Updated on by Kate Gordon
Earlier this year, we took you through an introduction to low-code platforms. As a brief reminder, a low-code platform is a development platform that enables the creation of app software through graphical user interfaces and configuration. It saves writing thousands of lines of code and you don’t need to be an experienced developer to use it. Low-code is a proven method of developing new digital solutions much faster.
The low-code market now encompasses a wide range of services that can cater to developers, marketers, small businesses and bigger organisations. One of its main uses is the creation of internal apps to help improve a company’s core functions, such as HR, sales/marketing and financial reporting.
Low-code and its impact on marketing
The term ‘low-code’ often refers to both no-code and low-code platforms. No-code tends to be used by business users who have little to no coding experience and are ‘drag and drop’ interfaces which enable a website or application to be quickly pieced together. They have their limitations, however: you can only play with the tools provided and there’s no option to write any further code around them.
Low-code, on the other hand, is aimed at professional developers and design teams and helps them to streamline and simplify their work. It enables enterprise-grade applications to be created with very little hand coding, but still requires some technical knowhow. The biggest benefit, though, is that developers are still able to code additional features and designs, should time, coding skill and project resources allow.
Doing more with less
Being able to create or make changes to existing applications in a shorter timeframe has a positive impact on marketing agility: according to Forrester, no-code and low-code platforms enable marketers to build cloud apps faster and with fewer resources.
Marketers and designers can get involved in the creating process thanks to the low technical requirements. A lack of talented developers doesn’t have to become a workflow bottleneck for digital teams because a greater number of users can get involved with the design and build. Likewise, using low-code solutions leaves the skilled development team to concentrate on the highly technical tasks instead.
The no-code and low-code platforms on the market today can meet the requirements of a wide range of business needs, from customisable web pages to enterprise level app builder.
Some examples of low code platforms that marketers can make use of include:
- WordPress: while there have been page builder plugins available for some time, the release of Gutenburg editor provides users with greater flexibility without having to recode template files.
- Twilio: phone and SMS routing can be created in Twilio’s low code Studio, so advanced phone systems and reactive call/SMS response workflows can be created via drag and drop.
- Intercom: create interactive chat bots for users to interact with for sales and support purposes, without needing to code anything.
- Cyclr: build repeatable integration workflows in a drag and drop environment, publishing directly into SaaS interfaces for end-user self-service.
Getting started with low-code
The need to work faster and more efficiently was a general and widespread requirement of marketing teams, and this has been further exacerbated by the global pandemic: the cloud, digital tools and automation solutions are now even more important than before.
Low-code and no-code enables time-poor and funds-strapped marketers to create, test and deliver digital experiences without the need for advanced programming skills. In addition, it puts the power of how to solve a marketing problem directly into the hands of those that experience them, meaning that they can build solutions that are tailored to their specific challenges and future issues.
Given that low-code platforms usually cover specific areas, clearly identifying your goals for the project is the first and most important place to start. Other things to look for include ease of use, the amount of customer support and helpful resources available; platforms that allow for granular sharing of permissions across teams for better collaboration; and integration with the other apps you use in your organisation.
From trying to work around the gaps in their software, marketers are now adapting their mindset to solving essential problems and building efficient processes, regardless of any specific gaps in their various tools, thanks to the widespread adoption of low-code.