• Kieran Harvey

Coding - Is it too much to ask?

Updated: Oct 5, 2020

Is coding a ‘must-have’ for every marketer’s tool set? Or is it better to have a team with complementary skills?

Marketing website coding in HTML

In such a highly competitive and ever-growing industry, a marketer’s toolbox is his or her strongest weapon. Being tech-savvy, creative and commercially aware are just some of the things every marketer should keep at the forefront of their mind. But with increasing calls for having a competent coder, should marketers consider adding coding to their skillset even if they’re not intending to move into the digital side of marketing, such as website development, specifically?

Everything’s Online These Days

Ryanair CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), Kenny Jacobs, argues that the next generation of CMOs will be able to build their own websites and that it is important that marketers should add coding to their personal skillset.

“I don’t believe in the model that the CMO should do the traditional marketing and the CEO should do the digital marketing job. You have to be both right and left brained, and I think people who have both will emerge.”

So, is it too much to ask a marketer who already has to be creative, commercially aware and manage several different accounts, to then add coding to their list too?

Some might say expectations are high…

Head of marketing at Lucozade Ribena Suntory, Rick Oakley, has even said specifically that expecting marketers to be “creative, to manage agencies, to be commercially accountable” is quite a high expectation to have. But that doesn’t mean that marketers who aren’t skilled in coding should pass the coding onto someone else, as he also argued, “one of the things that really surprises me is when marketers say ‘I’m not techie’. You’d be very surprised if someone said ‘sorry I can’t read’. Technology is a modern language that more of us have to speak.”

‘A Jack of All Trades, Master of None’

Although having knowledge of the coding world can be helpful, a bigger role will mean a bigger workload. Time management will become increasing difficult to keep on top of, which could take its toll on the quality of other marketing activities.

So, how realistic is it for marketers to be able to effectively juggle two roles? Are employers expecting too much?

It’s a whole lot of responsibility for a single person to be responsible for all facets of an organisation, and with that comes a whole lot of stress. However, adding the basics of another skillset wouldn’t hurt. For example, if you’re a copywriter, basic coding could be a good skill to have. Just as if you were a website developer, knowing the basics of graphic design could help improve your work.

All in all, a marketer should always be open to new opportunities, even if that opportunity is coding your very own website, or perhaps even just understanding how code works to generate a website. Technology is ever growing and ever changing, and a marketer’s toolbox should do just that too.

Still have questions unanswered? Email our Emma Pratt at emma@epmarketing.co.uk or call Emma on: 07710 689 446 for more details. EP Marketing in Ipswich, Suffolk is well placed to support you and your business with marketing. Give us a call today.

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