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Your specialty is marketing so you don’t need to know to code – right? In fact, there’s a growing list of reasons why marketers will be more successful if they learn coding.

Technology is growing at a super fast pace and opening up amazing opportunities for marketers to do incredible things by customizing their campaigns using digital tools. Some of the most exciting marketing experiences today are built on creative uses of technology.

With these changes to how we market in a digital world, understanding basic coding can open up doors for complex and customized solutions. Learning the basics of code will enhance your creativity, increase your value to your team, and generate a broader range of career opportunities for you.

Let’s look at 7 reasons why coding is rapidly becoming an essential for marketers.

1) Work more effectively with tech partners.

Knowledge is power. If you have a solid working knowledge of technology, you can ask the right questions when working with internal tech teams or digital agency partners. You may be able to negotiate a better price when you know how long a coding task will take. You can manage timelines more accurately if you know what a digital task actually involves.

2) A bit of DIY can go a long way

Whether tinkering with an email template, making an important website update or formatting a landing page, knowing HTML comes in handy. You won’t need to wait for a developer (or pay extra fees) if you can do it yourself.

HTML, CSS and even JavaScript are the foundation that many digital marketing tools run. For instance, Hubspot, Google Analytics, HootSuite and WordPress all require some sort of combination of these three languages to customize and leverage them effectively. This includes integrating tracking codes, customizing layouts and reporting user behavior on a website to gauge performance.

Think of the value you can bring if you have an understanding of coding:

  • Successfully resize an image or italicize text without calling in an entirely different team.
  • Create better looking custom email campaigns and execute basic A/B testing with a little knowledge of HTML and CSS.
  • With a basic understanding of JavaScript you can automate Google Adwords; JavaScript and HTML will allow you to embed and track analytics.

3) Make smart decisions

Marketing has a significant digital component these days. If you understand technology and automation, you are better able to make intelligent choices. Understanding coding will also help you know what is and isn’t possible. Being digitally literate also helps marketers include data collection part their planning.

The decisions you make today can have a bit impact on how you operate in one, two, or three years’ time.

4) Raise your SEO game

The primary source of new customer leads for most companies today is organic search. While most marketers know how important SEO is in showing up in search results, imagine if you could also read a page’s “skeleton” to evaluate and update meta descriptions, title tags, ALT tags and keywords. A good understanding of HTML can help with the technical side of SEO, to ensure that pages are optimized accordingly. This is an area where the combination of marketing expertise and coding know-how pack a powerful punch.

5) Generate more innovative ideas

Learning to code will enable you to create and pursue innovative ideas. Grasping what’s possible empowers you to find inspiration independently, rather than just looking at what others have done.

6) Make a great first impression

According to researchers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, it takes less than two-tenths of a second for an online visitor to form a first opinion of your brand once they've perused your company's website. And it takes just another 2.6 seconds for that viewer's eyes to concentrate in a way that reinforces that first impression.

Marketers are almost always in charge of blogs, newsletters and website content changes. If you learn basic HTML and CSS, you’ll be capable of doing any of the following to add polish and pizazz to ensure your digital channels make a great first impression:

  • Embed images, audio and videos
  • Format text
  • Assign headers
  • Change colours, fonts and themes

7) Measure your campaigns more accurately

Marketing teams must measure their campaigns to understand the impact and any changes that are needed. While Google analytics are pretty simple to understand, you need to go deeper. That means understanding analytics data, embedding tracking codes and which pages users are visiting.

For example, with Google Tag Manager, you can put tags on websites such as tracking and optimization tags. These are snippets of JavaScript that send information to a third party. Understanding this concept at its core requires a basic knowledge of JavaScript, as well as HTML.

Especially at a smaller company, the marketer is usually responsible for digital advertisements. Google’s Adwords scripts allows you to programmatically control your AdWords data with simple JavaScript in a browser-based IDE. With just a basic level of JavaScript, you can create more powerful, efficient, and effective ads.

A/B testing can help you improve website homepages, blogs and internal company pages. While this task may have previously fallen to the developers on the team, it’s more effective to have it handled by the marketers, who have an understanding of the customer and where/why they will click on certain parts of the website.

If you understand HTML, you can make necessary changes. Add in a bit of CSS, and you can make it look great.

We recently launched a new Front-End Fundamentals with JavaScript course, with the first class starting in January 2018. Focussed on building beautiful sites using languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, this course is perfect for people in marketing roles looking for a skills upgrade. You will learn how to structure, stylize, and add interactive elements to your technological creations while being taught by industry relevant instructors and mentors in a hands-on educational environment. Register today and start your coding journey!