The definition of “marketing” hasn’t changed in 100 years or more. However, the methods, tactics, and tools of marketing have changed rapidly in the last 10 years. Today, if you want to lay claim to the title “digital marketer,” you’d be wise to learn at least the basics of web development. From search engine optimization, email, and landing pages, to web analytics and data analysis–every facet of digital marketing is powered by code, and understanding what’s going on behind the scenes will give you the insight necessary to make informed and strategic marketing decisions. Here are just a few reasons digital marketers should learn how to code.
1. Understand the modern marketing landscape.
Print advertising and marketing has been on a downward spiral for more than a decade, and those who embraced the transition from print to digital early on have survived and even thrived in this ever-changing media landscape. Now, we are immersed in the blazing transition from computer screen to mobile screen, and this is occurring far faster than the previous change.
Now that marketing has become an increasingly digital activity, it’s crucial for marketers to have a deep understanding of the online world and how it functions. Without a basic understanding of how websites are built, along with various apps, tools, and tactics, you’ll be left behind in the race to consumers.
2. Quickly iterate and optimize campaigns.
Digital marketing has the edge over traditional forms of mass media because we can design, execute, and iterate campaigns faster than ever before. Unlike marketers of yore, digital marketers can test a complete strategy in a matter of days, if not hours, and optimize until the desired results are achieved.
With this real-time access to data, we know what changes to need to be made to improve our website, landing pages, or email templates. However, the optimization process can become bogged down if you can’t implement these changes without the help of a developer. And if you work for startup, you may not even have access to a dev team. When we as marketers are able to dig in and make those changes we have the freedom and power to make a huge impact on our organization’s top and bottom lines.
3. Communicate effectively with interdisciplinary teams.
As a modern marketer, you’ll need to communicate with your more technical co-workers—from product managers to UX designers and web developers—often on a daily basis. If you can’t “speak their language,” or communicate your technical needs, you’ll have a hard time executing on your marketing initiatives. This is true when implementing tracking pixels, A/B testing, or setting up analytics and CRM tools like Google Analytics, KISSMetrics, or Salesforce.
Learning to code will empower you to to become a more effective digital marketer—and therefore, an indispensable member of your team. You will develop a firm grasp on the world of online marketing, be able to make quick design or development changes, and communicate more effecitively with your more technical colleagues.