What coding skills can be useful in a digital marketing career?

There is a stereotype that technology companies hire only developers and programmers. Are they necessary? Absolutely.

However, many people have assumed that they would never work in a technical company because they could not connect their printer to the computer. Many say with absolute certainty that you can build a career in technology without studying jQuery, Ruby on Rails, or WordPress themes.

If you are looking for a creative career in the technology field that will allow you to make big plans, write smart copies, and even spend a few days chatting with fans on Instagram, digital marketing may be the ideal career for you. That's why we have written a comprehensive guide to building a digital marketing career step by step.

Necessary programming skills are a great addition to your marketing knowledge. They will help you be more effective in your work, giving you a better understanding of technology's possibilities.

We've chosen the five most critical coding skills that a marketer should have to ensure career and success in the future.

Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng


Best at: building web apps and backend web systems: Android app development.

Marketing goals: building simple apps to simplify marketing duties (parsers, promo code generators, etc.) and better understand the backend side of the products.

Difficulty: 8/10

You may get started with: CodeGym.cc

Java is accessible in a wide variety of projects, including web development. You can also use Java to create mobile applications for Android.

The basic idea of Java is that it can run on almost any device and platform. Therefore, if you decide to study it for web development, you have a powerful tool that can be used for mobile or desktop software development. It can be useful in the future if, for example, if you want to change your profession.

Also, Java has a large, global community in various industries. Thus, it is safe to assume that Java will exist for many years to come.

The biggest disadvantage of Java is that it is not the best tool for small projects. Development usually takes longer than, for example, on Ruby or Python. Therefore, you will seldom see Java being used in startups that need to run their web applications as fast as possible.

How Java Solves Real-World Marketing Problems

Java is so well established that there's nowhere it can't be influenced. It even gets into embedded systems.

It's a great tool for software development. It solves management problems in software development by making it easy to do and easy to find developers.


Best at: Design and code of the frontend of web apps and emails

Marketing goals: It provides the best user experience through the best interfaces and conducts AB tests without relying only on the development team.

Difficulty level: 2/10

HTML will tell the web browser how it should display and define the content. With regard to content marketing, it is essential to understand how to find and edit meta descriptions, title tags, and keywords.

If the software you use to download content does not have a Markdown or WYSIWYG interface, it is useful to learn how to create hyperlinks, headers, paragraphs and spacing, images, and lists (and to consider updating them) for proper formatting.

If you want to design and encode a web application or email frontend, you need to use HTML and CSS. HTML structures the website and contains data for its content, while CSS polishes things with style to make them more beautiful.

With various existing tools, you can easily enjoy creating an interactive little game or mobile app.

How HTML Solves Real-World Marketing Problems

HTML5 Enables Us To Define The INTENT Of Our Content.

We cannot only define what the content element on the page means (i.e., the content element is a paragraph, a header, or a link to an external resource), but this allows us to define our purpose content.

Computers by nature do not know the difference between an "About Us" page and a blog post, or a blog post and the content list related to that blog post. However, with HTML5, we can give computers hints. For example:
  • The element `<article>` is used to indicate content that does not depend on the surrounding content and is intended for independent distribution (think article or blog post).
  • Element `<aside>` is used to specify content that is tangentially related to the main content (think recent or related blog postg).
  • The `<nav>` element is used to specify a group of links that are used to navigate the site, as opposed to links to resources that support content.

HTML Helps To Introduce Beginners To The Programming World

Besides its global scope, it is used on a personal note. HTML is the main programming framework. It is the easiest way to get to know the concepts of how to write code.

Each language is different, but the more you know about programming concepts, the easier it is to learn new languages. It is much easier to learn a language like C or C++ after learning the main languages. This method is much better than just jumping into a complicated language from your head.

Most of the programming languages are useful. HTML is necessary because of its web application. HTML also helps introduce newcomers to the world of programming.

It helps people not to take too big a first step and then leave. HTML has many applications, which makes it a fundamental programming language in our world.


It is best known for data analysis, quick and simple data queries—even on multi-million-line datasets, joining data tables efficiently.

Marketing goals: running advanced queries on Google Analytics data, accessing in-depth user data from your company's database, etc.

Difficulty level: 3/10

SQL is a programming language designed to help manage data stored in the relational database management system. They have a data definition, manipulation, and control languages.

As a marketer, you will use the language of manipulation or query. Excel (or LibreOffice Calc) is a spreadsheet program with data manipulation. Their use may require you to learn VBA or Python to run macros, which are rules that define how the input sequence should be mapped to a substitute output sequence.

It is a good idea to learn how to manipulate data in at least one of them. Learn how to query SQL, or if it is just too heavy text for you, macros. However, SQL can handle more data and more complex queries.

You will start to follow the data collection process more closely and develop basic skills when you begin to learn data analysis. It means that by involving developers in the analysis, you will be able to ask what you desire to know and save both of them from spending most of your budget on data cleansing.

Having basic skills also makes it easier to write a report, as you don't have to wait for a developer to answer initial questions. You can extract raw data from sales data, marketing automation, and analysis tools and get started.

How SQL Can Solve Real-World Marketing Issues

Create More Detailed And Accurate Reports

A former colleague was an EMS guru with zero background coding. Many years ago, he was constantly confronted with data discrepancies between Google Ads, Google Analytics, and internal company reports - sometimes over 10%.

He didn't know which report would be the best guide for his next step. (Anyone who works with PPC tools must have faced the same issue at least once). He also didn't fully understand how internal reports were built, and the developers, as usual, had a more significant project than help in debugging them.

One day he got so irritated that he decided to study SQL himself. In less than two days, he got the necessary knowledge. (In this time almost anyone can reach an intermediate level in SQL).

After that, he could easily poll the company database and find errors. He was also able to build more detailed and accurate reports because he had coding skills in business knowledge.

Using Google Analytics Data, You Can Create Refined Segments

Digital analysts should also be aware that BigQuery, a Google product, allows you to use SQL to manage Google Analytics data.

For example, you can join various Google Analytics tables to generate reports that are not possible in the point-to-click interface of Google Analytics. Other cases include various, data-heavy tasks such as querying metadata from 1 billion taxi rides or internal monitoring analytics for real-time fraud detection.

The standard Google Analytics user interface allows primary and secondary measurements to be used to create micro-segments. For example, by viewing the number of sessions by target page and source.

However, if you know SQL, you can further segment Google Analytics data by adding a third and fourth dimension (location and device type).

Also, you can add advanced filters (e.g., counting only 20% of the most active users) and run advanced calculations (e.g., using median instead of average).


It is best known for implementing tracking codes and every kind of web-development solution.

Marketing goals: improving accuracy or granularity of tracking for better data quality

Difficulty Level: 8/10

JavaScript is one of the most commonly used programming languages in web development (besides HTML and CSS). If something pops up, animates, automatically scrolls, sparks, or changes, it's most likely written in JavaScript.

However, for digital marketers and CRO professionals, it's even more important to know that almost all tracking codes are written in JavaScript.

The Google Tag Manager container and most tracking fragments use JavaScript. This piece of code used to implement the Google Tag Manager is written in JavaScript. Also, the code snippets for Google Analytics, Hotjar, Crazy Egg, Facebook, Reddit, Google Ads, DoubleClick, and many other tools.

To embed these tracking codes on your website, you don't need to know much about JavaScript; most tools have simplified the process before copying and pasting. However, basic JavaScript knowledge can ensure proper implementation to set up advanced tracking like depth of scroll or cross-domain tracking.

With more advanced JavaScript applications, you can automate repetitive tasks in Google Ads, transfer UTM settings between different websites, and take advantage of many other features.

JavaScript is more complicated than SQL. It can take several weeks, 1-2 hours per day, to build a solid foundation. However, it is more than enough to understand and modify your tracking scripts, simplify automation, and improve communication with developers.

How JavaScript Solves Real-World Marketing Problems

Connect Inventory With Ad Campaigns

One e-commerce company had over 100,000 products. They were continually adding new products, stopping old products, running out of stock, or filling their warehouses with bestsellers.

The business was so complicated that their advertising couldn't keep up with the times. Therefore, they had to start and stop Google Ads campaigns every minute, but it was impossible to do it manually.

So one of their marketing apprentices started learning JavaScript with a good web team mentor. In about a month of training and practice, he set up JavaScript automation, which transmitted information between the company's database and Google Ads.

After that, campaigns started and stopped automatically based on the company's inventory data. It saved their team countless hours of work, reduced the number of human errors, and saved advertising costs. They no longer spend money to promote sales of sold or discontinued products.

Enables Robust A/B Testing

JavaScript also plays a vital role in conversion optimization. jQuery, a JavaScript library, supports HTML/CSS changes for A/B testing.

Marketers without jQuery skills rely on visual editors of test tools to develop and publish A/B tests, often with poor results.

Their lack of coding skills limits their ability to test what matters or overly ambitious changes can break the site.


Best at: predictive analytics, machine learning, and APIs.

Marketing goals: running advanced analytical methods on datasets and making predictions to guide future planning

Difficulty: 7/10

Python is a popular language for scientists studying data. In many aspects, it is similar to JavaScript. (The two languages have roughly the same level of complexity.) Even the syntax looks identical.

The big difference, however, is that Python is designed primarily for "internal" and analytical tasks, rather than for "front" tasks (e.g., website development).

From an analyst's point of view, the most significant advantage of Python is the many extensions to the analytics explicitly written for data and science tasks. You are likely to work with Python if you want to perform predictive analysis or a machine learning project.

Also, many popular digital analytics and marketing tools offer access to an API. (A quick, non-technical explanation of the API is available here.)

How Python Solves Real-World Marketing Problems

A few recent projects come to mind:
  • In many startups, Python has been used to predict whether users will cancel their subscriptions shortly. Then, they were proactively approached.
  • For a larger company, Python has been used to estimate the expected increase in helpdesk tickets and planned to hire them quarterly.
  • In a very small company, Python has been used to automatically scrape huge text walls and automatically analyze media references.
You can carry out such projects using Google Analytics, Google Ads, or any internal company data if you know Python. I would recommend starting with a few weeks (1-2 hours per day) to learn and practice the syntax and learn about its marketing-oriented extensions.

The realistic goal is to launch your first (simpler) predictive analytics project on Python at the end of the month.

However, you shouldn't expect to become a senior developer on Python from one week to another. Still, at least you will be able to communicate with the developers much more effectively.

Besides, if you have already learned JavaScript, it should be easier to master Python.

Note: You may have heard of another popular language, similar to Python, called R. It is used mainly by mathematicians and statisticians. Its syntax is a bit harder to learn than Python.

For this and other reasons, Python is recommended over R for digital analysts and CRO specialists. However, some "hardcore" statistical packages are only available in R.

To Sum Up

For a digital marketing professional, it is now beneficial to understand the use of different programming languages and the complexity of various tasks. It is also necessary to understand, for example, API and multivariate testing capabilities.

You may end up being hired in a small or medium-sized company for positions you are not aware of.

If you have a better understanding of how a bluffer talks, you can make better hiring decisions. You will know if something cannot be done or is just incompetent because you will be able to ask the right questions. It will also be easier to explain to stakeholders and technologists why you should make decisions.

A marketer who at least understands the terminology will be able to communicate better and therefore make more useful suggestions about web strategy.
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