Growth Marketing as we saw in last week’s review is a field that is user-centric. What this means is that for your growth Marketing efforts to achieve success, it must be focused on the user/customer.
It’s my third week of learning growth marketing at CXL Institute and we’ll be reviewing user-centric marketing together this week. We will be looking at the following together:
- Why a user-centric approach is important
- What is user-centric marketing?
- User research
- Usability testing for your websites and landing pages
After reading this review article, you’ll be familiar with the concept of user-centric marketing, the importance of centring your marketing efforts around your customers and how you can successfully achieve this.
The best way to understand these concepts is to expose us to what it is like not putting your customers first, as it is with Traditional marketing and how it differs from growth/digital marketing.
Let’s dive right in!
What is User-centric Marketing?
In digital marketing, you have already grabbed the user’s attention due to the power of search, unlike in traditional media. The effect of search on marketing cannot be overemphasized, compared to years back when the source of information was through books or older people, now anybody can search for what they want and the results will come to them.
This, however, created a problem because as users, when we type something on the search engine, we are faced with lots of relevant and irrelevant answers.
So, we have to move pass the pool of attention seeking links as quick as possible in search of the most meaningful answer, easily dismissing without giving a second thought to links that gives us the slightest reason to dismiss them for reasons such as bad UI, slow load time, etc.
The core difference between Digital and traditional marketing is that in traditional marketing, it’s all about broadcasting a message, while digital marketing gives you an opportunity to listen and respond to your customers questions.
User-centric marketing draws from user experience and user testing to bring digital marketing into the 21st century. From using digital tools to understand users and their journey to designing marketing strategy around them.
A user-centric approach to marketing starts by understanding your audience, it’s impossible to convince someone without trying to know them. Think about times you tried to persuade someone to do something, it’s a lot easier when you know the person. We really need to understand our users beyond the normal, understand what their goals are, what they are trying to achieve.
To better understand your audience, you don’t need to go ahead and hire a user research company, that would be a waste of money. Instead, you look within your organization for free data you already have of your audience.
Sales team: these are the guys that have contacts with customers daily, so they know a lot about them. They have information about the customers pain points, why they are not buying, and a host of other insightful data you can build your marketing strategies on.
Contact support: these are the guys that talks on phone with customers and replies their mails too. They know the questions customers are asking and sometimes have a database of answers to these questions. You should meet them and include the answers to your customer’s questions upfront in your sale’s process.
Social media managers: another people you want to get information about your user from is your social media manager. They are in charge of answering questions your online users may have about your product and services. Also, they have insights on consumer behaviour and interests.
Analytics team: you would also want to go to your analytics team for insights about your users. These are the people that works with tools like Google Analytics, hotjar and other analytics tools to get insights about what’s working, what’s not, customers and how they interact with your website.
Apart from these set of people in your company, you should also be focused on other things like what search terms led users to your website, the terms they are using to search for things on your website, the questions they are asking. All these will help you understand them better, know they pain points and help you better positioned on solving them.
A useful tool to help with understanding user’s interaction with your website is the heatmap tool Hotjar. With Hotjar, you can know your most interactive content on your website and how users are interacting with them.
Another important way to get data from users is using surveys. Survey is a very important tool in understanding users.
Surveys are an invaluable tool for understanding users, but they’re often a wasted opportunity. Here are some tips on how to run a successful survey:
- The starting point in using survey is to first have a clear idea of what particular questions you want answered before you start and should be just one question. This will help you draw useful insights from the data you get.
- Another important is where to focus, so instead of focusing on whom the audience are, focus on what they want to do, like
- Another tip is knowing the right moment to ask, like when your survey should pop up on your website. One of the mistakes most people make is showing up their surveys to visitors on their website immediately they arrive. Ideally, the best time to show your surveys is upon exit intent or after the visitor might have taken a few actions on your website depending on what you asked on the survey.
- Also, remember to keep your survey as short as possible, ask simple and closed questions. If you can’t keep your survey questions single, make sure it’s focused on a single subject.
- Explain to them why you are asking and what you need the answer for, then go ahead to incentivize them when they complete the survey.
After gathering these large chunk of user data, you don’t just leave them to gather dust in your drawer, you act on your new learnings daily.
Usability testing for your websites and landing pages
Building products that suits your marketing strategy is time-consuming and quite expensive, because if you get it wrong, it can lead to a website that does not convert. This is why it is advised to build prototypes and test them with real humans before you commit to your final build. A good online tool for building website prototypes is balsamiq, it is simple and easy to use. With a website prototype, you can carry out your usability tests.
Usability testing is the act of testing your websites or products with humans for ease of use. When carrying out usability tests, you’re testing your websites for the following:
- Does the user understand the basic concept of the website
- Can they easily find search for things on the website
- Can they easily do things on the website
To carry out usability tests, you just need between 3 and 6 people, going above 6 is proven to have diminishing effects and you don’t have to worry about a demographically-correct. There are two types of usability testing, the facilitated and the unfacilitated.
The facilitated usability testing is when you carry out your tests in-person and here are some tips to help you carry out a successful test:
- Your test duration shouldn’t exceed an hour. 40 minutes for the actual test and 20 minutes to ruminate over the test results.
- Do not let the person feel like you’re testing them, rather make them understand that it’s the website you’re testing.
- Lie through your teeth. Tell them you were not involved in the project.
- Ask them some questions about themselves with the aim to have them behave naturally and feel relaxed. You could even tell a joke or offer them a drink.
- Now, to the main part. Have them perform some task on your website, not more than 3 tasks. So, if you’re worrying over anything on your website, that’s what you should test. Say you’re not sure whether people can spot the call-to-action button, test it.
- Be careful about how you word the tasks so it doesn’t come off as easy and defeat the aim of the test. If you want them to purchase a product, instead of telling them to see if they could add to cart, you should tell them to look around for a nice product and try to buy it.
- They might ask you questions about how to do things in the session. If they do, try not to answer them, just explain that, you don’t want to influence them and you’ll answer their questions at the end.
You’re just watching what they do and how they go about doing it. And through that, you will quickly discover any problems with your websites. Do we test more than once? Absolutely! Don’t just test once, and there are two reasons for this. First, what happens is you’ll run one round of testing, and you’ll identify a load of problems. You’ll then fix those problems. Now, if you do a second round of testing then, people can get further than the problems that previously beat them, right, and so they’ll unearth new problems that were hidden by the first set.
The unfacilitated usability testing is just like the facilitated, but here, the user isn’t available, so the user and his screen is recorded while they’re performing those tasks. There are tools for getting these done, we have Skype, Zoom, Maze, Lookback and Userzoom.
Brands that want to compete and experience growth in years to come will be the ones that put their customers first in their marketing efforts.
As always, feel free to share your questions, recommendations and suggestions in the comment section. If you enjoyed reading this, do share and sound a clap!