UX and Marketing – a Case for Equal Spend
By Tom Starley
As a product owner, deciding where to allocate your precious budget is always a tough decision. Everyone has an opinion. It’s hard not to be swayed by impassioned pleas! It’s a predicament… is it best to spend on tried and tested marketing methodologies? Or do you look to the future, and invest in the evolving, more cutting edge approaches focused around improving user experience to drive your business forward?
Valid and very topical questions, the bottom line being what is going to deliver the best return on investment – both now and in the future.
Here are some interesting figures for you:
- On average, for every $1 spent on UX you can expect a return of up to $100 – that’s a return of 9,900%
- For every $1 spend on marketing campaigns should yield on average $5 in revenue – Chris Leone President of WebStrategies. – that’s a return of 400%
According to mycustomer.com – 80% of digital spend is investment in getting people to your product (marketing) whereas only 20% is spent on improving the user’s journey through conversion rate optimization and improving UX while the users are there. That seems like a huge disparity given the average rate of return!
While every business is different and there’s never a one size fits all approach to propelling your product forward, I feel that it’s incredibly important that there is ongoing spend on both user experience and marketing.
In case the numbers above aren’t a strong enough case for investment in UX alongside marketing here are some other reasons why they should command an equal share of your budget.
Decrease acquisition costs.
Customer acquisition costs are high, but guess what? They don’t have to be! Ensuring you provide a pleasing and memorable experience is the best advert of all. If someone loves your product they’re often quick to promote it to others and that’s the kind of social proof that money literally can’t buy – it’s free!
Increased numbers of users find your product through positive word of mouth, they’re prequalified, they have the intent to buy. Then they interact with your sales site and that’s seamless to use, they’re definitely in, they convert… rinse & repeat! The better the UX, the less you need to spend on marketing activities while your conversions actually increase organically.
Conversion optimization is a facet of marketing but is also very closely interwoven with UX. How you display your offering and how you pitch it are crucial for the optimum number of prospects to become your paid customers.
Understanding why potential users do what they do, how they think, what problems they face, how they make decisions and how all that influences their interaction with your product would undeniably make meeting their needs easier. Seamlessly meeting potential users needs and overcoming objections through a deep understanding of their issues and perspective increases conversion. It can’t not! People are happy to buy into something that satisfies their requirements and makes their lives easier and that’s what creating great user experiences is all about.
You can convert more prospects without spending more on marketing or traffic acquisition.
Take a minute to digest these stats…
- 75% of users base your entire company’s credibility on how your website
- It is possible to increase sales on your site by as much as 225% just by presenting sufficient information to your prospects at exactly the right time.
This is key! The look, feel and usability that you craft, that come together as an experience for your customer can affect and increase sales by hundreds of percent. On the flip side…
- The percentage of online consumers that are less likely to return to a site after a poor experience is 88%
- Combine that with the fact that 79% of online shoppers who endure a dissatisfying experience when they visit are less likely to make a purchase from that site again and that looks pretty bleak!
If you’re actively marketing, continually striving to be driving site traffic and you’re not also actively tackling any user experience related obstacles, you are likely spending an awful lot, for what will likely only yield very little from the very few people who are prepared to put up with a subpar experience. Your users won’t rave about your product, they likely won’t keep on coming back and it all starts to fizzle. But it needn’t! If you have the drive, you can change that!
Provide a better experience to those people who do come upon your product, give them something of value, that solves a problem for them, packaged in a way that is psychologically proven to be appealing — and watch your sales skyrocket. Then those customers will become evangelists for your product and we’ve come full circle back to great user experiences decreasing acquisition costs.
There are plenty of other reasons why investing in user experience is as important as an investment in ongoing marketing, here’s few more for you…
- It’s an awesome brand differentiator.
- It’s a great way for you to stand out in overcrowded market places and secure competitive advantage.
- The process of crafting great experiences often shines a light on emerging opportunities through a greater knowledge of your target market and empathy with your users.
- People’s expectations are getting higher and higher, and a user experience revolution is rising to meet the need for better experiences. Don’t risk getting left behind and missing out!
It’s always tough committing to where to invest your precious hard earned funds. ]I’ll admit it’s tempting to fall back on tried and tested old school ways of working, but I hope I’ve made a compelling case for user experience being very worthy of your investment money. Crafting a great user experience is an ongoing investment in your product and brand’s long term future and balanced with ongoing marketing spend can provide you with nothing short of miraculous returns on your investment – surpassing results that marketing alone might yield.
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