UK marketers fear coding gap as demand for tech skills reach all-time high

A majority of UK marketers believe business agility is now defined by coding confidence, but fear a talent gap.

Data-driven marketing is now standard practice for businesses around the world, according to new research. In three short years, data has evolved to become a central pillar of how businesses target customers, purchase advertising, evaluate consumer media and deliver compelling customer experiences. The annual Global Review of Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising revealed that eight in ten businesses see customer data as critical to their marketing and advertising efforts, calling 2016 “the year of measurement” in weighing the success of their campaigns. 

In the global study, UK marketers came top when asked about the importance of data, highlighting how quickly it has become a critical part of all marketing and advertising campaigns. 

DMA UK’s Rachel Aldighieri believes that using data to dictate marketing strategy is just the beginning, however. “With this increased importance comes the need for us, as an industry, to ensure we’re building relationships based on transparency and trust. By acting responsibly and putting customers first marketers can create an exchange of value between your business, looking to prosper, and the customer, looking to benefit,” she said. 

These findings were put together through an online survey of 3,283 business leaders spanning across the advertising, marketing, media and technology industries in 18 countries, between July and October 2016. While marketers around the world see a lot of merit in using data to help plan, execute and measure campaign success, new research from email service provider Mailjet, has revealed a growing problem within companies relying on marketing and developer teams to collaborate.

54 per cent of marketers believe that the gap in coding knowledge between the marketing and development team makes their company less agile. Nearly nine in ten marketers admit their work would be improved if there was better integration with the developer team. This rises to 95 per cent amongst marketers who work alongside developers frequently.

However, there’s barely any instance of marketers describing a negative relationship with developers. With two in three marketers describing a positive relationship, the research suggests that poor integration is the root cause for the hiccups in executing campaigns.

Why is there a coding gap?

Marketing’s view on internal hierarchy may be a factor, according to the survey. Two in three marketers believe one of the departments is valued more widely by the senior management team than the other. In the UK, only 29 per cent saw them as having the same value for different reasons. Marketers also believe that the teams communicate in different ways and find it hard to understand one another.

Common ground rests in the perception of developers’ schedules; they are believed to be too strapped for time and may perceive marketing as the lowest on their priority list.

In search of the right tools

Over half of the surveyed marketers believe their roles will merge with the developer team as marketers improve their technology skills. “Normally, sophisticated responsive email campaigns are created in HTML, which leaves non-technical marketers dependant on their developer team for any changes. To bridge the gap, we have integrated our responsive email markup language, MJML, with Passport, our drag and drop email design interface, so that marketers and developers can truly collaborate together,” according to Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet. “Our hope is both to guide marketers and developers towards greater integration, but also to support those facing a longer journey to marketer / developer collaboration. Layering the coding and design this way removes a significant barrier to these organisations being agile.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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