Python for marketers: get started with reporting, AI and marketing automation
Python is a programming language that has become extremely popular with developers and marketers in recent years. What can you do with it as a marketer? And how do you start programming yourself? This article will help you on your way!
Python is currently the fastest growing and most common programming language you will come across. This success is mainly due to the fact that Python is easy to learn and read. Thanks to its popularity, a lot of help can be found to solve the problems on different platforms like Stack Overflow.
That all sounds nice, but as a marketer I quickly ask the question: what can I actually do with it? In this article I will go into more detail about this. Let’s look at why you might use Python and how it can support you as a marketer.
Why should you use Python?
Python is extremely diverse. You can analyse an Excel file in minute detail and create graphs. Python shows you the sentiment from thousands of product reviews. And from these reviews it presents what your customers would most like to see differently.
If you go all out, you can create artificial intelligence or unleash deep learning on your company. But you can also let Python do other things, such as cleaning up your desktop or running your Instagram account. You can also build entire websites with it. The limit is your creativity.
In my experience, I have made the biggest difference when creating reports with Python. As a marketer, you sometimes spend an awfully long time sifting through CSV reports, comparing them with reports from previous periods… and then you also have to make them easy to understand.
Now this is not the biggest problem in the world, but still I always feel that this could be better. In my position at Signable I had the opportunity to immerse myself in Python and now I only make my reports with Python. I use the time I gain with this to work on more fun things, such as this article.
What can you do with Python?
To be fair, Python doesn’t look sexy. Basically it is a field on which you type code and execute this code by means of a Shift+Enter click. But the very act of executing this code is what makes Python so much fun.
You have to compare Python with your phone. When you download and install an app on your phone, you can do more with it and unlock features you didn’t have before. Python also works on this principle. You download and install tools and you can then get started.
As an example: I use Pandas and Numpy to create reports . This allows me to make the csv files super insightful. I can see the mean, median and mode, select the correct columns and put them in my new report file. Suppose I wanted to graph these results, then I install matplotlib . Then it is possible to make the most advanced models.
It almost seems like I’m talking about Excel and you’re not wrong. The big difference between Python and Excel when processing files and data is mainly in the speed. You will notice this difference especially with big data . Files over 100 MB fly through Python and are super easy to edit, while Excel is really starting to have trouble with the size of the file here.
Deep learning and AI
But besides reports, there is much more to do with Python. Deep learning and AI are increasingly becoming a reality in the marketing world. It is widely used and applied, but I lacked the on-hand experience until I started with Python.
In short, deep learning is a way in which the computer makes recommendations from past data. It sounds complicated, but we are actually very used to it. Consider, for example, the recommendations on your Netflix account. Or when you buy clothes on H&M and they offer a pair of matching shoes when you buy a jacket.
Now deep learning is not a walk in the park, however it’s more accessible than you think. Uber recently released a free deep learning program called Ludwig . And as I wrote earlier in the article, this program is just like an app on your phone, which offers completely new features to get started with. In this case deep learning. The simple explanation for using this program is: you give Ludwig the right csv file, you indicate what you want to predict with this data and Ludwig will get to work for you. You can find a detailed explanation of Ludwig on this page .
Yet another example of what you can do with Python is automating social media channels, for example. If you ever wonder how anyone makes Instagram bots, Python is the answer! Now making a bot is a very big black hat method in marketing. I will therefore never recommend using a bot for Instagram. Under the guise of “what can you do with Python?”, I found an interesting application of an Instagram bot in this video . Here, using advice from GaryVee, someone creates an Instagram bot to grow followers organically.
With a few Python programs like Selenium (which lets Python use a browser) and Keys (which lets you type like a “human”) you’ll be done in no time. With the basics of this application, like an Instagram bot, you could also create lists of the top 10 headlines for keywords you want to rank for. Or, for example, think of a summary of all websites to which your favorite blog links.
In short: you can do a lot of things with Python. The features I explained above are just the tip of the iceberg.
Where do you learn Python?
Python is a valuable skill to have as a marketer. You make the bridge between the marketing and the development department smaller, so that communication runs better. You can independently and quickly make analyzes and well-founded predictions for the market. In all probability, Python will continue to develop and there will be more applications in the future to make the marketer’s life easier and better. But where do you start learning Python?
To learn Python you can go many different routes. But the rule of thumb is: “Doing is learning!” So always try to participate in the tutorial, book or white paper that you have in front of you.
One of the best (free) resources for learning Python is on YouTube. Nick Duddy has a 5 part series to get you started and take your first Python projects. To be fair, you may have to get over the Scottish accent for a while, but once you get into it, you’ll learn all the basics super fast!
Finally, there are always the apps that teach programming languages to you. These are in my opinion a lot drier. In short, a little Googling, watching tutorials and applying everything immediately will go a long way to understanding Python better.
How do you get Python on your computer?
Python works on all major operating systems: Windows, macOS & Linux. But how do you get Python on your computer? The fastest and easiest way is through Anaconda. Anaconda is a platform that offers Python (and all basic “apps” pre-installed) for free. Below is an explanation of how you can download Anaconda.
Download Anaconda . Anaconda is the platform in which you will use Python. Many tools are built into Anaconda. This allows you to get started quickly and easily without too much fuss. All you have to do is go to this website and download the latest version of Python.
Start Anaconda and open a new Jupyter Notebook.
Click on “new” in the top right and select Python . I work with Python 3. So instead of Python, I have Python 3.
Congratulations! You can now start with Python!
Author: Marijn Quartel, Junior Business Analyst for DOMO