What does user experience (UX) have to do with marketing? Isn’t one somehow the opposite of the other? While marketing vies for the attention of users, UX aims to create a coherent user experience. How can this fit together? The answer is quite simple: the two approaches are two sides of the same coin and increasingly go hand in hand.
Marketing and UX must work together even better and more coherently in the future to bring products and services to the target group. User experience is no longer the exclusive preserve of designers, and in the same way, a fundamental understanding of marketing should – in the best case – permeate all areas of a company.
What is User Experience (UX)?
Very simply put, UX (user experience) refers to the experience and feelings a person has when interacting with, using, clicking on, and leaving a website, app, ad, etc. This user experience begins with the question of how users are made aware of the content and how the entire process ultimately takes place.
There are many aspects that make up a good UX.
These include for example
- User friendly: Is the user friendliness guaranteed?
- Desireable: Is the application aesthetically pleasing?
- Useful/Valuable: Is the content useful and helpful for the target group?
- Findable: Can the appropriate content be found easily?
- Credible: Is the content trustworthy?
- Together, they represent the metrics of a good UX design. (If you want to know more about this, we recommend the book “Information Architecture for the World – Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites” by Peter Morville).
- The focus of UX is always on the individual. It’s always about maximizing the user’s experience. However, it is not exclusively about the design, but about the variety, coherence and satisfaction of the entire interaction process.
What is UX Design?
UX design, on the other hand, refers to the creation of structures and processes that meet the expectations of users and make interaction with content user-friendly. What “user-friendly” means at this point depends heavily on the target group itself. What the user’s needs and expectations are is the shared workspace of UX design and marketing.
… and what is marketing?
Marketing means nothing more than making people aware and pointing out that a certain product or service exists and can satisfy the needs of the target group. The fact that this cueing is becoming louder, shriller, and more disruptive in our digital world of content overload contradicts the user experience approach – and it is this realization that brings us back to the opening thoughts of this post. The question remains: How can marketing and UX go hand in hand to meet the needs of users and those of the company in equal measure? Mind you: not only online, but also in the analog world.
What connects marketing and UX
Although the relationship of these approaches may not seem so straightforward, UX and marketing have some things in common.
- Data & Research Data and the results of research activities form the basis of both approaches, because understanding what makes the target group “tick” is essential for both marketing and UX. Learning from the past and deriving new trends from it is important and can provide a decisive market advantage. Both want to stay one step ahead and understand users better than the competition. (For more on the exciting topic of data in marketing, see our article on the Golden Record).
- Psychology Understanding about behavioral psychology in all its forms and how to apply it in terms of one’s goals is relevant to both approaches. On the one hand, the aim is to awaken needs, to lead people to a certain action and to convey a very specific mood. Psychology provides both approaches with a few important tools for this.
- Goal orientation Both marketing and UX have clear goals to achieve. It is these overarching goals that are at the heart of how the two approaches work together, as one will not get far without the other. What distinguishes marketing and UX
However, it is precisely in the goals themselves that marketing differs significantly from UX, and it is at this point that their collaboration becomes exciting.
- Focus on conversion vs. focus on user experience The central goal of marketing efforts is to sell products and services, to move through the sales funnel relatively quickly. It can therefore happen that marketing appears quite “pushy”, which some users perceive rather negatively. UX, on the other hand, aims to design the entire process, handling and mood in such a way that the user always has a benevolent feeling. These two approaches may or may not be opposite. The fact is, there is potential for conflict if coordination and communication do not run smoothly.
- Trends and studies vs. real user behavior We’re all familiar with this: what people say in opinion polls often has little to do with their actual actions. This applies to political voting behavior just as much as to their purchasing behavior. While marketers tend to turn to trends and studies as a basis for decision-making, UX designers have only one source of inspiration – the user data itself. At this point, then, another exciting intersection of the two approaches emerges. The question that needs to be answered: How can the trends and survey results be explained in the shadow of real user behavior? On the other hand, what makes people behave differently than they pretend or would like to?
- Successful collaboration between UX and marketing – this is how it works It’s clear that marketers and UX designers should work together today rather than tomorrow. In addition to the intersections already mentioned above, the following points should also be worked out together.
- Refine Buyer Persona: No marketing without persona. But does the UX data actually reflect that person? Can the theories that have been put forward in marketing about the ideal customer be confirmed with current user behavior? What do the numbers tell us about interests, wants and needs? Customize Customer Journey: Similar to the Buyer Persona, the customer journey can be optimized using the experiences and data from the two approaches. Which touchpoints are really used and how often? Which content performs best? Where does the customer journey break off?
- Ensure technology: All technical requirements for a successful customer experience must be met. A close look at technical errors, loading time and a good meshing of tools and systems should be ensured. Even small errors can lead to high bounce rates, frustrating UX designers and marketers alike.
- Test repeatedly: The jointly designed applications must be tested and re-evaluated regularly and by both sides. Why one-time testing is not enough? Because user behavior can change all the time and both teams need to react to these changes in time to be successful with their targets.
- Establish iterative processes: Not only should testing be repeated over and over again, but the entire joint work process is a regular cycle in the best case. Personas, customer journey, technology, testing – once a quarter an update of numbers, conclusions and actions should be ensured.
UX AND MARKETING COMBINED
Successful collaboration between UX and marketing is one of the keys to business success, especially in our digitalized world. The fact that the two approaches think differently about some issues should not obscure the fact that they also have much in common and share a wealth of common areas for action. Shaping this together in an iterative process is the core message of this article.