Can UX help marketers?
Building a bridge between UX and Marketing
Since I became a UX designer, I got some experience working with marketers and I was lucky enough to experience the frustrations and frictions between marketing and user experience.
Those clashes helped me take some time to reflect and understand — what can we do to work better together and how can I advocate for users when I’m working with someone from (what feels like) a completely different world?
I spent some time thinking about why UX and Marketing disagree so much on many things such as features and interactions on websites and in products.
Our best practices are competing with each other. But at the end of the day, we still need to work together to understand and design the full user experience.
After debates over flashy calls to action, pop-ups, banners, ads, and sign-ups, I started to realize that UX and Marketing do, indeed have at least one thing in common — we both want to make products that are desirable to our users, we want users to engage with our products and we want to meet the business goals of our companies.
We’ve all seen these websites…
So how can we build that bridge between marketing and design? What can marketing and UX do together to see improvements? And how can we, as user experience advocates help marketers understand how looking at a better user experience will benefit them?
How can we talk to marketers so that we remove those frustrations from both parties and show them that we are here to help?
“I understand where you’re coming from.”
Firsts thing first — let’s be more empathetic. It’s something we do on daily basis with our users, but we need to also be empathetic towards our coworkers or clients.
We need to understand that marketers have their goals and they also use practices that they’ve seen to bring results. There must be a reason for those flashy popups — and why they worked before.
Try to find out what that reason is before saying it’s a bad idea from the users' perspective. Help them come up with a different idea that will be in users' best interest, will bring long-term results — and that will also meet their marketing goals. And then test. See which one works better.
Ask users what they think and explain that in the long turn too much focus on the business conversions can harm the product itself. Use real data to compromise and make a decision. Finding a balance between the two will bring the best results long term.
“ You’ll see an increase in your sales and conversions”
One of the main arguments that UX can help with the marketing strategy is the ROI of UX. Good user experience can improve sales and conversions. Users tend to spend more time on websites that they like and that are easy to use.
In turn, they are more likely to purchase products from websites that are nicely designed. Sure, they might get more sign-ups with pop-ups, but how many of those users will never come back to the website because they see those pop-ups all the time? Even the smallest thing can impact the bounce rate, meaning that our research and testing can hugely help.
Understanding user’s needs and expectations will help marketers to see the value that we can bring into their strategy.
“ You’re customers will be happier so they’ll stay.
Marketers also care about their churn rate. Keeping your customers is just as, if not more important as getting new customers. If you keep your customers loyal to your brand, they are more likely to spend more money, stay on the website, and become loyal to the brand.
If the website is optimized, easy to use, and meets the user’s goals, people will want to use it.
If there are any frictions that might annoy them, they are more likely to leave and try another service. This also brings us to another point…
“Happy customers are your best advertisement”
Reviews, testimonials, and communication through the word of mouth from one person to another. That’s the best advertisement. If your customers are happy, they will recommend you to others.
Trust is one of the main drivers of sign-ups and sales and if your potential users trust you, they are more likely to do what you want them to do. This also works in reverse.
If your customers are not happy with what they see, their product doesn’t work or your website is hard to use, they are more likely to leave a bad review.
“Good user experience can lower your costs”
To buy a product or sign up for a free newsletter, your users need to understand what they are signing up for.
For them to trust you, you need to communicate what they’ll be getting out of this product, how it’s different from everything else out there, and also help users to find whatever other info they need.
This is even more important when they are already using your product or service and they use it online. Just think about how much money can be saved if users don’t need to contact your customer service to get further help.
“Let’s find out where things are going wrong.”
The answer to this is user testing. Getting real user feedback can not only help to see how users interact with the product but also see how it can be improved.
Where are pain points where people are dropping off? What do they like? What info is missing that they’d like to see? User testing helps to uncover all this so that we can make customers happy and improve conversions, engagement rates, and much more.
Marketing and UX can sometimes bump heads but it’s important to see what our common goals are, and clearly state how we can help to reach them.
There are many things we can learn from marketing and that marketing can learn from us so that our products can become even more customer-centric.
Let’s be open-minded and use both practices correctly to show users the true value they will get out of the product, and in turn — improve sales and conversions.