BLOGGER’S PARK: Experience is key

Prioritise UX to understand customers better

Marketing tends to be driven by survey data which tends to provide a very shallow understanding of user needs.
Marketing tends to be driven by survey data which tends to provide a very shallow understanding of user needs.

Saurabh Gupta

Users now live in an omnichannel world. According to Frost & Sullivan, omnichannel is a seamless and effortless, high-quality customer experience that occurs within and between contact channels. In other words, users want to interact with a more consistent brand experience across various offline and online channels such as print collateral, digital ads, banners, websites, apps, etc. As a result, digital marketing and user experience (UX) efforts are starting to converge more and more. In the past, marketing UX initiatives happened in silos without any cross-pollination, but now firms are increasingly asking for these efforts to be more aligned. UX design processes and best practices are being used to inform digital marketing strategy and vice-versa.

Here are three ways leveraging the science and art of UX design is maximising returns on digital marketing.

  • UX is shifting marketing communication from selling features to solving user problems: Traditionally, marketing tends to focus on buying behaviour and UX on post-purchase usage behaviour. This often leads to ad campaigns being largely focused on selling product features instead of communicating how the end user’s problems are being solved. A more holistic understanding of a user’s end-to-end journey is ensuring that digital marketing campaigns are becoming less feature-centric and more solution-centric in their communication.
  • UX is enabling deeper understanding of core emotional drives and blocks: Marketing tends to be driven by survey data which tends to provide a very shallow understanding of user needs. Qualitative user research techniques based on ethnography and cognitive psychology used by UX designers are helping digital marketers go deeper in their understanding of users. As a result, digital ad campaigns are now being designed to address the core emotional drives and blocks (for instance, I take vacations to feel less guilty about not focusing on my family) of a target user instead of just surface level set of stated preferences (for instance, I take family vacations to relax and unwind).
  • UX is driving the desired action from users: Campaigns are successful only if they drive users to take the desired next step leading to an increase in leads, traffic, etc. Persuasion design is an aspect of UX that leverages subconscious cognitive biases to nudge the user towards taking action. Persuasion design principles such as scarcity (for instance, limited time offer only), social proof (for instance, 5,420 users bought this last week) and obedience to authority (for instance, doctor recommended) are closing the gap from “users can click the ad” to “users will click the ad”.

As technology has evolved, the lines between digital marketing and UX have been blurred. Digital ads have more goal alignment with UX than they have ever had before. There are still divergences that need to be smoothened out, but the time has come for a more unified design approach to UX and digital marketing that can benefit marketers, users, and designers alike.

The author is co-founder, ZEUX Innovation

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First published on: 22-03-2023 at 10:39 IST