Did you know? 79% of users will leave a webpage if its content isn’t optimised (they’ll find another site to complete their task).

User experience (UX) is no longer just an industry buzzword. And brands ignore it at their peril. Media plans and creative are one part of the digital marketing puzzle; the other is usability. And once users begin interacting with your assets, all bets are off and it’s your time to either flop or shine.

Mobile is again the drive

The all-mighty smartphone is one of the driving forces behind the recent spotlight on user experience. In fact, mobile now accounts for 65% of digital media time – with desktops increasingly the secondary touch point.

But have you ever been on your phone and opened your browser to look at a website that just… wasn’t designed for your smaller screen? Well, you’re not alone. According to Google, a whopping 96% of smartphone users have accessed websites that aren’t mobile-optimised. What’s more, for 52% of users, a bad mobile experience decreases their likelihood of engaging with that company.

So what does this mean for brands? It tells you that even if you improve your company’s website after the fact, for many it’s already too late. While brands are implementing more and more mobile responsive designs, there’s still a gap between what users want and where brands need to be.

80% of local searches convert on mobile devices so businesses that rely heavily on location-based searches  need to act now! My local sushi place, I’m looking at you!

A good site is not enough

Optimising a website is essential. But the role of the UX professional is so much more than implementing a mobile site. To really get an edge in the cut-throat competitive marketplace, the most successful marketers take UX to mean more than increasing immediate conversion.

In the cluttered digital environment, it’s a tall order to get noticed – let alone stay noticed. And the name of the game is being consistent in order to capture customer loyalty. So the more your company prioritises UX, the less money you’ll need to spend on acquiring new customers.

While this isn’t a new idea, the increased capabilities of data and tech elevate user and customer experience to a whole new level. By connecting the dots and linking customer journeys together, you can now deliver experiences that are more personalised than ever. Through more channels than ever (paid search, video, social and more).

I want it that way

The information your brand provides is likely not unique. But the way you provide it might just help you stand out from the crowd.

Potential customers now ask: ‘Does this product/service/content do what I want it to do in the way that I want it to?’ And the second part of this is key: ‘In the way I want it to’.

Pages and pages of ‘frequently asked questions’ are no longer in vogue. It might have been the craze a few years back for SEO… but the truth is, the format you deliver your information in is as critical as the information itself.

Optimal visual experiences are integral to user experience. And if you go above and beyond to integrate video, more immersive content and interactive storytelling? Even better – as confirmed by Snapchat, Facebook and Google at our client conference ‘Targeting Tomorrow’. Your customers now demand the freedom to choose when and how they interact with brands.

As marketers, this is a rallying call for changing the way we approach customer touch points.

The long and short of it

I could go on about user experience for days but I’ll let the experts take it from here. While each Resolution Product Specialist takes on different areas of digital marketing, user experience is the thread that ties it all together.

More UX positions are popping up across the board but it’s no longer incumbent on the UX guy or team to design, create and maintain great experiences. For UX to really take off, your brand needs to proliferate a culture of delivering exceptional brand experiences throughout your organisation.

Keep this in mind as you allocate your budget this year.

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