“Do I need to be technical in digital marketing?”Digital marketer
“Are there blogs on digital marketing that is on the technical side?”
“What are the different aspects of technical marketing?”
I got an email from someone who commented that tracking internal links is so technical. It made you wonder if a person needs to be more technical in digital marketing. There are nuances in the question but I say yes. So, you’re a digital marketer and you want to be more technical. But you don’t know where to start.
In a marketing world, where everything is always changing, digital marketers need to adapt to change. Things like innovations, trends, and technology become obsolete. As such, your business gets left behind.
The audience companies target has high-tech products like mobile phones. A study shows that 61% of Americans who are 12 years old and below own a mobile device. While 44% of Americans 12 and older own smartphones. Finally, 52% of Americans under 8 years of age have already access to a mobile device.
This article is an introduction to technical marketing and gets you started on the right path. Stay up-to-date with and keep your skill fresh in a fast-changing industry.
What Is Technical Marketing?
There are many definitions. there’s no formal definition of what technical marketing is. I’ll quote Hubspot’s definition:
“It refers to a specific type of marketing that focuses primarily on the specifications and, of course, ‘technical’ aspects of a product or service. This type of marketing centers on exactly how a product or service works, and therefore the detail of exactly how it will benefit the user.”Hubspot
I explain Technical Marketing into two analogies:
a) Technical Marketing is anything that looks “under the hood” of digital marketing campaigns. When I say “under the hood”, it’s looking at how cars run. Most of us know what a car is. But we wouldn’t care so much to know the different parts of a car and how it works.
b) Technical Marketing is anything that looks “behind the curtains” of marketing campaigns. When I say “behind the curtains”, it’s when knowing the props where and how they operate. Most of us only watch a theater without caring how the show is being run.
In simpler terms, it’s knowing “how things work” and “where things are” in digital marketing.
Technical marketing is also the focus on the features and specifications of a product. It appeals to people who are prospective buyers with a basic technical product understanding. It’s also defined as the use of modern technology as part of a marketing tool to increase sales.
It’s a mix of digital technology and marketing tools on how the company markets its products. Practitioners of this space have diverse skills like researching, communication, and web design.
What is a Marketing Technology Stack?
I’ll quote Optimizely’s definition:
“A marketing technology stack is a grouping of technologies that marketers leverage to conduct and improve their marketing activities. Often, the focus of marketing technologies (aka “martech”) is to make difficult processes easier, and to measure the impact of marketing activities and drive more efficient spending.”Optimizely
I explain marketing technology as the tools that support the “system” or “operation” of marketing campaigns. Once you get to this point, it’s all about the software to “make things happen” in digital marketing.
Technical Marketing versus Non-Technical Marketing
The difference is between the use of platforms in reaching customers. Technical marketing uses online platforms to promote products or services. While non-technical marketing is the traditional methods like print, direct mails, and billboards.
Technical marketing is when a company uses social media, email, and pay-per-click advertising. It has become popular due to the technological changes in our lives. Both marketing platforms have their pros and cons. But technical marketing is more effective to use today. You can connect with your target audience and you can save your time, as well as resources.
6 Technical Marketing Skills
Below are the technical marketing skills needed for a company to succeed. Marketers need to acquire these skills to do technical marketing successfully.
Search Engine Optimization is when websites are on the top spot or position 1 on a search engine. This is an important channel for marketers when someone searches for a solution to a problem. A component of SEO is Technical SEO.
Technical SEO is more about maintaining the website behind the scenes. It’s about making sure the site is mobile-friendly, using SSL, and fixing duplicate content issues. In addition, marketers also need to know how to speed up a website, creating XML sitemaps. All this so that the company’s website is better off for search engines.
Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC Advertising) refers to paid advertising on the Internet. It’s where users click these advertisements and advertisers pay a fee. It’s a strategy used to attract possible buyers of buying visits to your site. Search engine advertising and Facebook are popular forms of Pay-Per-Click Advertising.
Technical marketing includes PPC, and PPC is growing. Opportunities in this field are expanding although being a pay-per-click specialist is not easy. Skills needed in this field are strong analytical skills. PPC campaigns rely on technical audience targeting.
PPC advertising more on tinkering with Google Ads and Facebook Ads Manager. These are the tools of the trade. You spend time looking at numbers all day and create spreadsheets on campaign performances. Mastery of the tool makes up more of your time than creating strategies sometimes.
Data Analysis is how you present information in a graphical format like a pie chart or a pictorial representation. Top-level management can make wise decisions because they see data visually. After which, they can make relevant conclusions. If you understand how to create data visualizations, you help stakeholders with important things to do and not to do.
It’s a good thing if you know how to manipulate data like learning how to use SQL and queries data. When learning data analysis, look at your data collection processes more carefully. Excel is the common spreadsheet tool with data analysis and visualization features. Know the basic functions and the right formula to save time and come up with the right results.
Coding and Programming
Understanding basic programming is important if you want to have a career in technical marketing. It helps to be efficient in a programming language because you can communicate well with your team. And communication is an important skill that a digital marketer knows.
As a marketer, you should know a basic understanding of how to make minor tweaks on websites or apps. Knowing scripting programming languages like Python, NodeJS, and PHP to automate tasks.
A basic understanding of programs allows marketers to know the ins and outs of a business. Having this skill is critical especially if you work in a start-up. This allows you to communicate better with your internal teams especially web developers.
Technical marketing includes the use of multiple tools in your arsenal. So, it’s a skill as a technical marketer to integrate these tools for automation. Integrating tools make the lives of businesses easier. An API (or Application Programming Interface) allows other tools to automate tasks.
Integromat is an example of an integration platform that allows you to do this. Blend data from Facebook Ads to Google Sheets. Or get your Gmail data to Google Sheets to have faster lead generation processes. Or get an SMS notification when someone buys from your ecommerce. Learning APIs and integration allow technical marketers to do more in marketing operations.
Technical writing is a writing discipline where complex ideas are simplified for a specific audience. Most technical writing tasks involve creating a knowledge base and user documentation. These pages are not meant to acquire leads but to retain current users or current customers. That said, technical writing is part of the technical marketer’s arsenal.
Writing involves educating the market and providing directions about a particular task. They have strong research skills, especially on their current user base. Establishing retention with current buyers is important. So, when tech companies release updates, the current users adopt them.
10 Technical Marketing Blogs To Boost Your Career
For this article, I’ll focus more on a list of blogs rather than a list of software tools. I already covered different tools for digital marketing before. Don’t be scared of this article. Not everything here is about coding (but some of them are). And these are the ones that I have personally read and helped me learn more about the industry.
Shameless plus! Lupage Digital is a good start if you want to learn technical ideas in digital marketing. My blog contains articles on tools like Google Analytics, Google Sheets, and APIs. Most of the articles are guides and highlight “how things work”
I started this blog as a means to get clients and earn passive income. In hindsight, it was a great decision. One of the highlights is someone told me that my blog helped and that person said it was helpful.
My blog is the only blog that I could (so far) on how to report on the Philippine stock exchange on Google Sheets. I’ve also written a guide on Google Optimize testing. My website is also the only website (that I know of) that has a bulk UTM generator.
Simo Ahava is the Google Tag Manager and tracking champion. He’s famous for having major contributions to the world of tag management. He has a blog post dedicating GTM and other tech-related issues like data privacy and the web browser.
He released his new set of technical marketing courses. His server-side tagging has helped a lot of people in the marketing community.
His blog post “The Myth Of The Non-Technical Marketer” is identical to a manifesto. If you’re working in digital, you’re already technical. Give it a read to know more about this paradigm shift in the industry.
Sheets For Marketers contains great articles on automating marketing tasks. A haven for Google Sheets and Looker Studio tutorials and templates. The blog feels right at home with marketers who are neck-deep with spreadsheets.
The blog has templates ranging from on-page SEO, backlink analysis, to web scraping. Anyone who is struggling with their marketing reports finds something useful in this blog.
My favorite thing about his blog is he has different lists of marketing APIs. He has a list for API ranging from SERP to Backlink analysis. He also has an APIs list for text analyzers. When you’re starting projects and looking into automated marketing, look into this resource.
Owned by Peep Laja, Conversion Rate Optimization, Customer Experience, and Branding expert. The blog is a goldmine of remarkable articles ranging from different topics. The blog has something for everyone if you’re working in product marketing, digital analytics, or branding,
This team also has a technical marketing course. The course lives up to the name of technical marketing. It contains topics on machine learning, coding, and cloud technology. Check the course and their blog if you’re serious about diving into technical marketing.
Agency Automators is a good start for those who want to learn technical marketing. The website is full of webinars from different people sharing technical ideas. As the name implies, it dives into topics that automate the workflows of agencies.
What’s great about the webinars is that they are natural which means that most of them are not for hard selling. Some of the webinars of Agency Automators run for more than an hour and it’s also conversational. This is good since normal webinars are restricted by time.
You can also join its slack community for free. You can get to meet lots of people in the industry. It’s also great for networking and learning new things about technical marketing.
His blog is good for people who are looking for byte-size articles on Python and Google Sheets. He had a project on how he used the Moz API. He acquired the domain authority metric into Python and created reports. There are articles also on how to track Instagram and Facebook stats in Google Sheets. Cool stuff.
Martech with Me is managed by Yaniss Illoul. He also has a youtube channel. Hoping to learn more from him in the future.
I came across this website when I was looking for articles on Python applications on SEO. Sure enough, this website came up and it’s full of remarkable articles. This website publishes articles on how Python can supercharge SEO optimizations.
Then you come across blogs like importsem.com and jcchouinard.com. These are Python blogs so it enforces the idea that Python and SEO complement one another. I get inspired on learning more Python when I read these articles. Read this resource if you need validation if Python has room in technical marketing.
Coding Is For Losers (or CIFL) is another good resource for data automation. They are an agency but they provide in-depth tutorials on Google BigQuery and SQL. CIFL also provides report templates like content audits and other API guides.
They have a video on how Python can shape and transform SEO for the better. Good information if you’re curious where coding fits in the digital marketing structure.
Want to get your feet wet with digital analytics? Optimize Smart’s blog is the best way to start. Ran by Himanshu Sharma, Optimize Smart is a mountain of knowledge. Ranging from digital analytics to Facebook advertising.
The most valuable information I’ve read from him is attribution modeling in Google Analytics. Read his stuff if you don’t want to shy away from technical ideas. His blog not only focuses on technical ideas but also personal development. Some of his blog posts are about career paths where digital analytics takes you.
Data-led Academy gear toward more on product analytics and product management. If you want to get a glimpse of “strategic data” in product management, then this blog is for you.
His blog “What are Data Types and Why are They Important?” and “How to Decide What Events to Track?” both highlight what user properties are. It answers “who are our users that we can optimize toward?”. It’s more product-oriented and data than marketing but it lives up to the “technical” part.
Getting your feet wet with Marketing Technology? Read Hacking Marketing by Scott Brinker.
The point I got is the mantra “Marketing is everything” is incomplete. Marketing borrows ideas from the software world to succeed in the digital space. This book was one of the first books when I started with digital marketing. It’s a good book and easy to read.
✓ Marketing programs today now adapt software development frameworks.
✓ Marketing campaigns shouldn’t be a “waterfall” but should be more “agile”.
✓ Marketing is not only creative and artistic but also technical and mechanical.
✓ The digital space enables marketers to speak with their customers easier and closer.
✓ Marketing + Software = Win
Conclusion: Technical Marketing is a Skill To Learn
Technical marketing is very crucial to the success of a business. Almost everyone needs technology for various reasons. That’s why marketers are using online platforms to build relationships with their customers.
Digital Marketing is a tough industry and you’re busy and have no time to learn. The way to make your skills relevant is to be more “technical”. These blogs help you learn about different aspects of technical marketing. Get an introduction to some key ideas and boost your marketing career.