Why Marketing Manager Becomes a New Tech Job in 2020
And how startups will adjust to this change
The world is spinning too fast
Performance marketing is a crucial instrument and one of the biggest pain points for every startup today. And we all know the problems, that come with paid advertising. It usually is the biggest channel. It’s very expensive. And it requires constant money flow to keep it alive.
But it also brings a lot of positive impacts besides customers themselves. Paid channels provide us so many insights about our audience, that no other channel can give.
The possibilities of A/B testing, new product launches, and new strategies implementations are almost limitless.
And all the latest updates in Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Bing, etc. bring more and more possibilities to find your audience online. And to give The Number One relevant message directly to your customer. This is a possibility, that no other brand or company in history had before.
There is also a price for that. Amount of data to track, number of creatives to create, number of targeting methods to set up…
It all develops so fast, that the overall number of tests and tries to perform grows exponentially.
It’s just becoming too expensive to do all this work manually and in-house. We have to bring automation, big data tools, and more and more tech into everyday marketing work.
The new reality of performance marketing
The new reality is very simple — it’s almost impossible to build a competitive paid advertising campaigns without strong integration with tech. And that means for us — building strong collaboration between marketing and developers becomes a must-have best practice in 2020.
A lot of people still think that tech integration in marketing stays within Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and some back office or CRM tool integration. Although the truth is — the marketing department has to work with much more data.
There should be aggregated traffic, sales and user behaivour data from all sources in one database on an everyday basis.
And this requires building ETL jobs, providing data warehouse and maintaining all integration during the year. Alongside building easy-in-use reporting and marketing automation tools, it’s also required for developers to dive deep in a lot of marketing specifics and to learn the context.
But having developers with marketing knowledge won’t be enough to make it efficient. It also requires marketing managers to be able to work with new tools.
Marketing managers have to learn a lot to keep the pace
The biggest problem today is that marketing knowledge is simply not enough in 2020. To be able to make data-driven decisions and to implement the right strategies, performance specialists must know how and where to find the right data.
And, for the long long time, it was more than enough to use an excel sheet with a big Pivot Table or CSV file from CRM to make it work. Unfortunately, today it’s just too much data, too many slices, and too many views to make this process sufficient with old-school methods.
Knowing SQL becomes a must-have skill to be able to retrieve the data.
Hands-on experience brings limitless possibilities for data analysis and campaign development. It also gives an analytical department a real possibility to dive deep in user data, instead of doing a lot of monkey business like Tableau adjustments or excel updates.
Marketing specialist with fluent SQL analyze data from all paid channels, compare it with other sources, and investigate gaps in product experience without involving other departments. SQL knowledge boosts the speed of marketing activities several times.
Learning SQL is only a tip of the iceberg
Building successful interaction between Tech and Marketing requires additional efforts from both sides. It’s important to remember, that with more and more overlapping experience between these teams, the main focus of each team should stay the same.
Where developers define the way things will be implemented, marketeers define main direction and priorities. It’s important to split responsibilities and allow each team to work on things they do best.
The duty of marketing managers would be to define which process requires optimization first. Which channel or tool will benefit the most from automation. And it’s also important to understand, how much effort is needed to implement the project.
To make things work, developers need a full clear picture of the project targets and expected results.
They also need to understand how the process structured today, what are the main pain points, and where humans errors are most probable.
To combine all this knowledge and to bring all pieces together, tech documentation or Jira task is usually needed. And the responsibility for that lays on marketeer shoulders.
Sometimes writing documentation is longer than implementation
With new functions and complexity, most paid channels and marketing tools bring new possibilities of automation. They do it by introducing built-in scripts and simplified API solutions. Here are just a couple of the most popular examples:
- Apple Search Ads released a new version of API (v. 2.0) earlier this year. This API gives everybody a chance to manipulate campaigns and download reports directly to your laptop with less than 100 lines of Python code.
When developing a strong and powerful campaign building solution for a medium-sized startup is a very big project, which requires several months to be implemented, small projects have a completely different nature.
Basic programming experience alongside with a few months of practice can save hours of work without involving any tech resources.
For example, downloading a creative set report from Apple Search Ads is a big problem for everybody. Whereas doing this task might require several hours due to a platform interface problems, small python tweak will replace a 3–4 hours process with 3 minutes program run.
The same will happen if you need to modify campaign settings or bid adjustments in Google Ads in 200–300 different accounts. Google Ads Scripts or Python solutions will solve your problem 10–20 times faster, than manual or Google Ads Editor approaches.
Involving developers in any of these two examples is simply too expensive. In other words, basic programming experience and constant practice can help your marketing department to bring simple automation to everyday work. And in terms of a startup, this can double or even triple the efficiency of the department.
Marketing Manager becomes a Tech Job
Bringing all pieces together, performance marketing becomes too complicated and advanced for old-school manual techniques. It’s very important to react fast and to test new approaches as soon as possible. To do that, process automation and data retrieving should be moved to a new level.
- It’s crucial to make data-driven decisions in 2020. To do so you need access to the right data at the right time. And SQL knowledge can solve this problem. It also will bring additional free time to the Analytics department.
- It’s important to build the right communication between Tech and Marketing departments. Both of the teams have to share some experience. This also means marketers should be prepared to provide technical documentation for an upcoming project.
- Small projects and minor automation solutions can be implemented by marketing itself. It will lower the cost of implementation and boost department efficiency.
Each year more and more jobs require deep technical knowledge. With marketing platforms becoming more complicated and smart, marketers also need to adapt. Spending less time on manual tasks and old-school solutions, they will be able to spend more time on creative work and boosting the performance.