9 Things UX And Marketing Have In Common

Jeff Sauro, PhD

Marketing and UX both play important roles in making products successful.

They often compete for the same limited budget and can be at odds on product direction.

I crunch numbers for both Marketing and UX groups and can’t help but notice how much both disciplines have in common.

They are an unlikely couple. Here are nine things they have in common.

1. Loyalty

Word of mouth, repeat customers and loyalty are vital to the success of products. Many companies measure loyalty using the popular Net promoter Score. In general, more usable products lead to more loyal customers. In fact, usability explains at least 30% of the variation in Net Promoter Scores.

2. Don’t Guess Test

Which icon is more effective? Which copy converts more? There’s conventional wisdom, intuition, and the loudest voice in both UX and marketing meetings. Instead of guessing or arguing—test. Methods like A/B and usability testing identify better designs through data instead of diatribes.

3. Quantify

Can users complete the form in less time? Are users finding the call to action? Are more visitors converting into subscribers? It’s hard to tell where UX stops and Marketing starts. But it doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are quantifying these key indicators.

4. Measure Outputs and Inputs

In marketing you can measure mailings, campaigns and events. With UX you can measure the number of tests conducted or customer sites visited. These are inputs and should be measured. However, to understand their impact you need to also measure the outputs: increased completion rates, reduced task times, increased conversions and higher satisfaction scores.

5. Return on Investment

When budgets are tight (when are they not?) it’s imperative to show how activities increase sales, reduce support calls or move some corporate needle in the right direction. Once you’re measuring outputs and inputs it becomes possible to tie key business metrics to your outputs. How much do increased completion rates reduce customer support costs? How many sales can be attributed to better copy? (see what I mean about the similarity between UX and marketing ?)

6. Know Your User

Which is better, market segmentation or personas? That’s the wrong question. The right question is: What do personas add to market segmentation? No one owns the user. It’s all about providing insight that helps drive sales or reduce costs. Personas and market segments both need to deliver better products or they’re just meaningless buzz words (see #8 below).

7. Gurus

Marketing has Seth and UX has Jakob. Marketing has Guy and UX has Jared. There’s plenty of gurus to go around.

8. BullSh**

Let’s be honest, there are a lot of buzz words that don’t mean much of anything. There’ no shortage of BS in UX and Marketing.

9. Anyone Can Do It

There’s Guerrilla Marketing and Guerrilla Usability. There’s no excuse not to do UX and Marketing on any product. Of course, just because anyone can do it, doesn’t mean anyone can do it well.

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