning to code might seem like a huge deal, an impossible task. But the truth is — with enough motivation and the right course, it’s fun and easy. There’s no need to enroll in a university and spend years learning the theory.
CodeGym helps you learn Java by practising on coding tasks
Being a marketer, should you learn to code as well? The answer is, of course, up to you and your vision of your career. But the undeniable benefits of the additional skill, the fast-changing industry, and its competitive nature tell us that you should at least try to learn to code.
This article was originally posted on 4 day week — jobs with a four day workweek 🎉