Online marketing and UX – friends or enemies?

Online marketing and User Experience practitioners are quite popular job titles these days. They seem to act like two superheroes who want to make the world better but remain at odds when it comes to the details. Would they act together if they knew how marvelous effects their collaboration can bring?

Batman vs Superman

Online marketing is mainly associated with increasing sales and frequency, or building engagement; while user experience is thought to be concerned with usability, observation and transparency. This oversimplification causes many problems with communication between the UX and online marketing practitioners.

7 questions UX and online marketing practitioners should ask themselves

Here are 7 questions that every UX and online marketing practitioner should ask himself before creating a service or campaign. Let’s see if they differ much.

Online marketing and UX objectives


What my system is about?
Who will use it?
How people will interact with it?
What content will you provide?
How is life different with this service?
Will your app make your users’ lives easier, in what ways?
What are all of the user’s touchpoints with your system?

Online marketing
What is the main objective of my system or campaign?
How will I achieve this goal (creative part)?
Who do I create my system / campaign for?
What content will you provide?
How people will interact with it?
How to increase engagement with the service / campaign?
How will I measure the ROI and engagement?

As we can see ux and online marketing practitioners are concerned with similar issues i.e.objectives of the system or campaign, user, content, interaction. It seems like they should be getting on the same page. The fact that UX practitioner is more preoccupied with the user and online marketer with marketing objectives of the system or campaign is a sticking point in their relationship.
However, a skilled online marketing professional shouldn’t overlook its user, just like a skilled UX professional shouldn’t miss the main objective of the system.

Necessity is the mother of invention

The relationship between online marketing and UX is getting closer each day. This connection is visible especially in the companies who don’t have distinct UX department. At the moment, I work in the company where online marketing team considers both: the marketing objectives and usability. First, we analyze the main objectives of the project, then we seek ways to meet these goals (brainstorming) and then we prototype. After this stage, the UX and graphic designer gives his feedback to the prototype and starts working on the project. This simplified description doesn’t include such crucial elements as a kick off meeting with programmers, front-end developers and your (internal or external) client, because I wanted to present the collaboration between the online marketing practitioner and the graphic and ux designer.

A shift from CONsumer to PROsumer

Marketing professionals are beginning to shift their focus from one-way communication to customer experience (CX) and become more aware of how their client will use their service. This change was started by the shift from Consumers to Prosumers. With the growth of popularity of social media like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube the communication became much faster than before. People expect the real-time marketing that fits their expectations and want to have their say about the product they purchase. Providing the right message in the right time is just not enough. You can read more about the shift on 

„In simplest terms, people have moved from being CONsumers to PROsumers with far more influence than ever before”

Susane Gunelius,

“In the past we were incentivized to create ads and microsites that would launch onto the Internet, exist for a while and then disappear. In the future, we will create programs and ‘things’ that solve consumer problems…”

Dave Stubbs of Teehan+Lax

Marketing research vs UX research

UX practitioners often forget that the origins of UX research derive from marketing research techniques. Interviews, focus groups, contextual inquiries, diary studies, usability testing (product testing) are the qualitative marketing research methods. The analysis of collected data doesn’t differ that much either.

How UX & Online marketing can be a Brangelina in the digital world

Great examples of a good relationship between UX and online marketing is Nike+ running app. This user-centered mobile application is a perfect mix of UX design and marketing communication. The app is very intuitive and gives an „intermediate runner” (it’s a great app for +/- <15K distance runners) all he or she needs for their training. The app incorporates a great deal of branding along the way from the logo on each site to the social share where the user can share his progress. You can tell, the UX team had to adapt marketing objectives to increase cognitive load when working on it. Online marketing team on the other hand, had to learn more about the real needs of the user and confront it with marketing objectives.

With all that in mind, it’s worth giving online marketing and UX a shot and see how they can collaborate together to create better Customer Experience.


2 pensieri su “Online marketing and UX – friends or enemies?

  1. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more
    pleasant for me to come here and visit more often.
    Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

    1. Hi many thanks for your comment. As you have sees this is the Customer Experience Italian Association blog. It is “under construction” yet but we are almost ready to launch it so just follow us :- ) see you soon


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