Quirks Marketing Research Review January 2016 : Page 49

have to have a technical under-standing of Web sites that focus group moderators don’t have to have, in order to make good recom-mendations. A usability practitio-ner’s recommendations are based on best practices, not just on the feed-back heard from users. Usability testing is an expertise.” Acquiring the skills necessary to moderate a usability test and recommend effective solutions re-quires many hours in the lab. You can conduct usability tests with untrained moderators but you’ll get more reliable data and avoid numerous pitfalls using seasoned professionals. Fallacy #7: A company’s Web site is solely a marketing vehicle It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking a Web site is a tactic to disseminate marketing messaging online and leave it at that. Web sites are often developed within the same paradigm as print collateral. Many times, Web sites are online versions of their current print campaigns. Consumers view Web sites differ-ently, as Allergan’s Podraza learned. “Usability testing made me realize the Web site is a conduit to com-municate with our customers; if the Web site experience itself is subop-timal, it’s diminished the value of the investment we make in driv-ing customers to it. Web sites are two-way interactions. Consumers visit your site for a reason. It is all about getting the right message to the consumer at the right time and in the right manner.” To consumers, a company’s Web site is an extension of itself, a touchpoint; a subpar experience on the Web site is equivalent to poor customer service. It’s been shown through numerous site analytics that when users bounce off of a site because of a frustrating experience, they won’t go back. On the other hand, a good or superlative user experience conveys positive messages to consumers: It engages – rather than repels – them. Although it may not initially seem like the case to marketers, a prod-uct’s user experience is a significant element of the brand’s voice and good UX can coax visitors to linger and ultimately convert (and even become repeat customers). Customers expect Web sites to be a portal to the companies behind them. If the site lacks access to customer support or a support chat feature, visitors interpret this omission as a clear signal of the company’s lack of receptivity to communicating with its customers. Keep your lines of com-munication with customers open and visible; they will appreciate it. Win-win The experiences of the marketing experts cited above attest that market-ing and UX research do not have to be considered an either-or choice. By first understanding how UX can work in tan-dem with marketing and then applying what you learn from a UX study to im-prove the user experience, you will gain on both fronts. And that’s a win–win. Linda H. Hwang is a former senior user experience analyst at Usability Sciences, an Irving, Texas, firm. DID YOU KNOW…… Issues & Answers can be your Domestic and International Full Service Research Beacon? &#1b; &#1e;&#1c;&#1b; &#1b;&#1b; &#0e;&#1d;&#1c;&#1b;&#1c;&#1b;&#1f;&#1c;&#1e; !&#1a;& *+-&#1b;!&#1f; 
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&#0c;&#0f;&#0b; Peter McGuinness peterm@issans.com Carla Lindemann clindemann@issans.com &#0e;&#0d;
&#0e;&#0f;&#0c; &#0c;&#0c; 5151 Bonney Road Virginia Beach, VA 23462 +(1) 757-456-1100 www.issans.com January 2016 // Quirk’s Marketing Research Review 49 www.quirks.com

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