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2. Are you a Technical Marketer?

Are you intrigued by the idea of pursuing a career in technical marketing? Perhaps you're already working in digital marketing but don't necessarily see yourself as "technical". There's often some confusion surrounding the term "technical marketer". Let's dive in and demystify this concept while debunking a few myths along the way.

Digital marketing, by nature, is a technical field. After all, you’re working with complex technologies, using software and hardware that most people in this world have little clue about.

Over the years, the technology industry has scaled at an unprecedented rate. Products and services have become more complex. The role of the marketer has evolved with these changes, and a hybrid approach that blends technical understanding and marketing expertise has emerged as a consequence. This is technical marketing.

In order to understand how we, at Simmer, use the term, it’s perhaps important to also clarify what technical marketing is not.

We’ve noticed that technical marketing and digital marketing are sometimes mixed or used interchangeably (which is fair!), but they’re not always exactly the same thing.

Don’t miss this fact!

There’s a lot of overlap between digital marketing and technical marketing. In fact, in many cases digital marketers are technical marketers. But there are some differences, too, as we’ll explain below.

How does technical marketing differ from digital marketing?

While digital marketing focuses mainly on creating awareness and acquiring new customers for a certain product, technical marketing focuses on going deeper into the technical aspects of all the tools, products, and services marketers use to do their jobs.

While digital marketers need to be able to use at least some of the technical tools we talk about in this Handbook, they do not necessarily need to know on a deeper level how the tools work exactly. It goes without saying, however, that if they do, it will make their work easier. 

One of the key differentiators between the two disciplines is thus the level or extent of technical proficiency required.

Technical marketers are expected to have a deep and nuanced understanding of the technical infrastructure, data flows, and system integrations within their marketing ecosystem.

Example

A digital marketer may be responsible for creating and managing advertising campaigns on social media platforms, analyzing click-through rates, and optimizing ad spend.

A technical marketer might be responsible for setting up and configuring the advertising platform, integrating it with the CRM system, and ensuring that customer data is securely and accurately transferred between systems.

While both digital marketing and technical marketing are integral components of a comprehensive marketing strategy, they differ slightly in their focus, skill sets, and objectives. 

Ready for a quick break?

One of the main things that both digital marketers and technical marketers share is the need to take a break to digest new information. Go grab a drink of water, and pace around the room for 5 minutes to get your synapses in order.

Rethinking technical marketing

Having said that, we at Simmer believe that the move from digital marketing to technical marketing is actually very subtle. It’s more a question of ambition and education focus than anything else.

Marketing roles, even those in digital marketing, are still often seen as non-technical. We think that’s somewhat delusional – operating complex machinery and working with complex technologies are technical work, even if you’re just clicking around in a user interface.

We at Simmer would like to see more digital marketers embrace the technical aspects of their work. We believe that each and every digital marketer needs to understand the technologies they work with in order to do their work well.

Additionally, marketers often need to collaborate with technical teams. Even if they don’t need to write the code itself, it is worthwhile to understand how the systems work under the hood to be able to communicate with the technical team and suggest changes when necessary from a marketing point of view. It is also critical for team collaboration.

As the tech industry keeps on developing and changing faster than ever before and the need for new technologies and competences within the field arise, the term technical marketing will most likely evolve as well.

It is noteworthy that the Handbook covers the most important aspects of technical marketing in 2023–2024, and any future updates will be planned once we see how the field evolves. AI is definitely going to change the game, though only time will tell how drastically and to which direction.

If you have found this Handbook, count yourself lucky as you’ve just stumbled on an invaluable resource for any technical marketer. A well researched and in-depth handbook on the basic knowledge any marketer should have.

Siobhan Solberg

Data Privacy Consultant

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