I met my friend for coffee the other day to catch up. She works as marketeer and spends a lot of time working on marketing campaigns, and although she uses a computer she does not do any coding – she has someone else to do that. Most of the time she will interact with a wizard GUI that is easy to use..
She argued the other day that as a Marketeer, you don’t need to know how to code.
My opinion is you do, and all marketers need to be a coder too.
Why Should marketeers know how to code?
Marketing has evolved over time. When I was in University things were black and white. The old school textbook marketing we learned about marketing via channels such as mail, billboards, television adverts, what I would called interruption marketing. But now things have changed marketing messages come from every corner.
We are now embracing digital channels, social media and being more connected to the internet wherever we go and on a variety of devices and behind all this is code!
Code is what is behind some of the greatest marketing campaigns of the modern age.Our websites, our emails, our apps on our smartphones all contain marketing in some form or another.
Understanding is half the battle
Understanding how every thing works is very important. In my opinion in being a marketeer you have to know how to code, and understand how things work especially in your website, marketing material, as a lot of this material, such as flyers, newsletters, landing pages, websites all require the knowledge of coding since alot of these use HTML & CSS.
Although most people will have a GUI/Wizard that they can interact with to construct these marketing materials, the issue I find is that the material created is not particularly unique since you are just using a template that is already existing and doesn’t deviate from what is already there, with coding you can play about with the layout, structure, color, and content. In addition if you combine this knowledge with the already existing tools quite often you can create inspirational pieces of work that look great and at the same time save time and money.
Knowing and how it works
As a marketeer at IDR Solutions with knowledge of web development I found that it is useful as it gets me more involved in the process. For example when I build a website, create a form or make changes in the layout of a web page or site navigation, I understand what is involved so that I can make an informed decision after discussing with other members on the team. I am also better prepared to brief others and also understand what is possible and what is mission impossible.
Knowing coding means knowing how it works. I have found on some occasions there is the odd issue where for example, a video doesn’t embed, there are formatting issues, etc, I can fix this myself quickly so that potential customers do not see a website with bugs. In not knowing coding you wouldn’t be able to do this and would have to put this “fix” into your web designers “task to do” queue.
Some useful Resources for learning how to code
When I first became a marketer I did not have any prior knowledge of coding. I gradually built up my knowledge firstly through asking other developers in my team for a few pointers and asked how things worked. After building a basic knowledge and understanding of HTML and CSS I resorted to furthering my knowledge through research on the internet.
Here are just some of the resources I used that you might find useful for yourself.
- Mozilla Developer Network – The Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) provides information about Open Web technologies including HTML, CSS, and APIs for both Web sites and HTML5 Apps.
- Khan Academy – Khan Academy is a non-profit educational website and contains some useful material on computer programing.
- HTML5 Rocks! – It is a resource for developers looking to put HTML5 to use today, including information on specific features and when to use them in your apps.
- Open Courseware Consortium – The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a worldwide community of hundreds of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing open education and its impact on global education. The content and material is free to use.
To me Code has become part of my Marketing DNA, and part of me and even if its a difficult thing to do as marketers today, we need to understand how it works, how to do it, how it works and how to fix it if it goes wrong.
What do you think? Are you a marketeer who learned coding? Do you have a different opinion? let us know what you think.