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Why UX and Marketing Departments Need More Collaboration

24 June 2018 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

How marketing and UX can work better together

In many online start-ups, scale-ups and corporations you will generally find conflict, each department pushing their own agenda to reach KPI's and other targets they've been set, or worse one department having objectives (usually marketing) while others are left to their own devices.

In either instance, it can be very counterproductive, and without synergy, great ideas either fall to the wayside or do not get executed properly. From my personal experience, if there are two departments constantly at loggerheads, it would typically be marketing and user experience.

The irony of the argument

Yet funny enough, both are trying to achieve the same goal, better customer experience, easier access for the user and of course the golden 3, more sales, more repeat sales at a higher average order value. Unfortunately getting these two to synchronise their efforts and sing off the same sheet isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Due to UX and Marketings different philosophies, they interpret data differently and end on different conclusions. While this isn't always a bad thing as multiple perspectives to give you a holistic view of problems and challenges, it's not always dealt with constructively.

Conflict because of silos

If the conflict isn't resolved, it usually leads to departments working in isolation. When departments work in silo's they, tend to work in a destructive manner or in a way that tries to undermine the other.

If you're a manager, business owner, project manager or head of the department and this situation sounds all too familiar, then I may have a solution for you.

User experience has no accountability

One of the main issues with UX is that they often have zero accountability for their actions and when changes are deployed to your front end and performance is poor the burden is shifted to marketing to make up the shortfall. User Experience teams need to take responsibility for their recommendations and instead of trying to create stunning looking GUI's they need to consider the effect they have on ORM and brand management.

A website is your primary point of content with your users, and when experiences are changed, even for the better sometimes, users don't always respond in a positive manner as they've become used to the old process. Being able to revert and perhaps integrate changes in a modular fashion would send less of a shock factor and improve performance gradually.

When a site changes its user interface drastically, it's usual marketing who has to deal with clients complaints and having to help them navigate to what they would like to do on the site. Its important for UX to inform marketing of how these changes are going to be done so marketing can prepare responses or content to help users get the best out of the site.

UX sees trends and not customer trends

UX often do not take into account how the customer gets to the site, what they're mindsets were at the time and had less context into off-site user behaviour. The majority of their analysis comes from on-site analysis tools which really only tell half the story.

Involving marketing data in your UX, you'll be able to see a holistic approach to the customer journey. Which channels can be grouped together and work with the same user flow while some may need a custom flow or messaging.

Marketing and UX can also collaborate with NPS surveys and other qualitative research that can be used to get deeper insight int users experiences and their views on the site.

Present your business case and your findings

Having a UX department or UX title does not mean you are practising UX. To achieve an exemplary user experience, coordination must be achieved among multiple disciplines, including product management, development, marketing, content, customer service, graphic design, and interaction design. In other words, everyone is responsible for looking out for the user.

Take users’ needs into account during every step of the product lifecycle, by keeping your users at the centre of your design efforts. Presenting your findings and narratives especially to marketing can help you bring about change easier if you get buy-in as more departments are on board to push through updates or it can give you valuable insights you may not have considered before.

This approach can improve the overall product and experience with various stakeholders giving you additional insights data analysis may not always be able to give you.

give marketing a choice

You cannot perform real UX without traffic, and you can't have traffic without marketing so why not cosy up to the marketing department? Marketing departments usually work on tight budgets, but they can be shifted around in order to take advantage of certain trends. Its all about lowering your customer acquisition costs, improving conversion rates or improving average order values.

If you present your case to marketing, they may be able to support your A/B tests or updates with additional traffic to give you data to support your arguments.

If marketing cannot support you because of budget constraints, UX departments can and should look at allocating some of their budgets to marketing for testing.

Marketing can then set up test campaigns with budget allocation and provide UX with the data and insights they need faster and without compromising current marketing performance and objectives.

It's all about the user

While you may have different business objectives and methodologies, it's ultimately all aimed at getting the same results, keeping the user happy. Marketing and UX tend to have plenty of overlapping areas and can form a relationship that is ideal for collaborative efforts. 

Unfortunately, its easier said than done. But hopefully, this post goes a long way to change that! 

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Tags: Data Analysis, google analytics, User Experience

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