Why marketing and tech knowledge go together
I’ve always been into technology and for some years in my youth, starting at school, was a technology journalist writing for magazines such as Personal Computer World, Linux Format, Macworld, Acorn User and Computer Shopper. You can read more about my school days and getting started in journalism here. In short, I started writing for newsstand computing magazines as a teenager, and spent my time doing journalism rather than homework, which inexplicably earned me detentions, and built up skills in writing and tech that have served me very well as a marketer.
You’ll find around my site that there are a lot of articles about how technology and marketing fit together, especially in terms of digital marketing.
Building PCs and running a Linux server
In my youth in the 1990s I would build PCs for family members and myself, getting all the components, fitting them together and installing Windows. I could save money doing this, until PC manufacturers got hyper-efficient in the 2000s by moving production to China and Poland, so that the cost for me to buy the components was more expensive that the finished product from a large manufacturer with bigger buying power. Nonetheless, it was a fun and education experience.
Another education experience was as an undergraduate: signing up for a dedicated server for three years. This taught me the behind-the-scenes of the internet that you don’t see, including stuff about security and protecting websites from being hacked. This was in the days before comprehensive online control panels (such as CPanel) so I had to learn the Linux command line. You can read more about my experiences here.
What skills are marketing employers looking for?
Ever since personal computers became the norm in offices in the 1980s, marketers have needed to understand technology. Databases then CRM systems became key tools of marketers wanting to track results, and the internet has only fuelled the need for marketers to be tech savvy at all levels.
Nowadays, key tools for marketers include Google Analytics and SEO research tools. Writing skills are also essential as the ability to write good copy remains at the centre of effective marketing.
I’m a fan of marketing qualifications that involve a planned programme of knowledge, such as CIM diplomas and I also think that marketers who read fiction and poetry are at an advantage in developing their copywriting skills.