Why All Digital Marketers Should Learn to Code

November 15, 2017 Helen Cartwright

In the modern world, technology has become a ubiquitous aspect of human existence. Even just a few years ago, many people could get by with only a limited understanding of modern technology. With the Internet now being used for almost any task and smartphones in nearly every hand, a deep understanding of how technology works has become crucial for competing in the professional world. People seeking to add value through innovation are almost certain to depend on applications or data to achieve their objectives. Coding skills are, therefore, now often perceived as essential to competing in any growing industry, such as digital marketing. There are, however, advantages and disadvantages to consider before learning to code as a digital marketer.

Better Understanding of Technology

Digital marketing relies on advancements in a number of technologies to communicate with potential customers in an effective way. Before modern computing technology was available, there was no concept of digital marketing. Marketers should, therefore, keep in mind that an intimate understanding of new technologies can help them to stay on the cutting edge of advancements that can yield opportunity in the marketing space. Just like how digital marketing hardly existed 20 years ago, the next paradigm in marketing will emerge in a similar fashion. Marketers who possess the technical knowledge necessary to understand new technologies and their implications will be in the best position to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

Asking Better Questions from Technology Teams

The fact that digital marketing is built on advanced computing technologies means that marketers cannot expect to avoid technical discussions with the software development teams that support their efforts. Many business leaders argue that marketers should ultimately guide all software development activities since products must be developed in accordance with demand. Marketers who are competent with code can communicate effectively with technical staff, so they are more likely to be promoted to a coordinating position with greater responsibility. When marketers can ask technology teams the right questions, business results can be achieved that would otherwise be impossible to realize with only a superficial understanding of technical matters.

Combining Skill Sets to Compound Results

Marketers who can code add value by bringing together two separate, yet value skill sets. Individuals who can act as the link between marketing and engineers can add significant value by ensuring that resources are allocated in an efficient manner. Projects that are coordinated by individuals who are knowledgeable in all aspects of marketing and technology are also more likely to achieve real business results. Marketers can, therefore, compound their ability to add value by acquiring a thorough understanding of the technologies that enable digital marketing to function.

Understanding the Process

Coding often requires a complex development cycle that can be difficult to understand for people who are not experienced in software development. If marketers can acquire at least some basic experience in coding, they will have a significant advantage when coordinating a project with technical staff. Experience developing applications can also help marketers to empathize with the problems faced by a technical team throughout the development cycle, and this can help to reduce conflict between marketers and developers. Understanding the process of developing a new application is, therefore, a key advantage of learning to code as a marketer. Check out Codecademy for free coding courses online.

Conceptualizing Cost

Many people who are inexperienced with coding can project development costs that are distanced from reality. Marketers who are inexperienced with coding might, for example, assume that developing a certain application should be a simple task, but the reality is that the project could be very complex. Additionally, understanding the cost of software development can help marketers to recognize when an opportunity to integrate technology into a campaign can be feasible. Marketers who have a firm understanding of what coding costs can, thus, have a significant advantage when managing a digital marketing campaign.

Data Analysis

Performance in the modern world is premised on data analysis in nearly every field. Companies that achieve the highest levels of performance now use data to drive almost all decisions. Marketers with experience in software development will have a thorough understanding of how data can be leveraged to improve the quality of decision-making in the marketing department. For simple data management tasks, marketers can write their own code to help them make complex decisions. Many scripts used for data analysis are only a couple of lines long, so marketers who can write code themselves often have an advantage in data analysis. As the world continues to become more reliant on data for all aspects of life, marketers should consider learning to code in order to take full advantage of this emerging trend.

Curiosity Drives Success

Marketers who are contemplating the advantages of learning to code should recognize that curiosity can yield great success. Following a passion can lead to personal advancement or even the discovery of a new business idea. The reality is that learning to code can only help a marketer to perform better in all areas of digital marketing. Marketers should, therefore, dive in to see if coding is right for them.

Code Is a Modern Language

Although there are a wide range of reasons why marketers should consider learning to code, the reality is that these reasons exist because technology has become an essential part of modern life. In the past, many people could get away with claiming that they are code illiterate. In today’s world, however, code has become so ubiquitous in life that many employers have begun to expect that employees outside of technical departments possess at least a basic understanding of how software is developed. Many companies now seek to ensure that at least one person with an understanding of software development is included in every team, including in human resources, marketing, sales, and other fields. Marketers who acquire the skills necessary to code can enjoy greater job security and more opportunities for advancement.

Featured Image Source: Laptop by Lukas CC0 Pexels

About the Author

Helen Cartwright

Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger who excels in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. When not wired into the latest marketing strategies, she ghost-writes for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.

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