By Fadi Ali, Senior Managing Consultant in UX & Research at RBBi
For the past few years, experts (at least in the MENA region) have tended to identify separate digital solutions for a specific product or service, starting with digital marketing, SEO, and finally UX. Fortunately, a common approach now is to develop a holistic strategy, which is then adapted into tactics.
The reason it is so important is that it makes the process more efficient and profitable.
It is estimated that digital advertising spending in the UAE will reach $947.40 million by 2022, while in KSA it would reach $1.42 billion. The average marketing budget for a B2B campaign is 8-14%, while the average marketing budget for a B2C campaign is 10-20%.
In your role as an expert, you are responsible for managing the budget and ensuring its efficient use. Consequently, it is imperative that your plan avoids any unexpected failures and that your investment yields a satisfactory return.
In our experience working in the region for more than 11 years, we have been approached by many partners seeking assistance with marketing campaign strategies that appear effective on paper, but do not work effectively in reality. As part of our investigations, we observe the situation from the users' perspective. In other words, we begin by paying attention to the users' experience.
Map your campaign to the whole customer journey
It is common for marketing teams to concentrate on acquisition when developing a digital campaign. However, when reviewing the data, they ensure that both acquisition and conversion are considered. Much of the time, they overlook other areas such as consideration, decision, and retention. To fully understand how users perceive your digital campaign and respond to it, you need to map your campaign to their entire customer journey to ensure that you're meeting their expectations.
In our user research across the GCC, we found that 60% of organic users lose interest in websites that are challenging to navigate. These reasons can range from poor content to technical problems. To prevent users from leaving your platform for good due to frustration, uncertainty, or self-judgement, it is imperative to maintain user interest throughout the funnel.
As a result, we often advise our partners to look at the big picture before launching a campaign. Then, figure out which tactics best support their strategic goals. We urge them to invest some of their budgets in evaluating their platforms with UX experts and users to identify any gaps or obstacles.
A user experience methodology enables a company to answer questions in a quantitative or qualitative manner, including "Why" and "How" they are leaking and what pain points exist within the funnel. The answer to these questions may be more profitable than focusing on high funnel areas and neglecting what happens afterward. So, a company should consider investing some of its marketing budgets in answering these questions.
This approach will only work in practice if users' data is utilized.
The power of users' data
Although technology has enabled us to track and report on users' data in many ways, it is often the case that we do not think about the context within which the data is stored and used.
UX auditing, remote testing, and A/B testing can contribute to a more accurate planning process by analyzing data gathered from real users in an organization.
Using data analysis, we can distinguish between what we know and what we believe we know. We can identify issues, prioritize improvements, test solutions, and draw data-driven conclusions. As a result, business decisions will be less affected by assumptions, biases, and emotions.
Prior to drafting a campaign plan, it is essential to analyze the patterns found in your data tracking tools and determine how to use them effectively. By understanding users' actual behavior, you can investigate their emotion maps, ask the appropriate questions, and ultimately design solutions to address frustration, uncertainty, and security concerns through an emphasis on incentives and rewards.
In addition, A/B testing is the key to maximizing a marketing campaign's efficiency. Companies can confidently implement future campaigns based on the insights they gained from testing. In most cases, A/B testing is helpful (and sometimes surprising), especially when the user's preferences differ from ours. Through A/B testing, we've increased clicks by 80%, sales by 117%, lead form submissions by 110%, and engagements by over 400%.
In conclusion, any digital campaign should be based on the target audience's needs, wants, and mental models. If art, science, creativity, and statistics are balanced, they can serve as an opportunity to increase revenue and ROI for the company.