It is estimated that by 2021 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. And with 88% of online shoppers not returning to a site after a ‘bad experience’, it is easy to see why marketers should make User Experience (UX) a priority. Whether you are marketing a product or service or designing a website, your objective is the same, give people a reason to engage.

The role of marketing is to promote a product or service so as to create brand awareness, promote purchasing, and result in product adoption. In terms of promoting your business or product, your website says more about you than anything else, therefore more consideration needs to go into the online user experience.

The purpose of UX is to meet the customer needs and to create an experience that is easy and enjoyable. User journeys begin with marketing and the user experience smooths out the bumps along the sales funnel until the user converts into a customer. Instead of just focusing on campaigns to get users to the website, marketers would be better served understanding the needs of the user. Marketers tend to focus their research on getting a sense of a market size, value, growth rate, demographics etc. UX design goes deeper into knowing the user. Understanding their goals, tasks, journeys and scenarios.

“Simply improving customer journeys has the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20% but also to lift revenue by up to 15% while lowering the cost of serving customers by as much as 20%.” 

— McKinsey

Let’s take the example of buying a new pair of sunglasses.

What does the marketer need to know about their users?


Who are they? What are their values, preferences and limitations? 

The sunglasses retailer has a profile of the typical customer as female, 24–28, fashion conscious, influenced by friends and will pay more for premium brands.


What is the user trying to achieve?

Easy, buy a pair of sunglasses.


What do they need to achieve their goal?

The user will want to check out what’s in style, in store, in magazines and online. They’ll want to see what are other people wearing before searching for webstores to browse product ranges and compare prices.


This is the route they take, for example, Google search, reading reviews or looking at related items such as clothes.


This is the context which influences the goals, tasks and journeys. Are they replacing a broken pair or looking to treat themselves to an expensive pair of Guccis!

Better conversion — by design

These deeper insights will give a better understanding of the user and help the marketer align strategy with the user’s goals. Armed with a thorough understanding of your user’s goals, marketers can better influence and contribute to the various stages of UX design. From planning, structure and flow to the content and design. Taking this UX research-based approach, website design will be based on real user data, not assumptions and will lead to better a conversion rate.

Marketers and user experience designers must always focus on their target user, what they are doing and what motivates them. The relationship between the Marketer and the UX designer should be synergistic.

User experience design is not a luxury that rich companies spend money on because they’ve got deep pockets. Granted, it does require a commitment of time, money and resources but the outcome more than pays for itself. Forester Research (paid report) shows that, on average, every dollar invested in UX brings 100 dollars in return. That’s an ROI of 9,900 percent!

Now that’s money well spent!