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What the Heck is Marketing UX?

4 min read
Shirley Patrick

Written by Shirley Patrick

19 April, 2021

When people think about UX design, they often associate it with product UX which is about making the product easy, effective, and efficient for customers. If you’re a UX practitioner, you would know that UX applies pretty much everywhere. From daily appliances we use to how an article is written, UX is everywhere. It doesn’t just apply to products.

Before getting into Marketing UX, What is Marketing?

Marketers generate awareness around a product. They make sure that the products they build reach their target prospects. And they strive to be where their prospects are – either through ads, social media, or other means.

Marketers work to keep the conversation going—they nurture their prospects with informative articles, videos and demos so that their prospects believe they have found the right solution to their problem.

So where does UX fit in?

User experience is a broad discipline. It includes concepts from various fields such as psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, analysis, behaviour patterns, and others.

Marketing can be a great place to apply UX. Marketing isn’t about going around saying, “The product I’m selling  is the #1 solution for you”. It leverages psychology and human behavior to successfully sell a product. And this is where UX comes in.

UX helps you understand why someone needs your product and how it makes them a better version of themselves. Make sure that the messages you’re communicating to your audience are simple, effective, and persuasive. Ensure that the value proposition mentioned on your website or marketing campaigns grab people’s attention. These play a key role in motivating your site visitors to convert.

These are the questions that UX answers:

  • On a landing page:
    • Does the page cater to user intent?
    • Does it grab attention?
    • How can engagement be improved?
    • Why are prospects not converting?
    • How can the page facilitate quick action?
    • Does the interface cause frustration?
    • Is there anything distracting from the primary objective?

  • On a blog page:
    • How can information be structured effectively?
    • What key factors need to be highlighted to grab attention?
    • What visual artifacts can be included to improve engagement?
    • How can the page make site exploration easy?
    • What should the next action be once a visitor completes reading an article? Where should they navigate to next?
    • How can the site help in building an effective customer journey?
    • Does the page provide the information people are seeking for?

  • The brand experience:
    • Does every touch point fulfill the brand promise?
    • Do customers have the right perception of the brand ?
    • Does every interaction connect with the brand promise?
    • Does the brand have an emotional connection with customers?

These are a few basic questions that UX designers handle, but there is so much more that marketers can leverage.

One such personal instance that can help shed more light here is when my marketing team had built a product feature page. They wanted me to analyze it and see how it’s performing and if there any usability issues. After a thorough UX analysis, I was able to identify and share with them a bunch of usability problems that needed to be addressed. In addition to that, I was also able to showcase to them how the current engagement was and what people are actually doing when they are on the site.

Marketing = UX

Given that both these disciplines spend tremendous amounts of time on research, they share a lot of commonalities such as:

  • Understanding their prospects and customers
  • Validating ideas and running experiments
  • Methodologies (ethnography, interviews, surveys, co-creation etc,.)
  • Finding insights based on different geographical, demographics, etc, and personalizing initiatives based on them
  • Clustering people based on intent such as awareness, interest, desire, and action while sharing related information
  • Leveraging emotion while carrying out campaigns or initiatives

So, what’s the difference?

Marketers are focused on the product they are selling and who is buying it. They build campaigns, branding, and marketing strategies based on these two factors. UX, on the other hand, is focused on why someone chooses to make a purchase decision. UX practitioners think about the needs, desires, and wants of the target audience and observe their behaviour while interacting with landing pages and ads.

Here’s a Venn diagram that simplifies the overlaps and differences:

Source: Simple Usability

The emergence of Marketing UX

Modern marketers are changing the way they view consumer behaviour. Instead of looking at them as numbers they now view them as people with legitimate problems.

Merging both these fields of study can impact not just the marketing team but the business as a whole. Marketing UX can pave the way for a wealth of strategies—and this is just the beginning!

Shirley Patrick
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