The coding gap is making businesses less agile, say marketers

Majority of marketers believe business agility is now defined by coding confidence and level of integration with the developer team.

New research from email service provider Mailjet, has reveals a growing problem within companies relying on marketing and developer teams to collaborate together: the Coding Gap.

Half (54 per cent) believe that the gap in coding knowledge between the marketing and development team makes their company less agile. This is felt most by those who work frequently with the developer team; 52 per cent of whom express this knowledge gap makes them ‘a lot 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 (1 per cent) of marketers describing a negative relationship with developers. With 69 per cent describing a positive relationship, it’s a matter of poor integration rather than incompatibility.

Addressing the barrier

Marketing’s view on internal hierarchy may well be a factor. Two thirds (62 per cent) of 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. This falls to 22 per cent in France.

Marketers in France also attribute the lack of communication to a siloed structure (22 per cent) whereas marketers in the UK emphasise that the teams communicate in different ways and find it hard to understand one another (26 per cent).

Common ground rests in the perception of developers’ schedules. A quarter (28 per cent) of marketers in France and the UK argue developers are too strapped for time and marketing is the bottom of their priority list (23 per cent).

Josie Scotchmer, UK marketing manager at Mailjet, comments, ‘Our first-hand experience and research tells us that well integrated marketing and development teams are the most successful and agile. That being said, developers are strapped for time which means the challenge is finding ways for these two teams to interact in the most effective way possible.’

Using tools to bridge the Coding Gap

Half (55 per cent) of marketers believe their roles will merge with the developer team as marketers improve their technology skills. Interestingly though, nearly a third of marketers who speak with their developer team frequently express the greatest degree of feeling that the two roles will grow further apart over the next 5 years (32 per cent).

Josie continues, ‘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.

‘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.’

Frequent interactions with the developer team have a transformative effect on coding confidence.
Only 7 per cent of marketers who occasionally, or simply don’t speak with developers rate their coding ability for responsive email as very good. This is five times greater (34 per cent) among marketers in frequent communication, showing the value of effective collaboration.

Further reading on website coding

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