The impact of the no-code movement is clear for B2B marketers. In the past (and in the present too), if the marketing team had a great idea about how to better engage customers, one that involved building an app or a chatbot, they’d have to write up a detailed proposal, present it to the IT department, then wait for IT to decide whether it had a software developer available to do the coding (i.e., to build the app or chatbot). If no coder was available, marketing’s great idea would get put on the shelf.
No-code tools, which are becoming more available and flexible these days, are taking the coder out of the scenario described above. B2B marketers who have great ideas can use no-code tools to actually build whatever they want by themselves. Instead of relying upon and waiting for coders/developers to build websites, landing pages, apps, and chatbots, marketers can cut out the middle person and “just do it” themselves. No-code is basically DIY for marketers.
What no-code tools unleash: Creativity and productivity
Software developers can use no-code tools to become even more productive, enabling them to reduce time to “go live” even for the most complex coding work. No-code tools will also empower B2B marketers to build marketing assets without gaining buy-in or waiting for resources from the IT department. Instead of marketers requesting service via a drawn-out internal process, they’ll be able to build more of what they need (and faster) via self-service. This more streamlined journey from idea to execution will eliminate bottlenecks that stopped or delayed marketers in the past, creating opportunities for anyone on the marketing team to act on an idea rather than waiting in line for a software developer/coder.
BTW, no-code tools still involve code
No-code (and low-code) tools are basically visual, easy-to-use builders, using drag and drop functionality, that help marketers intuitively assemble and build things without any code application. There’s coding involved, but it’s built-in and happening “under the hood” so (non-developer) marketers don’t see any of it. As a marketer assembles and manipulates blocks in a simple user interface builder, the code is automatically generated in the background.
No-code capabilities for 3 key functions
Martech guru Scott Brinker’s keynote at the March, 2021 MarTech conference addressed three key areas where no-code martech will be most beneficial:
Automation: The ability to automate routine activities and processes so marketers can focus on developing ideas rather than coding or requesting coding professionals;
Augmentation: The acquisition of new creative and analytical capabilities that improve existing tools and help marketers work smarter and faster;
Integration: The connectivity of no-code tools with other tools and data in your tech stack.
There are an increasing number of no-code tools available for workflow automation, business process automation, and more. According to Gartner, the global no-code (and low-code) market is projected to total $11.3 billion in 2021, an increase of 23.2% from 2020. Marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Salesforce have already baked in no-code workflow automation, enabling marketers to use drag and drop tools and other intuitive user interfaces to set up complex workflows.
No-code tools aren’t being deployed in silos, of course, but are increasingly getting integrated across the tech stack. Even better, no-code tools are being integrated using no-code tools that make integrations easier. Scott Brinker calls these no-code integration tools Integration-Platform-as-a-Service (or IPaaS). Integration is so central to today’s business stacks that the big marketing automation platforms have even begun acquiring IPaaS vendors: Salesforce, for example, purchased IPaaS vendor Mulesoft.
Research from no code IPaaS vendor Zapier says that 42% of U.S. digital marketers expect to use six or more new apps in 2021, so no-code integration tools are perennially useful. That’s a clear indicator that marketers are planning to augment their existing capabilities through adding various no-code tools.
A no-code use case & how to choose no-code tools
In a recent B2B Marketing webinar, No-Code Martech in Practice, Kirsty Dawe of no-code vendor Webeo, explained that no-code tools support agility, which is especially important as customer demands are shifting so quickly and marketers are under intense pressure to keep up. Dawe demonstrated how a landing page could be changed within minutes using drag-and-drop and text editing tools that are no-code (i.e., no html know-how needed), resulting in a 61% increase in “time on page” for the client page in question.
Dawe then went on to describe four key criteria that marketers should consider when selecting no-code tools:
The user interface and user experience of the no-code tool needs to be intuitive and easy-to-use.
No-code tools need to “play nice with others,” meaning they should integrate (or be easily integrated) with the rest of your tech stack, including your MAP, CRM, and beyond.
Carefully consider “permissions control” available for the no-code tool so that only authorized persons can make changes and build marketing assets using the tool.
Carefully consider available training options so that your people can quickly and easily start gaining value from the no-code tools. Adoption is never a matter of simply handing random no-code tools to your team and saying “go at it, folks!”
No-code martech is an emerging movement that promises to help developers work more efficiently, but also empowers marketers (i.e., non-developers) to go from idea to making (eliminating long waits for IT resources). The takeaway is clear, no-code tools transform marketers into makers.
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