User experience is EVERYWHERE, but not many people realize it… especially in the business world. And when they do think of UX in marketing, generally, it’s very basic thinking like, “Did the customer/user have a positive interaction with my business?” However, if you read part on of my How to Connect Through Experience blog series, you know that great user experience, often times, isn’t recognized. In fact, users typically only recognize user experience when it’s a negative interaction.
In part two of my How to Connect Through Experience blog series, UX in Marketing was covered. The blog post poses the question, “How can we ensure that our users have a positive experience with each and every touchpoint of our marketing?”
If you read the post, you discovered that the answer is through great design. And to achieve great design, you as a business owner/design/entrepreneur have to realize that IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU!
A LOT of business create/design/make decisions based upon what THEY want. They don’t take the user into consideration. This is a huge mistake. You could have the world’s best product, but if your website/packaging/advertisements/social media doesn’t resonate with potential customers, then you’re not going to make a sale and you’re not going to see ROI. Without the user, your product or service is worthless. Right?
There is an ongoing battle in the UX world of “usability vs. desirability.” Usability is considered to be the base level of UX, while without desirability, it’s not likely that the experience will leave a lasting impression. With so much going on in the world, businesses HAVE TO make a lasting impression in order to succeed.
For successful UX, as defined by the Nielsen Norman Group, there are four areas that you must succeed in: Utility, Usability, Desirability, and Brand Experience.
In order to deep your marketing efforts “usable,” you have to answer a few questions… 1) Is your flyer/ad/website/etc. useful? Does it solve an established problem the user is looking to solve? 2) Does your flyer/ad/website/etc. meet the needs of the user? Does it provide value to the user? Without utility, there is no user experience. Therefore, your marketing experience must provide value to the user.
Until recently, usability was often used interchangeably with UX. However, usability is just a PORTION of UX. So, in oder to continue to build onto the User Experience, your efforts must also meet the usability requirement. To determine if your marketing efforts are “usable,” you have to answer a few questions… 1) Is your flyer/ad/website/etc. intuitive? If your user can’t quickly grasp the information, they will abandon the process and move on. 2) Does the flyer/ad/website/etc. resonate with the user? Does the user like the way the piece looks and feels? 3) Does your flyer/ad/website/etc. compete with competition? Does the user want YOUR product/service over a similar product/service due to the marketing of the product/service?
The next phase of User Experience is desirability. For most businesses, there are many competitors. Assuming that the market for the product/service is established, the odds of those products/services already accomplishing the utility and usability test, the desirability of your product/service will separate your business from the rest. Therefore, your marketing has to make the user feel as if your product/service is desirable. A great example of this would be Audi and Kia. The two cars are made by the same company, but yet, Audis are more desirable and command the premium in the market place. The marketing of Audis compared to Kias (which has both utility and usability) elevate the users desirability to buy the luxury car for only a few thousand dollars more strictly for the brand name. …the same logic can be applied when comparing Apple to Microsoft.
Speaking of brands… the brand experience is actually the one area of UX that is out of your control. And from the Audi and Apple example, it’s clear that brand experience is intimately connected to the desirability of products. Really and truly, desirability and brand experience go hand-in-hand. Brand experience is something that can’t be achieved overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort and focus on all of the areas mentioned throughout the UX in Marketing (branding consistency, flow/navigation, messaging/tone, targeted marketing, etc.) post. But, one question you should ask yourself each and every time your business introduces/alters a new touchpoint into the user’s experience is, “Will this make the user feel good about the company?”
A great example of why this matters is the Microsoft vs. Apple argument. Windows is considered to be the dominant OS on desktop, but it would be hard to argue that Windows users feel good about it. Whereas, with Apple users, they are vocal about their brand love and love of Apple’s operating systems.
Apple’s overall brand reputation increases desirability of their physical products. Apple always consider’s their users. So much in fact, they ensure that with each and every release, their users feel good about the product and enjoy using it. Microsoft… not so much. Windows products work and there are some great versions of Windows, but… there are also a lot of very bad versions that have tarnished Microsoft’s reputation.
With all of that being said, it’s not hard to have really successful user experience throughout all faucets of your business. You just have to remember that it’s not all about you. At the end of the day it’s about the user. With every business decision you make, if you can answer the primary four questions: 1) Does this provide value to the user? 2) Is it easy for an outside to understand/use? 3) Is this something that my users will choose time and time again over other products/services? 4) Will this make a user feel good about my company? If you can answer yes to all four of those questions, you will be on the fast tract to positive brand experience and customer loyalty.