From the perceptions of those in the digital world, user experience has long held the position of “good guy.” It is rooted in genuine concern for customers and aims to do what’s best for them.
Marketing, on the other hand, has (at times) adopted the role of the villain – greedy, money-driven, and focusing on sales at all costs.
Fair or not, these caricatures do exist. Many people still think marketing and UX accomplish very different goals with disparate motives. But marketing and UX actually have quite a bit in common – there’s just a need to change those perceptions.
Here’s how an effective approach to marketing and audience engagement mirrors effective UX design and how you can strengthen your own marketing efforts by marrying the two.
1. Detailed Demographic Data
Market research is now playing a much larger part in marketing tactics, and the connection with UX is becoming inexplicably intertwined. There has been a seismic shift from, “Do customers even want this project?” to “How does my product meet my customers’ expectations?”
UX focuses on getting to know a specific demographic and building a product that will delight and engage those users. The goal isn’t simply to get them to purchase initially, but to continually engage with the brand and the product. Marketing and user experience share information in a double stream, each relying on the other to produce optimal results.
This trend will only continue, just as social media and information sharing continue to define consumer tastes.
2. Intimate Customer Relationships
UX incorporates intimate knowledge of the customers to gain an understanding of why they use the products they do. It’s about building what customers need, as well as what they want.
The same in-depth understanding of your customer base is vital in marketing. Getting to know the habits and expectations of your target audience means you can speak to them more easily, as well as hit specific messaging points that will bring them into harmony with your brand.
3. A Killer Competitive Analysis
One key factor of user experience is the competitive analysis, which examines the landscape of products that users may choose to use instead of yours. For UX, this is vital for creating the right set of features and niceties that will make it into the final product. It’s also imperative in guaranteeing that a similar product doesn’t already exist in the market.
This same information is invaluable for your marketing team, as it lends a deep understanding of how competitors are pushing the product. What makes customers choose that product over others? What keeps them loyal? This type of analysis helps your team recognize what features resonate with potential consumers, and therefore should be called out as “special” or even “revolutionary.”
To conduct competitive research, start with a framework (e.g., mission, elevator pitch, products offered, strengths, weaknesses, and brand differentiators) to guide your assessment. Then, select targets based on what other options your customers have. Even if you don’t think you have competition, you do. Prioritize which competing businesses you want to keep a close eye on – those that currently offer a product or service most similar to yours – and which you want to monitor long term.
4. Adherence to the Core Idea
In UX, every facet of a product serves its central goal. Every feature and interface element needs to serve the core of the product.
For marketing, this couldn’t be more important. Everyone has seen marketing efforts that sell things that don’t align with the reality of the product. Following good UX practices, like staying true to your core messaging at all brand touch points – from your website and offline to social media – helps resolve this.
Marketing and UX have more in common than meets the eye. Although the digital world still paints each in entirely different lights, marketers continue to work their way to “good guy” status by incorporating UX best practices that keep the customer top of mind.
Can you think of some great UX examples? Let us know who does this well in the comments!