[VIDEO] Should digital marketers learn to code?


What are the important computer-based languages for digital marketers?

Marketers should be particularly interested in front-end code. This includes HTML, CSS and JavaScript. These are the languages that determines what a website looks like, how its structured and controls the mechanisms such as navigation around a site. 

Even if you only have a basic understanding of these languages, it can provide great benefits such as being able to make changes yourself on landing pages and emails, plus it can give you a better understanding of websites and how they work from an SEO point-of-view. 

How can learning to code help you as a marketer and advertiser?

Digital marketing today involves building complex web banners, landing pages, email templates and a whole range of different digital media. Having an understanding of code can help you by being able to tweak landing pages yourself and enables transparency and better conversations with developers. 

In addition, being able to do the basics of JavaScript for example; enables you to be able to build in extra capabilities in order to optimise programmes such as Google Analytics, Google Docs and AdWords. 

How can you learn to code? 

There are a number of free sites available that can walk you through the basics of coding. Code Academy is an online resource that takes you through each step in an interactive environment. One Month is another resource where you can learn Python, JavaScript or Ruby in 30 days. 

Instead of rote learning, find a problem and try and fix it using code. Many developers admit that 70% of coding involves Googling - so don't be put off if you can't always find an answer straight away. 

As far as learning apps, LRN is a mobile app that teaches you to use HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other such languages using interactive quizzes. 

What's a good starting point?

We recommend building out a simple landing page using HTML and CSS. You can find tools to supplement this at Code Academy and there are plenty of other resources available online. 

The important thing to remember is to focus on your core functions first. What do you do on a daily basis as a digital marketer? Would learning to code help you and your team? This answer will vary depending your role and organisation. 

However, it is important to have a basic understanding of code, and having a broad understanding of the core front-end languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) might be all you need to function as a high performing digital marketer. 

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