Becoming a Technical… as a Marketer

tl;dr – I’m making the foray into programming with the help of some friends and was inspired by Jamie Steven’s Technical MKTG slides as well as Techcrunch’s Growth Hackers series of posts – take a look at my Kippt list to see what’s caught my interest and what I’m constantly referring to.

If you follow Hacker News, TechCrunch or any of the prominent Inbound marketing related blogs out there, you’ve not doubt come across the hot new buzzword “Growth Hacker” otherwise known as a special pedigree of “technical marketers” armed with their online marketing, engineering, product and copywriting prowess coupled with their overall keen sense to “hack” and exploit any channel to further grow an online business.

It’s no wonder Growth Hacking has caught the imagination (and ire) of the tech world (especially after the series on Growth Hackers on Techcrunch) and to the same degree the Internet Inbound Marketing world.   Much like the mythical unicorn of hybrid engineer/designers, Growth Hackers fall into the same realm.

After discovering Jamie Steven’s endeavour of, watching his talk and finding his slides over on SEOMoz’s Mozcation in Milwaukee 2012 post, it brought me deeper down the rabbit-hole and I was like, “What? You mean I CAN and SHOULD become technical in order to stay relevant?” Sweet!  The fire was lit under my ass to learn, consume, fail, apply, fail, learn.. wash, rinse and repeat. (Thanks Jamie)

So what’s the point?

It’s more or less to document my own learning and interest in this space.  As an SEO, I’m naturally compelled to find new channels to help grow traffic, leads, whatever – the point use our own ingenuity and creativity to help grow whatever metric we’re trying to optimize for so if we were to visualize a metric, it would be “going to the left and to the right”.

SEO is a channel in and of itself is a channel for user acquisition, albeit, not a quick and dirty experiment where you can exploit a channel like Pinterest or Instagram, but it’s still a channel for the long haul nonetheless.

So I’d like to say I’m “competent” at SEO, but even then, there’s still so much more to learn.  While it’s great to keep learning SEO, there’s  an entirely different world outside of SEO and Inbound Marketing in general.  If we’re not tackling problems in entirely different ways than what we’re normally used to, we’ll be pushed aside and made irrelevant (in the long term).  That’s why after I learn more about Excel and Adwords (I finally finished Distilled’s Excel for SEO’s.. w00t!), the next logical step for me would be to make the jump over to programming.

With the help of some friends in the startup community in Toronto and the casual kick in the ass from my friend @_gabrieloc, I’ll be digging through Stanford’s Engineering Everywhere Lectures and maybe Treehouse if I land an international scholarship :)

So to the SEO’s, Inbound Marketers and people of the marketing world in general – what are you doing or learning to become more technical? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!