By February 22, 2019

Coding Skills That Will Elevate Your Digital Marketing Career

Digital marketing platforms are teeming with an ever-increasing array of marketing software that you can use to stay competitive and keep up with the demands of the increasingly tech-savvy users.

Today’s digital marketing is largely data-driven, and to have an edge over the competition, you need to use the right software on the various marketing platforms wisely and decisively to cut costs and increase return on investment. Often, this requires some coding.

Gone are the times when marketers would sit idly by and let the programmer do the job for them. Today’s marketers are increasingly code-savvy and are better poised to discuss and convey what they want more explicitly with the programmer.

As such, developers need to be on top of their game. They need to have a good grip on the programming languages used in various marketing platforms, and an understanding of when to use each of the languages.

Here’s a sneak peek into the programming languages that you may find yourself using from time to time in the online marketing world—based on the tools you’re working with and the tasks you’re working on.

JavaScript

If you work with Google tracking codes, such as in implementing cross-domain tracking, then you have interacted with JavaScript more times than you probably care to remember. Here’s one that you should be familiar with:

digital media coding

When setting up your site’s tracking code, Google instructs you to add the above snippet right after the <head> tag on each of your site’s pages.

This is a good example of a code written in JavaScript. Nearly every tracking code out there is written in JavaScript. It is the best programming language to use when implementing tracking codes on just about every kind of website development solution.

Aside from CSS and HTML, JavaScript is often the most frequently used programming language in web development. Just look for something that pops up, auto-scrolls, animates, or changes—get down to the code and you’ll usually find that it is written in JavaScript.

In fact, all those code snippets for tools like Google Analytics, Facebook, Google Ads, Crazy Egg, Reddit, Hotjar, and DoubleClick are in JavaScript.

If you want to achieve great granularity and accuracy of tracking with better data quality, such as when pulling raw data from Google Analytics or adding an extra parameter to your tracking code on any marketing platforms, consider using JavaScript.

It is also the best language to use when creating a simple prediction that will help your site seamlessly communicate with Google, or automate a couple of repetitive tasks in your Google Ads, particularly pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. Just the kind of functionality you need to keep from wasting money on unnecessary PPC campaigns.

Advanced knowledge of JavaScript is also handy when you want to take advantage of opportunities such as passing (Unified Threat Management)UTM parameters across different sites.

Python

Python is similar to JavaScript in several aspects, including its syntax and even complexity levels.

However, while JavaScript is designed for front-end tasks such as creating games or a web user interface, Python is a back-end programming language used in server-side development tasks.

It is by far the most popular programming language used in data analysis on today’s marketing platforms. It’s very powerful and is frequently used in automating different marketing strategies with a bit of simple coding.

Normally, a digital marketer has to juggle data from paid search, social media, search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns, and other marketing components that constitute today’s marketing strategy.

It would be nearly impossible to collect, analyze, and make sense of such data without some form of automation. Thankfully, that’s where Python comes in. The language allows you to come up with a custom code that analyzes the massive amounts of data from the various marketing platforms you’re using to give you a deeper insight that can inform the business’ marketing strategy.

Such custom codes can be very instrumental in detecting fault lines, establishing proper corrective measures, and launching the right digital marketing campaign.

As a Python developer, digital marketing companies require your services from time to time to help create codes that can support them in data mining, SEO indexation, competitor trend monitoring, and other such automated tasks used for digital marketing campaigns. So, this is one language that should be at the top on the list of your programming skill set.

Yes, marketers in today’s fiercely competitive digital environment are increasingly acquiring and applying some knowledge of Python in their day-to-day analytics activities. However, when it comes to advanced Python coding, the help of a specialist developer is still frequently required.

Suppose you want to run a machine learning program or predictive analytics project. Python is the language that you’ll want to use.

Structured Query Language

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language designed for managing data that is held in a relational database management system.

We have repeatedly mentioned that digital marketing thrives on data, large chunks of it. To define such data, manipulate it, or query it, you’ll need to use a declarative language, which is SQL.

SQL excels at performing quick and simple data queries or analyses on as large as multi-million-line datasets, which Microsoft Excel’s macro programming language is practically unable to handle.

Whether you want to join tables of this massive nature or access in-depth user data from a company’s database, the easy way to go would be to use SQL to run the query. It also makes it much easier to run advanced queries on Google Analytics data and more.

Simply put, SQL is the go-to language when you want to run queries on really big tables—up to tens of millions of rows—to quickly find bugs or just manage Google Analytics data in general.

Bash

Finally, you need to get a bit of a grip on Bash before you can comfortably consider yourself a bonafide developer.

Though not the most popular of programming languages, Bash is the built-in language of every Linux computer.

This means that if you wish to automate reporting on various marketing platforms using a computer that runs on Ubuntu, the most popular operating system for cloud computing, then you’ll need to learn Bash.

It is also the programming language of most data servers, which rather puts it at a premium for you as a programmer.

Start Learning Today

So, which of these programming languages are you most conversant with? Whatever your answer, one thing is certain: Once you learn one language, it becomes much easier to learn the rest as you get to understand the underlying logic behind every computer language.

Why is it important to learn more than one programming language used in digital marketing, you ask? The bottom line is, in your career as a developer, you are a service provider, and the wider your client base, the greater your revenue prospects. Limiting your knowledge to just one or a select few languages only serves to shrink your potential earnings, and that is simply not prudent from a business mindset.

About the author

    Vigilance Chari

    Vigilance is an experienced copywriter and international presenter who uses content marketing to build a strong online presence that generate leads for her clients. She offers a full range of content marketing services including blogging, ghostwriting, whitepapers, email marketing and more. When not writing, she spends her time as an enthusiastic professional party planner and part-time painter.