brightly colored beads of an abacus
PHOTO: Crissy Jarvis

NoCode — and even low code — tools enable organizations to optimize their limited resources for greater innovation. That’s why 41% of organizations were already using a NoCode or low code platform, and a further 10% expressed interest in starting to use one soon, according to the State of Application Development published by OutSystems, 

Tech experts tell us what NoCode means in the context of digital marketing, whether there are substantial limitations to NoCode platforms and what sort of NoCode tools marketers are using today.

What NoCode Means for Marketing Teams

"While NoCode is often described as empowering those without development resources to build software,” said Andrew Haller, co-CEO of AirDev, “its impact can be just as great for well-resourced enterprises.” That’s because — no matter the size of the organization — nontechnical users are empowered to build tools to fit their exact requirements, rather than explaining to tech teams what they want.

“Employees across disciplines, from finance to marketing to operations, can build applications to fit even the smallest and most niche needs,” explained Haller, “and IT resources can be freed from more mundane development activities to focus on high value-add projects.” Enterprises that do have development teams, therefore, can leverage their technical skills to pursue more innovative digital ambitions.

“Customers and clients deserve products and services that exceed their expectations,” said Norhanie Pangulima, Outreach Consultant at Centriq. And she believes NoCode tools bring the speed and agility necessary for organizations to make this a reality. “The latest customer experience tools comprise everything from chatbots and satisfaction surveys to integrated social media and digital assistants,” Pangulima continued. For many enterprises, delivering these digital experiences quickly means getting non-technical employees — who know the customers best — to get involved from the outset using NoCode capabilities.

The Limitations of NoCode 

"NoCode tools today have very few limitations,” stated Haller. At this point, many NoCode tools have been around long enough to understand what marketers need, and have added these capabilities out of the box. “Marketers who are able to stitch together platforms,” explained Haller, “can automate workflows, create rich experiences for their customers, and even create full-fledged applications at scale." From a functionality perspective, therefore, most NoCode platforms have everything marketers need, but there are other limitations.

“Currently I feel that the limitation of NoCode is that although it’s quick and agile there are always economies of scale that will help if something is done in-house,” said Rahul Vij, CEO of WebSpero Solutions. NoCode can lead to marketing agility, but it can also bring technical challenges in the long run. “I think NoCode is good for testing and deciding what we need,” he continued, “but to scale it to reach the masses, or handle large amounts of data, an in-house solution will be better and cheaper.” Many NoCode platforms can’t match the performance of a solution built by software developers.

How Marketers Are Using NoCode Today

Today’s marketers are using NoCode tools to bring efficiency to their workflows and craft better customer experiences without requiring support from IT teams. More specifically, here are some common use cases the experts have seen.

Front-end Development

"Marketers use front-end web development tools like Webflow and Squarespace to create rich experiences to guide and inform customers,” said Haller. These tools enable marketing teams to build responsive websites without any knowledge of HTML, CSS, or JavaScript.

Workflow Automation

Haller said many nontechnical employees at enterprise organizations use “workflow automation tools like Zapier to reduce manual efforts.” Zapier and IFTTT let users connect separate apps to perform automated tasks without needing to integrate them from scratch using APIs and heavy programming.

Analytics

“[Marketers] use analytics tools like FullStory and Hotjar to track user activity and manage funnels,” Haller said. These tools help marketing teams collect critical data without needing to write scripts or analytics plugins from scratch.

As we’ve seen, NoCode tools are making their way into almost all of the everyday tasks of today’s marketing teams. Vij believes it’s a powerful approach for marketers to “do all this without waiting for development teams to understand the context, decide scrums and then deliver, which would need a lot more resources and commitment from the organization.”

But the benefits of NoCode aren’t just impacting organizations internally. “By understanding, applying and implementing the NoCode tools,” concluded Pangulima, “you’ll be able to use the latest technologies to create a winning customer experience which helps guarantee loyal, repeat customers and clients.”