Why Marketers Should Have Technical Knowledge
BY: VIKAS AGRAWAL ON MONDAY, JULY 30, 2018
You cannot be a good marketer without technical knowledge.
Marketing has changed a lot recently. New technologies have changed the skill set of a traditional marketer. Those who don’t evolve with the recent technological changes don’t stand a chance to compete in the market.
The big question is why?
Let’s find out.
1. Stay ahead of the competitors
Marketing is getting challenging. Julien Smith defines marketing evolution in a great way:
“The answer as to why we should be doing everything harder, better, faster, stronger is because otherwise, your competition will. Conclusion: We have no choice but to evolve.”
Let’s assume there is a marketing position available by a SaaS company and you know a lot about software development, containers, and how to improve the technical performance of a software. You'll stand a better chance to get selected.
Because your employer won’t have to train you and you'll be in a position to help with product development from the marketing perspective.
Every additional technical skill counts. Marketing Week survey revealed that coding isn’t a must-have skill for marketers but if you know how to code, it will help you as a marketer. It will help you on the job and will help you perform better.
So having technical knowledge helps you stay ahead of the competition and those who know marketing inside out and have in-depth technical knowledge will do better.
2. Understand audience via data
We live in a world that’s powered by data – big data, from smartphones to smartwatches to IoT and beyond. The fact is we live in a digitally-driven world and digital is all data. Think of social networking sites, messaging apps, e-learning software, and online education systems are all sources of data.
And data are the backbone of marketing as it helps with targeting. It helps you understand your customers better.
So to be a good marketer, you must be a data scientist. You should be able to analyze heaps of data that’s available everywhere. If you have to create buyer personas for your client and you know where to find relevant data, how to analyze it, and how to enrich it, you’re pretty much in the game.
Just in case if you don’t have the skill to access and analyze data, you and your team will struggle at every stage because marketing cannot exist without data.
Data from multiple sources don’t just help you understand audience and customers but it helps you with marketing strategy, marketing campaigns, and more.
3. Smooth collaboration and communication
Cross-department communication and collaboration is required at all levels in every organization for high performance. If the CMO doesn’t know what product development team is up to just because he isn’t too technical, it will negatively impact communication between departments.
For a marketer, it is crucial to have a sound understanding of how the product works, how the sales team works, how much time technical support need to fix a technical issue, and so on. A technically sound marketer can better communicate with customers.
Technical knowledge helps with communication and collaboration inside and outside the organization.
Let’s admit it, marketing is a technical job. A marketer has to deal with design, technical SEO and website optimization, conversion optimization, attribution modeling, split testing, and more. Technical knowledge helps you do these and many other tasks with ease.
If you don’t know how to detect click fraud on a PPC campaign, will you be of much help?
Statistics show that 70% of B2B marketers say that they expect their marketing technology budget to increase. When businesses are all set to pour more money into technology, they will expect marketers to have the knowledge and skills to use (rather excel) in using the technology they're buying.
Marketers, on the other hand, who have the technical skills will outperform on any given day since they know how to deal with marketing technology.
A marketer’s performance is closely linked to his technical knowledge these days so there isn’t a choice as such, rather it is a must.
You should equip yourself with technical skills that will help you in your career as a marketer. Choose a specific field and stick with it. You cannot learn everything so it will be best to acquire technical skills that will help you in your current projects.
At the end of the day, any kind of technical skill is worth acquiring for any marketer. You'll never regret it.