Table of contents

1. What is UX research
1.1 Are UX research and market research the same? 

2 How is UX research valuable to marketers? 
2.1 Shared goals
2.2 Content visibility
2.3 Acquiring new customers
2.4 Product feedback
2.5 Beating competitors
2.6 Building loyal relationship
2.7 Listening to customers
2.8 Boosting Conversions

3. What UX research methods should marketers use? 
3.1 Quantitative research
3.2 Qualitative research

4. Final thoughts

1.What is UX research?

Let’s kick it off by defining and explaining what exactly UX research is. This will help us understand the relationship between UX research and market research better. So, by definition, UX research is the practice of studying target users, their interactions, needs, and requirements, in order to improve the design process and using data, insight, and context.

Simply put, UX research helps us understand what our target users expect from our brand and how they prefer interacting with it. It delivers valuable information that helps understand and answer the number one burning questions: What do users want?

By using a wide variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, UX research gives answers necessary for improving the design strategy, justifying your design decisions, and delivering products your target users will love.

1.1 Are UX research and market research the same? 

The simplest answer to this question would be- no. However, we’ll need to elaborate on this one. UX research is not the same as market research. Market research focuses on different aspects of launching a product or improving brand image. Market research focuses on:

  • brand messaging
  • market opportunities, gaps, and competitors
  • market expansion
  • which users will buy specific products
  • KPIs and ROIs

Therefore, there’s a clear difference between the two practices. On one hand, market research focuses on who will buy a product and why, while UX research explores how to design a product and help the users learn about it and use it easily. However, this doesn’t mean that market research and UX research have nothing to do with each other. On the contrary, they constantly overlap and can help one another make better results. That means that marketers shouldn’t disregard the power of UX research, but instead use the information and insight it provides.

Let’s dig deeper into that.

2. How is UX research valuable to marketers? 

The sooner marketers realize they should use the power of UX research to improve their own research and results, the better. But, how does UX research help marketers make better decisions and boost their success in promoting a brand, product, or service?

2.1 Shared goals

UX research and market research shouldn’t be seen as two separate notions, and the number one reason for it is that they share mutual goals. Marketers should be able to define and understand these mutual goals since that’s going to help them understand the opportunity of helping each other.

So, what are some mutual goals that market research and UX research share? Here’s what both teams aim at:

  • understanding the target audience
  • analysing and predicting their behaviour
  • understanding competitors
  • providing a better experience

Even though they focus on different aspects of these mutual goals, they still have a common goal of gathering valuable data and insight that can benefit both sides.

2.2 Content visibility

Content marketing is one of the strongest tools marketers use today. Blogging, social media, product descriptions, website stories, and other forms of content are powerful tools for attracting more people and having them learn about your brand.

The quality of your content and SEO will help you boost it and have it rank higher in Google search results. A writing service can help you improve content quality and polish your writing. But, how your content is presented will also impact its success.

 That means that UX research can help marketers make better decisions about:

  • content presentation
  • content design elements 
  • making content more discoverable

If you know how your users want to interact with your content, you can make better choices on how to create it. This means that marketers have a chance to create and publish better content by being able to think about:

  • the structure of the content
  • how it will appear on the website
  • what colours, fonts, and other design elements will be used
  • etc.

UX research can improve marketers’ content marketing strategy and help them write better pieces of content.

2.3 Acquiring new customers

Marketers are constantly focused on reaching their target audience more effectively, in order to expand their reach and acquire new customers. This means that they need all the information they can get about their target audience.

Typically, marketers will focus on defining their target audience in terms of:

  • demographics
  • social status
  • education
  • background

However, through UX research you can dig even deeper and gain new and valuable insight into your target audience. For example, UX research can teach marketers about:

  • measuring user experience
  • improving it
  • learning about users’ specific needs 
  • long-term user behaviour

With this type of additional insight, marketers can learn more about their target audience and offer better content, experience, and make better campaigns.

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2.4 Product feedback

Marketers can benefit from UX research in terms of better advocating a specific product to their target customers. UX research provides direct feedback from the customers regarding:

  • why they use a specific product
  • what pain points it solves
  • how it helps them
  • why they love it

All of this information and more can be extremely helpful to marketers when creating product-campaigns and advertising their benefits. By using this valuable feedback and addressing specific opinions that the customers spoke about, you can make your campaign more relatable, impactful, and effective.

Therefore, marketers should use the methods of UX research to help them learn more about their customers and product, and use that information for further progress.

2.5 Beating the competitors

There’s a separate branch of UX research called UX competitor analysis. It helps UX designers learn about their position on the market, compared to their biggest competitors. It also helps learn more about the business opportunities you could reach and ways of improving your business success.

So, what aspects of UX competitive analysis can marketers use to improve their efforts as well? Simply put, marketers too need to learn about their competition and gather information such as:

  • where does the product stand on the market
  • what are your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses
  • defining specific target markets

It’s obvious that marketers can use all of the above information to make better marketing decisions, and aim their marketing campaigns towards specific goals. This way, they’ll find it easier to beat their competitors, enter new markets, and explore new opportunities.

2.6 Building loyal relationships

Another major goal that marketers are worried about is making sure they build strong relationships with their customers. Loyal customers are the ones that often visit your website, use your app, buy your products, or use your services.

To acquire loyal customers, marketers need to pay attention to every single detail. That includes:

  • pleasant user experience
  • easy-to-use website, app, or blog
  • understandable content

The more comfortable and confident your customers feel, the more often they’ll return to read your content or buy your product. That means that UX research can help marketers provide a better user experience and maintain a strong relationship with their customers.

2.7 Listening to customers

Whether you’ve just launched a new marketing campaign or you’re advertising a new product, you must listen to what your customers have to say. In UX research, this stage in the process of developing a product is called ongoing listening.

But, why not use the same methods in marketing as well?

Wouldn’t you think that measuring the success of a product can be beneficial for marketers as well? Marketers would be able to learn about:

  • how the product works
  • whether or not it solves given problems
  • is it good enough
  • do customer have any complaints
  • is there a chance to make things better
  • is the product going to stay as useful in the long run

Of course, marketers have their methods of measuring conversions, ROIs, and campaign impact, but why not seize additional opportunities? Useful insight should always be a priority, so marketers should use every chance they get of gathering new information and applying it to their campaigns.

2.8 Boosting conversion

When marketers team up with UX designers, they can help each other significantly boost their business conversions and sales. Both teams’ project management should reach out to each other and find common grounds for solid collaboration.

Marketers use their strategies to create differently:

  • promotions
  • offers
  • CTAs
  • campaigns
  • slogans
  • invitations

However, they still need the help of proper UX research and UX design to promote and help point out all the right information to the right people.

Through UX research, UX designers know:

  • what colours to use
  • which layout to choose
  • how to make a CTA stand out
  • how to get more positive reactions

Together, marketers and UX designers are able to inspire customers to take action. As a result, they manage to boost sales and conversions.

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3. What UX research methods should marketers use? 

Now that you see how marketers can benefit from teaming up with UX professionals or performing their own UX research, let’s take a look at the specific UX research strategies and methods marketers could benefit from. UX research uses quantitative and qualitative research methods to acquire information and reach better results.

3.1 Quantitative Research

Quantitative research aims at gathering numerical data and transforming it into statistics. Then, the statistics are used to make better choices, designs, and UX experience.  There are different forms of quantitative research. Most often, UX professionals use:

  • online surveys
  • online polls
  • questionnaires
  • benchmarking
  • A/B testing
  • card sorting
  • desirability studies
  • etc.

All of these methods differ in how much they cost, how hard it is to conduct them, how time-consuming they are, and how difficult it is to collect and analyze the information. Also, they each help UX professionals (or marketers) reach a specific goal and gather specific information.

3.2 Qualitative research

On the other hand, different qualitative research methods help UX designers discover and understand individual user experiences and better understand the human side of their UX experience. It shows us why certain customers act a certain way and allow for in-depth data to improve our business plans. Here are some of the most widely-used qualitative UX research methods:

  • interviews
  • user tests
  • diary studies
  • focus groups
  • field studies
  • persona development
  • etc.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods can provide extremely valuable information about the product, brand, customers, and their interaction. Marketers who don’t understand the value of UX research are missing out on a huge opportunity to make better business choices and improve all their marketing efforts.

4. Final thoughts

UX research should be an inevitable part of a marketers’ journey in discovering and gathering useful information, data, and insight. Marketers need to understand that the value of UX research is immeasurable if applied properly. Hopefully, this article helped you realize just how closely tied together UX research and market research are.

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