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How UX drives marketing revenue

6 min.read. - By Jessica Navarro - Mar 01, 2022 Quality Assurance Web Accessibility Web Analytics Website Management Performance

In LinkedIn’s report of the top 15 in-demand jobs in 2021, the roles that made the list include frontline ecommerce worker, digital marketing professionals, digital content creators, and user experience (UX) professionals. 

Notice something about these roles? They all have a direct impact on the digital user experience for their organizations.
This growing demand for UX and content experience skills is a good indication that companies are gearing up to develop more human-centric experiences than ever before.

So what is UX and why is it in such demand?

UX is short for UX design and refers to the process of mapping out user workflows and personas and carrying out user research and usability testing with the goal to solve user problems.

The thing about UX that makes it appealing is that it hits multiple targets in one go. It creates better customer experiences, drives revenue, and improves the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy.

That’s because the UX approach looks at the whole customer journey, in all its twists and turns, and focuses on finding gaps and opportunities within the customer journey. In turn, you can then use this knowledge to create better products, digital experiences, and marketing campaigns.

But even with the job market for UX roles exploding, you might be wondering if UX design is really that impactful or if it is all just hype?

We have concrete results to share with you that will squash any lingering doubts.

In a Total Economic Impact™ study commissioned by Siteimprove, Forrester Consulting interviewed our customers to gather information on the potential return on investment (ROI) and business benefits of using the Siteimprove platform.

The study found, among five overall benefits, that our platform helps our customers increase profit through refined UX and design. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers from the study to show you how UX can pay off.

The return on investment of UX design

In a 3-year period, the TEI study calculated that a composite Siteimprove customer realizes almost $415,000 in risk-adjusted present value.

To put this into perspective, out of the five overall benefits that Siteimprove offers, this calculated present value makes up a whopping 53% of the total return on investment of Siteimprove.

According to the study, there are several benefits to prioritizing UX and design that contribute to the overall increased profit.

Drive conversions with friction free experiences

What is a friction free experience? It is a seamless experience with as few obstacles to the end goal as possible. An obstacle could be waiting too long for the page to load, too many popups, or cluttered text. The end goal is the action you want your user to take, whether that’s to book a call, make a purchase, or download your content.

The obstacles might seem like minor things, but don’t underestimate the high expectations online users hold your site against and the little time they have. It’s estimated that 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience.

On the flip side, when you remove the friction, the impact is significant and, sometimes, immediate. In the TEI study, for example, one of the interviewees reported that by simply moving a call-to-action button further up on the page, they were able to increase registrations to their marketing campaign from 3 to 70 in one week.

Not sure where you can start removing friction on your site? A surefire way to improve UX is to simplify your content. According to research by MoEngage, consumers are most frustrated with inconsistent brand messaging and irrelevant content.

With a UX mindset, you can simplify your content by focusing it on what your audience is looking for and keeping the content consistent throughout their journey, whether they landed on your site through an email or paid ad.

Use marketing spend efficiently

A data-driven UX approach uses analytics to uncover user needs and potential obstacles. The results of doing this right can help you prevent campaigns from bleeding budget.

For example, you can have a PPC campaign with stellar branding and messaging that brings in the right traffic to your website. But if you haven’t put the same attention to making sure there is a consistent and smooth user journey from the ad to your website, you risk spending money on clicks that will bounce off your page at the first sign of trouble.

Another example is if you have a paid marketing campaign set up across multiple social media channels. By monitoring each step of interaction, such as tracking form completions, you can act fast to stop the spending if the tracking shows that one of the channels is not used by your audience.

By monitoring user activity, you can uncover those obstacles, whether it’s overly complicated forms, poor site navigation, or unclear messaging, and adjust your content or campaigns to plug those leaks in the user journey.

Better team workflow

An improved workflow might not be the first benefit of UX design that comes to mind, but anyone who’s experienced working in a siloed organization knows that it should not be downplayed.

When you take a step back to look at the processes behind the creation of content experiences, you can see it takes collaboration between many teams across the organization, such as digital marketing, content, web, and design. Each of these teams has their own goals, metrics for success, and motivations.

Now imagine if everyone on your team worked from the same starting point. Training everyone on your team to work with a UX approach means that it becomes the shared language between business areas. So when conflicting interests or goals arise (and they will) your team can look at the data insights and make smart decisions that drive the organization’s goals and strategies further.

As a marketing technologist from an IT firm stated in the TEI study, “Rather than relying on gut decisions […] we are able to make data-driven decisions to prioritize site changes.”

Improved accessibility

Digital accessibility, a subset of digital inclusion and inclusivity, is rapidly becoming an integral part of the average digital marketing strategy. This is partly due to increasing legal backlash over inaccessible online experiences, but more so because companies are realizing that accessibility is a business driver.

UX design plays a huge role in accessibility efforts, like carrying out usability testing, creating user personas, and ensuring a smooth user workflow.

And there is some overlap between accessible content design and UX design in the sense that both put a focus on usability. Accessibility, of course, puts an emphasized focus on ensuring content experiences are usable by people with a wide range of disabilities.

Still, UX design shares much of the same mindset, processes, and tools to support accessibility initiatives in an organization. It’s a matter of broadening that process to include a wider range of users.

With all these added benefits that UX brings, the next question is, how do we bring UX processes into marketing workflows?

UX and automated analytics are the secret to marketing success

Hubspot’s State of Marketing 2021 report mentions that “marketing is the largest business area using automation” mainly for task management, content automation, and chat bots. However, according to Forrester’s 2022 Predictions, “75% of [B2B marketers] efforts to create automated, personalized engagement won’t meet ROI goals because of inadequate buyer insight.”

Marketers are no strangers to analytics and by now, UX specialists know the value of qualified insights, as well. But if Forrester’s predictions are right, then marketers need to rethink their approach.

The solution is a user-centric approach using the now tried-and-true methods that UX design provides. This approach can be broken down into three overall steps: flagging potential issues, identifying potential causes of those issues, and verifying qualitative research, like user testing, with data insights.

But of course, time is the greatest obstacle for any marketer, which is where automated solutions, tools, and checkers step in to automate otherwise manual tasks, such as flagging 404 pages, accessibility issues, and performance issues.

A comprehensive solution like Siteimprove takes it a step further by not only flagging issues, but also by helping to identify potential causes and prioritizing issues by level of criticality. In fact, the TEI study found that a composite Siteimprove customer realizes more than $75,000 in savings by implementing site monitoring automation.

Before you go all in on automation, keep in mind the words of the UX specialists at Content Science Review who point out, “With more processes being automated, effective communication and change management is key to a successful roll out.”

Making the move to content experience

The future of UX is specialization. We’re already seeing the appearance of content designers, who specialize in how content is presented, rather than being responsible for the entire user experience as the traditional UX designer is. Along that vein, perhaps we will even start to see the emergence of a UX marketer.

Regardless of roles and titles, it’s clear that to stay ahead of the game, brands need to stop reacting to changing user needs and start investing in the disciplines and tools that will help them see those gaps and opportunities in the user journey.

To stand out in the cluttered market, your brand will need to focus on creating satisfying content experiences. And to pull that off, once siloed areas, like content, design, search, and web performance, will need to work from a central platform to design experiences that users enjoy interacting with.

You don’t have to be a specialist with years of experience. Start the journey now and keep your focus on the user.