The Power of Deep User Research

1 min read

Alex Blondin, an expert in user research and UX strategy, bangs the drum for deep user research. Game-changing benefits include the power to help you make smart marketing choices, without the guesswork, and the weight the research findings have to make sure all stakeholders are on the same page, pulling in the same direction.

Frank conversations

Deep user research is about having frank conversations with customers and various stakeholders right at the start of developing marketing plans. It’s about uncovering their genuine needs, preferences and pain points without letting our assumptions and preconceived ideas get in the way. Once you really understand what your customers need, it’s far easier to make sure your business goals and your customers’ needs match up from the start, which also saves time and money.

Solid facts

Deep user research lets marketers be far more strategic and clever in matching their plans with what customers truly need. It gives you solid facts to help make choices, moving away from just doing things because that’s how they’ve always been done – it’s about really understanding what makes your customers tick.

Why? Why? Why?

Alex points out that you shouldn’t treat user research like you’re just ticking boxes in a survey. You want to get at the “why” behind what people tell you. One of the tricky challenges marketers face is not letting what you already believe, or fear of customer feedback, stop you from getting the real, valuable insights. That’s why sometimes you need someone from outside your team to help you see things clearly.

And then?

Once you’ve got all these insights from talking to customers and internal stakeholders, you must turn them into a plan. This means putting together all the stories and trends you’ve heard. Alex calls this “UX strategy,” and it’s what you use to decide how to talk to your customers, what kind of content to make, and where to share it, so your messages hit home.

And IRL?

Case studies, where deep user research led to significant shifts in marketing approaches include a high-end medical clinic that, after digging into the research, refocused its website strategy to attract talented doctors to service their clients rather than directly attracting clients. This shift stood them apart from the competition AND appealed to high net-worth clientele (who, it turns out from the research, weren’t interested in the website beyond the contact details and the validation of the high quality of the surgeons!)

Your next steps

For marketers who want to get serious about user research, Alex suggests first making sure there’s someone on the team who champions the voice of the customer. Secondly, be open to the idea that you might not always be right but your hypotheses can be tested through research. Then, thirdly, seek out partners who value deep user insights. Seeing user research as a way to grow is a big step towards creating stronger connections with your audiences, and crafting your marketing strategies to best reach and resonate with them.

Alex Blondin is a deep user experience expert, user experience strategist and co-founder of agency Everything is User Experience.

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