Earlier this year, HubSpot hired someone to help critique their website. The difference between this user and any other user was that he was…well…drunk. Basically, Hubspot paid someone money to take a few drinks and critique their site. Hubspot UX Lead, Austin Knight, explains “While this may sound absurd, the concept itself is actually rather simple and arguably valid when used to evaluate a site’s user experience. At its core, the test simply seeks to verify whether or not your site is so simple and well designed that a drunk person could use it.” From this critique, they were able to conclude that the landing page needed some work and that the HubSpot message is not being clearly delivered. The full and very entertaining video of the the drunk user experience is available at the end of this article.
The marketing industry is seeing a big shift in target markets. This new shift of focus was caused by something called “User Experience” or “UX” for short. So what is user experience exactly and why are companies investing in their UX departments? UX refers to a person’s emotions and attitudes about using a particular product, system or service. It includes the practical, experiential, meaningful and valuable aspects of human–computer interaction and product ownership. Putting this into action words, user experience is developing strong designs that take into consideration user flow, market strategy, company goals, and user engagement. Better UX is the ability to uncover new and unconventional methods for overcoming the struggles and pitfalls of traditional user testing, and verifying the usability of a design.
Some believe that UX and marketing should be two separate departments; however, this will slowly increase the gap between your product/service and your audience. Marketing IS the relationship between the people and the brand. Combining these two gives birth to a hassle-free user experience and notable impact on bottom-line metrics like conversion rate, retention, engagement and revenue.
“PRODUCT AND MARKETING ARE THE SAME THING. ANY ORGANIZATION SPLITTING THEM IS MAKING A HUGE MISTAKE” – SETH GODIN
Refinery29 VP of Product Experience, Aziz Hasan, discusses today’s focus on UX. “UX no longer exists in vacuum, it’s connected to a larger market and user acquisition strategy for most companies. The purpose of UX is not just to “make things look good” but drive user engagement, acquisition, revenue, and more.” Traditional marketing vs today’s marketing magnifies this shift of power from the marketers to the users. The focus is on the user vs the traditional focus on the brand and it is impossible to separate the user from the branding.
UX tests a brand’s capability to HUMANIZE something complex. Does your brand strive to tell a story? How does it connect with your audience and how does it make them feel? Your UX team needs to put on the psychologist hat to really understand the end user experience, focus on behavior, and provide value. Is your brand providing authentic value to your end user? What will keep them coming back or even take a few seconds to brag about you on social media?
“THE FUTURE OF CONTENT MARKETING IS ABOUT UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE AND NOT MATERIALS.” – GEOFFREY COLON, MICROSOFT GROWTH MARKETER.
Connect with your users. Deliver authenticity and value. Build a loyal fan base. They will do the marketing for you.