Marketing X User Experience Design: A Powerful Combination for Growth

Marketing x User Experience Design: A Powerful Combination for Growth—-In the words of the Former CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” The founder of the e-commerce giant Amazon, Jeff Bezos, made a similar remark. He averred, “If you build a great experience, customers tell each other about that.”

The two messages above emphasise the relationship between marketing and user experience design (UXD or UX design or XD). They highlight the importance of those two fields in driving business growth.

As an explainer, while marketing focuses on promoting and selling products, user experience design helps to create meaningful and satisfying user interactions. Holistically, a synergy of both worlds leads to an effective strategy or, to put it directly, (startup) growth.

For professionals who have found the associations or those looking to start, the connection should not just be a box-ticking strategy but a fundamental approach to making something people want and ultimately growing the bottom line. Don’t take my word for it; look at the performance of Facebook, Apple, Google, and other global companies and their hefty investment in user experience design talents. Their massive investment in talent pipeline development is visibly loud.

How can upcoming unicorns and decacorns build a great strategy that puts users first? This article seeks to answer that question. We will explore the relationship between UXD and marketing, highlighting key meeting points and opportunities.

Understanding User Needs:- A thorough grasp of user needs is the first step towards, first a great product development and, contextually, effective product marketing. Conducting user research to gather insights into the target’s pain points, preferences, and expectations will help product leadership to features that meet customer expectations. Through this exercise, product marketers, product owners and UX design teams can gain valuable insights through collaborative research using user interviews, surveys, and usability testing; this can spur critical thinking and a clear understanding of the product values.

Apple’s product marketing successes can be attributed to its meticulous user experience design and utility. Beyond its signature design in software and hardware products, such as the iPhone and Macbook, Apple has design as its core ritual and organisational culture. Perhaps the company’s massive success is why it offers tonnes of design resources. Beyond the perceptive hustle for thought-leadership and market relevance, Apple is a reference point in almost all case studies on user experience design. Knowing what users need and working to deliver those gives a company a competitive edge in the market and increases customer retention rates.

Aligning Messaging and Branding: As mentioned earlier, marketing messages must reflect the user experience. Beyond highlighting products’ features and benefits, it must also anticipate and address likely concerns about usability, accessibility, clarity, consistency, efficiency, and control; this is possible when both teams have a feedback loop for sharing insights.

For instance, Airbnb’s product user design is centred on providing unique travel experiences and community, which tends to be prominent in its marketing campaigns. The VP of Design, Alex Schleifer, shared more about Airbnb’s user-centred design philosophy.

By collaborating with UX designers, product marketers can align their marketing materials, such as website content, advertisements, and social media campaigns, with the brand’s values and user experience. When marketing messages are consistent with the actual user experience, data shows that they instil trust in users, increase brand credibility, and ultimately boost revenue by 10-20 per cent.

Optimising User Journeys: Moving from the marketing channels to the product must be smooth for users while the brand enjoys increased conversions. As UX design maps out user journeys and identifies touchpoints and opportunities for engagement throughout the customer’s interaction with the product, product marketers may use the information to design journey-aligned campaigns specifically targeted at each stage, guaranteeing a consistent user experience and messaging.

Amazon’s user-personalised journey aids sweatless product marketing and usually serves as a holy grail for e-commerce companies. Every process step, from personalised recommendations to one-click purchases, is optimised to enhance the user journey and increase conversions. Integrating storytelling into the marketing messages and visual elements along the user journey is a strategy that has also proven effective. Thus, cross-selling and up-selling opportunities are possible.

Iterative Implementation and Improvement: User experience design, like marketing, never stops—especially when optimising for results. There is no reason to do otherwise. Embracing an iterative approach helps continuous improvement. For UXD purposes, an iterative strategy offers a growth trajectory. See the next point.

This is an opportunity for marketers to learn users’ pain points or identify new market opportunities. How? Knowledge of user research and data crunching helps just like marketing data analysis and/or user testing techniques: consumer behaviour, and A/B, split, and multivariate testing, for example, offer an opportunity to stay sharp.

More importantly, no one should understand your product better than you. Why should consumers believe you when you don’t understand your product or their pain-points? Yes, compete this bit with all other product stakeholders.

Measuring Impact & Improving Experience: As mentioned above, measuring impact is crucial for driving continuous improvement and your startup growth. Among others, click-through, conversion, and retention rates are key metrics that provide valuable insights into user journey mapping. Leveraging these data could help product owners and the UX designer improve user experience by increasing usage.

The video streaming giants (think  Netflix and Amazon Prime) and e-commerce platforms (say Amazon) have provided evidence on how to do this best. They examine user engagement metrics and leverage machine-learning algorithms to provide similar recommendations. This enhances user personalisation and improves user experience very greatly, resulting in a high retention rate.

Product management-wise, an effective impact measurement can lead to either aha moment for users or churn.

Several human problems need solving, whether in existing or barely explored areas. The first step to attempting any of these is to design empathetic solutions to solve the problem. For existing companies, the goal of UX is to be kind enough to ease the stress of adopters and save the companies from losing (more) money. A report titled The Trillion Dollar UX Problem noted that trillions of dollars are lost to bad UX design.

Collaboration between UX designers, marketers, and potentially other product players ensures that the product’s value is effectively communicated, resonates with the target audience, establishes a competitive edge in the market, builds stronger brand loyalty, and drives business growth.

Also, with reported decreasing attention spans, it is clear that more than a fat marketing budget is needed to guarantee a fair market share. Every business, be it a technology startup or a traditional brand, must strive for a human-centred, data-driven design to ensure the effective deployment of available advertising dollars.

Muhammed Moshood is a marketing professional with consulting, financial services and fintech experience. He writes from Folkestone Kent, the United Kingdom.


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