One key theme struck me when I listened to the Finance Minister deliver the Singapore Budget 2016 two weeks ago. This was the emphasis on developing tech skills to stay ahead of the current economic challenges.
Now that’s a call marketers should heed. Most of the client-side marketers whom we’ve worked with just don’t understand or use technology well. For example, they lack skills in marketing technologies, such as using marketing automation. B2B marketers in particular tend to rely on traditional marketing practices like tradeshows. Given concerted national efforts to build a tech-enabled Smart Nation, marketers who are unable or unwilling to know technology will be left behind.
Not sure where to start building your tech skills? Fret not, we’ve identified three key tech skills that marketers should get up to speed with.
1) Data Analysis
Click-throughs, conversions to leads, shares, etc. Marketing campaigns generate huge amounts of data at various stages of the buyer’s journey. This slew of data presents challenges for marketers, but also generates significant business opportunities. In the future, the best marketers can:
Collect data generated from earned, paid, and owned channels
Analyse the data to identify patterns of interest among potential buyers
Glean business insights from these trends
Use those insights to produce and distribute content that is targeted to the needs of potential buyers
Luckily there are many great analytics tools to help marketers crunch data. The best known is Google Analytics, which offers a variety of free courses to get you up to speed with basic analytics. Enterprise marketers who desire a wider suite of tools can try Google’s new Analytics 360.
2) Marketing Automation
Marketing automation is software that monitors leads and automatically engages with them. Aside from freeing marketers up from repetitive lead nurturing tasks, using marketing automation improves digital marketing ROI,
In 2016, marketing automation will be one of the top three opportunities in digital marketing for marketers in South East Asia. Unfortunately, many organisations lack the skills to implement automation strategies, such as analytics and search engine optimisation.
No sweat! Marketing automation companies like Hubspot offer training on how to use their software and incorporate them into your marketing strategies. For more information on how to choose the most suitable marketing automation software for your business, check out our earlier post on Increasing Your Marketing ROI.
3) Basic Coding
If primary school children island wide are learning how to code, there is no reason why you cannot do so too.
The future of marketing is digital, and program code lies behind many digital marketing campaigns. You don’t need to attain software developer proficiency. But with a basic grasp of programming terminology, you can:
Converse more effectively with your developer and designer colleagues. When you know what’s involved in building a website or form, your briefs will be more accurate.
Justify your work to stakeholders. Dabbling in the code that holds your digital campaigns together will help you explain the rationale behind choosing a certain design or Search Engine Optimisation strategy.
I highly recommend starting your coding journey with Code Academy. I’ve completed the HTML and CSS course and found Code Academy a great starting point for anyone looking to nail down basic coding. Our resident SEO expert Nai, who is also a pro in Python code, recommends the book Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML for beginners.
Don’t be a Digital Dinosaur!
The Singapore government is dead serious about realizing its vision of a tech-enabled Smart Nation. To quote the budget 2016 speech, this is the “long-term game plan” for Singapore.
There is no excuse to be a digital dinosaur who sticks to traditional marketing practices, especially when there are so many resources to help you get started. Consider these tech skills not just a return on marketing investment, but also an investment in your marketing career.
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Image Credits & Sources
Header image from Pexels
Screenshots taken by us
 Marketing automation best bets: 80% of companies increase leads, 77% increase conversions (src: VentureBeat)
 Gauge Your L2RM Progress And Success (src: Forrester)
 Marketing automation climbing up priority list in Southeast Asia (src: Marketing Interactive)
 How To Close The Marketing Automation Skills Gap (src: CMO)
 Is Coding the Next Must-Have Skill of the Modern Marketer? (src: Hubspot)
 5 Reasons Digital Marketers Need to Learn Coding (src: Text100)