Marketing is about making people want things.
Design is about making things that people want.
User Experience Design is all about designing better experiences for the people in every aspect. Better experience leads to better satisfaction of the user and better satisfaction leads to better conversions.
Yes, the magic word – Conversions. The word which all digital marketers strive for day and night. It is well known that products with better experiences generally have more higher number of customers base. Thus, the User Experience plays a vital role in increasing the revenue for the product which is the ultimate aim of Digital Marketing. How?
Generally, when people pay for a product, they are actually paying for the experience of the product. Let me explain this – Suppose a person is buying a car. He is paying some amount after carefully filtering out all the other available cars in the market. He must have taken various factors into consideration – Ride quality, safety features, maintenance etc. All these factors contribute to form the experience of using the car.
So the experience of a particular car has actually convinced him to buy that car instead of any of it’s competitors. I did say people purchase experiences rather than products didn’t I? So the experience has a huge role to play in the actual business of the product. We can safely conclude that a good User Experience plays a vital role in increasing the results of the marketing.
But do we know that the reverse is also applicable? That is, even Digital Marketing plays a big role in the way we design experiences for our users? Yes, you read it correct. Understand digital marketing and having a marketing mind plays a big role in the way we design.
1) Understand people better
If there is one big thing common between between both these worlds – It is the people. You design for the people and their behaviours. Likewise, you sell to the people who are interested in your product.
When you design for the people, you need to understand them first. Their behaviours, their demographics and what not. User research is actually done to achieve this. Now when you have some experience in digital marketing the product in which you’re the designer, think of the power that you yield. You know exactly who your users, what they do, what are their interests, what they do in their leisure time, the people/companies they follow, where they are, Oh hell! You may even know what food their dog ate for breakfast! This is the data you get from digital marketing tools. When you know your people better, you design better.
Suppose you are seeing a rising trend in your data – It shows the number of users of your product in France is increasing day by day. But your app doesn’t support their local language French. So as a designer, what do you do? You start making amends to your app to be multi-linguistic in order to provide a better experience to them. This in turn will increase the rate of increase of French users to your app. Understanding is key.
Now you might think, this data your digital marketing team will itself provide so why do you need to understand digital marketing data. The thing is your digital marketing team members may or may not have design thinking methodologies. Now when they see a rise in French users, they might go start preparing ads, proposals or email marketing campaigns in French. They may not think of the experience the current French users are facing now when using the app. Without increasing the experience of the French users, pitching or selling to them will not make any difference.
2) Business outcomes and needs in mind
Sometimes as a designer we tend to go overboard on providing the best experience to the user. While it’s always a good thing, we must also keep in mind the other factors as well. We may not have sufficient resources, time or money to go for that one bit app flow change which will increase the experience of the user. Suppose there are two changes in your app which you have planned. You do not have sufficient resources to implement both of these in parallel. Both these changes are going to increase the experience of the app. Both these changes are not requested by your users. So which one do you implement first?
You should always implement the changes which will increase the sales of your app even more. As a designer, you may not necessarily have a business minded approach. But when you do have some basics of marketing, you will get to know which feature can be used a selling point, which can be marketed and which will increase your user base even more. Now you will first start implementing the feature which has the capacity to do both – Increase the experience of the product and also Increase the sales of your product through marketing.
3) You’ll understand numbers better
This may look like the same as getting to understand people but in reality it isn’t. Understanding people is of a psychological aspect while understanding numbers is more of a well, mathematical aspect. Marketing deals in numbers. If you’re a digital marketer you may have done this research for finding out which link gets more clicks in your marketing campaigns.
Similarly as a designer when you’re constantly looking for ways to optimise your site, you may need to find out which link at which spot will stand out more and will be more easily clickable. Won’t that skill of looking at numbers to decide what type of link at which spot will get more clicks come in handy for you now?
Now mind you, the motive of doing this research is different for marketers and designers. Marketers will want to increase the clicks or ‘conversions’ while designers will want to just increase the accessibility of the particular button or link. But in the end, the resulting numbers of the research will be the same. How many people click a given link/button at a particular spot vs a different link at a different spot.
4) Design better visuals
Now coming to the visual part of the design aka. visual design. It is widely known that graphic content is more easily consumed rather than textual content. This is why digital marketers rely heavily on designers to produce rich graphics in order to create better campaigns. But how this works in the opposite manner? Digital Marketers know through experience which colors, design schemas are more likely to convert! As a designer, when it comes to the visual part we primarily go for brand colors or the colors combos which looks pleasing to the eyes. We sometimes do look at the pshychological part of the visuals but when you have digital marketing expertise behind you, the way you look at the visuals is all the more enhanced.