Coding for Marketers

The marketing field is separate from the technical side of things, right? Well, think again! Being a digital marketer, I often need to report to others who don’t share the same training background as me. These other people could be the development team or perhaps the CTO of the organization. When you need to express what you exactly want on website, a little bit of technical knowledge can go a long way!

marketers-and-codingMarketing has evolved in the past few years, and if you have a look at modern online-marketing, you will see that code is everywhere! There’s code in your websites, email campaigns,  and even your analytics campaign. In this article I am going to explain why having a basic knowledge of coding can make your life easier.

Learning how to code will help you to collaborate with your customers as well as clients. Apart from that, you can create new ideas and campaigns that actually work! You don’t need to become a developer, but a general understanding of coding is very useful in modern marketing where user experience is the first priority.

  1. Learn the possibilities and limitations

    Being aware of the code used by your websites, apps, and tools will enable you to better understand what is possible and what the limitations are. It will help you to go beyond what others have done and you can now come up with some innovative tools to make your customers happy.
  2. Less conflicts between developer and marketer

    Now this is something almost universally true! Technical teams and marketing teams are often at odds with each other. You as a marketer suggest something that can improve user experience on your website but technical team says they have their own requirements. However; with a basic understanding of coding you can make your point of view clear and give arguments to support your view. You can explain to them why a certain structure will boost user experience or how a certain website performs with regards to SEO.
  3. You can get it done yourself

    Often as a marketer you want to make changes to your website or navigation as soon as possible but your development team might already have other priorities. This is the main reason why you should learn to code, after all who likes having to bug your designer for every little change you need to make? With proper knowledge of coding you can make these small changes on your own and not have to wait on anyone else!

Which languages should you learn?

Now the next question is which coding languages are the most important to know? I mean if you take the time to master all these typical programming languages, why would you have front end developers at all? So let’s go over which languages have some of the best return on investment so to speak!

HTML
Priority!

Being a digital marketer, we are always surrounded by websites and having a solid knowledge of HTML can really help us out. Let me explain how. Knowing the basic structure and building blocks of a website allows you to make much more informed decisions about appearance and numerous other aspects. Do you need to add more fields to your subscription form or simply make changes to the existing one? With a decent understanding of HTML, you can easily answer questions like this and more!

HTML is relatively easy to learn and the web standards of HTML don’t change every day which makes it an ideal place to start.

CSS
Little bit!

One can learn CSS very quickly. In the beginning, you might be surprised about what you have learned within just a few weeks if you are really dedicated.  With a basic knowledge of CSS, you can now make changes to certain aspects of the website like the position of buttons, or the size and color of fonts, etc. I wouldn’t go too much deeper though, otherwise you will start hearing terms like CSS transitions or box-sizing which are beyond the scope of what you need for a rudimentary understanding. Basically, don’t become a pro! Leave those tricky CSS tricks for developers 😛 Sticking to the basics is all you need to give yourself a great advantage!

JavaScript
Sure… if you’ve got a lot of spare time!

JavaScript is an object-oriented programming language which takes a lot of time to really learn. Definitely not something you can expect to understand within a few days! I don’t think you should spend your precious time learning JavaScript as it is time consuming and you already have your expert developers for that.

Resources for learning to code

  1. Code Academy : An amazing interactive platform that will provide you free courses for various programming languages like PHP, JavaScript as well as HTML and CSS.
  2. W3Schools : It is the world’s largest web developer resource site, specifically optimized for learning, training and testing. It will provide you with various useful tutorials along with references regarding all the steps involved with web development.
  3. Programming For Marketers : As the tagline suggests, “Become a technical marketer!” The course will help you in improving your technical skills to accelerate customer growth and make your life easier!

Conclusion
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Once again, I am not asking you to become a full stack marketer, but rather become a better marketer with basic coding knowledge! Even if we are not expected to build a complete website, simply having an understanding of how this all works can lead to being able to make more informed decisions. What do you think? Do you think coding is the next must-have skill for marketers? Would love to know your opinion in the comments below!

Kavita

Who is 

Kavita is Marketing Analyst at LoginRadius- leading customer identity management platform. Die hard lover of chocolates, novels and adventures, her aim is to write a novel based on her own life. Connect with Kavita on Twitter and Linkedin!