Websites and Apps

Should marketers learn how to code?

motum b2b's Mark Whiting tells you why coding is important as a marketer--but not for the reasons you might think. By Ryan Iusi October 20, 2015

Coding is everywhere; it’s no longer restricted to that one scribe at the monastery who knows how to read and write, says Mark Whiting, director of web development at motum b2b. Some public schools are even integrating coding into their curriculum, as it’s becoming more important to parents than learning a foreign language.

Whiting says it’s valuable for marketers to know how to html and some CSS, especially in a time when most marketing activities rely on it. It’s important to know how to post a blog to your company website, or measure analytics properly. Whiting also says, however, that it’s equally important to know when to leave it to the specialists.

Think of it as needing to fix your car. A lot of people will send it off to a specialist—but those with some knowledge of how the engine works are less likely to pay for repairs that they know they don’t need.

“Hey man, I already know how to WordPress,” you might say. And with 23 per cent of the websites depending on WordPress, it wouldn’t be surprising.

It is an easy, out-of-the box solution for website creation. WordPress does the job, but it’s the same as choosing that IKEA Billy bookcase over custom shelving that fits perfectly into your workspace.

This is why it’s important to not only consider learning how to code, but to also consider the benefits of integrating a web development team into your agency.

“Not everybody is a born programmer any more than they’re born a writer or a born artist,” says Whiting. “I think most of our clients, even though they’re smart people, they don’t want to spend their lives coding in html or CSS.”

This could be your reason for hiring a web team, or choosing to use a freelancer instead of trying to become that all-doing Renaissance marketer.

“Part of the benefit of working in an integrated agency like motum b2b is that the people who write the code often sit one desk away from the people who are coming up with the client business strategy,” says Whiting.

“Most marketing agencies err—unwisely in my opinion—on other people’s templates,” Whiting says the motum b2b web development team is constantly learning new technologies and coding languages. “You have to keep learning whatever the new hotness is—it’s part of what it means to work here.”

“I like to think that we have the best small agency web development team in the city,” says Whiting. “Ultimately what we’re doing is providing business solutions and tools to our clients, and coding is a methodology towards doing that.”