Coding

Why Every Marketer Should Learn Code

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As marketers we are used to managing campaigns, creating strategies and ultimately attracting people to the product, service or brand that we are advertising, but what about the stuff that is behind our websites, our emails or even behind the tools that we use to find keywords or A/B test elements on our landing pages?

As technology continues to advance, learning code is becoming increasingly more popular and that’s why marketers should at least learn the basics of coding.

Almost every aspect of marketing, especially digital marketing uses code to operate. Here are a few examples;

  • Web Analytics – Placing the tracking code inside your websites head tags.
  • Search Engine Optimization – Optimizing your website to load faster.
  • Content Marketing – Develop metadata to tag all content for content retrieval.
  • Email Marketing – Can require a range from some HTML coding to creating an email from scratch.

Learning the basics of HTML, JavaScript and CSS can help you, as a marketer, understand how your websites and other marketing tools operate. It will give you an understanding of what is possible and what is not possible when it comes to adding new features, etc. to your website.

Knowing code allows you to take charge and fix elements that aren’t looking or acting the way you want them to. For example, if you need to resize an image, put something into a table or embed a video on your website, knowing code will allow you to make those changes so you don’t have to reach out for additional help.

Marketers who have knowledge of coding can create customized templates for email marketing campaigns, and website marketing templates for lead generation.

Two significant benefits are that you will know how to make changes to landing pages, and you will know how to place tracking codes for analytics.

Knowing code as a marketer can help with career advancement. You will possess a skill that some marketers won’t have, which can lead to landing better jobs and higher pay.

Where can you learn code?

Codecademy is great tool to use if you are interested in learning code, plus its free.

This platform allows you to learn anything from basic HTML to Python, through an interactive console that takes you step by step through the coding process.

Today I decided to sit down for two straight hours and see how far I could get in the first lesson, HTML & CSS. I started at 12:55 p.m. and by 2:55 p.m.  I had 50% of the lesson complete.

When I first started the lesson I felt pretty confident about how far I was going to get. Back in the MySpace days I used to customize my profile using HTML, so I remembered how to <b>bold</b>, <i>italicize</i> and <u>underline</u> words, etc. before starting the lesson.

I began slowing down when the lesson starting focusing on placing images, attaching links to those image, and building tables, but because of how interactive the lessons are on Codecademy it didn’t take long to become familiar with the code and the order in which to place each piece of code.

Overall, I think this is great source for anyone who is looking to learn about coding and programming language. It allows you to learn the concepts and then apply those concepts within its platform, telling you whether you are doing it right or wrong. I think that I will definitely continue taking lessons on Codeacademy, not only because I am interested in it but because of all of the benefits that I listed above.

After I finished playing around on Codeacademy, I decided to build a website on Squarespace. One of the hardest obstacles I came across when starting the process was coming up with an idea for a fake e-commerce site (so I didn’t get too far actually designing the website).

The first thing that I noticed when starting my Squarespace website was that it was fairly similar to WordPress. First you choose your template or theme and then you begin customizing it to fit the needs of your website.

Here are a few pros and cons that I noticed while playing around with Squarespace;

PRO: Squarespace’s templates are designed to appeal to the user. Aesthetically, they are very pleasing and result in a very beautifully designed website.

PRO: Everything is built-in. They even have a built-in logo generator which I thought was a very cool extension.

CON: Pricing. I built my site using the free trial, but I decided to take a look at the pricing to see how it compared to WordPress and it is more expensive. They charge $12 a month billed annually or $16 month-to-month for the personal version (WordPress charges $2.99 a month for its personal version) and $18 a month billed annually or $26 month-to-month for the business version.

CON: Backend functionality. I found that the backend was a little tricky to figure out at first, but like any other platform you just have to get used to it before you feel comfortable designing. Even though you don’t need knowledge of HTML or CSS to use Squarespace, I found that it wasn’t as intuitive as I thought it was going to be.

Overall, if you are willing to sit down and take the time to get familiar with the platform, Squarespace can allow you to create a beautiful website that your users are going to love.

Supplemental Resources

5 Reasons Digital Marketers Need to Learn Coding

Is Coding a Necessity for Digital Marketers in 2016?

3 Reasons Marketers Should Learn To Code

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