A couple centuries ago, I received an undergraduate degree in behavioral science from the University of Kansas, which was the PERFECT discipline for me to learn —scientifically — how best to understand human behavior – our motivations, aversions, how the environment influences us, and more. Marketing, for me, is simply a vehicle or expression of the foundations of behavioral science. I think the same is true for Ux, process improvement, change management, and so much more.
What makes this work so exciting and invigorating, I think, is that our dimensions [digital vs analogue] and tools change, which then influences our behavior and culture, and then our behavior and culture influences future dimensions and tools. This symbiotic, interdependent cycle repeats again, and again, and again.
The short is (TL;DR): ALL of these fields are dependent on better understanding the user (or customer/prospect/fan/loyalist/member). And there’s so much crossover, blurred lines, and sometimes… weird chasms and competition between the fields. But, I’m here to say that I think that’s a load of crap.
In this program, if our bottomline is in our namesake: Digital Innovation in Marketing. All ships [disciplines] must rise to meet the ever-evolving needs and wants of the user. Each discipline is of equal importance. And not only in this program, but in organizations too.
Take this Reddit thread for example, where people “going at it” on UX vs Marketing:
One comment reads: “Marketing is understanding the psychology of the consumer. UX is understanding the psychology of the user.In both cases, you are applying what you know about the “user” to how you design “interfaces” for them. In both cases, you want the interface to be porous, in order to provide the best end-to-end experience.”
In my opinion, that’s also a load of crap and jargon. Too complicated, too technical. USERS ARE CONSUMERS. CONSUMERS ARE USERS. They are all just people, and we don’t flip switches in our head when we go from “user” to “consumer”. Everything is an experience. And, marketers, salespeople, UX designers, project managers, all cater towards that experience — both internally and externally.
Here’s another comment: “UX is really just good marketing. UX is about knowing who your market is, knowing what is important to them, knowing why it is important to them, and designing accordingly. It’s also about listening after you’ve designed and adjusting to the changing marketplace: improving the experience of those in your market. Its easy to recognize this when you consider that users = market. That’s what users are: your users are the market you’re designing for. This is why good marketers actually do a lot of what UX people do and vice-versa.”
Does this sound familiar? I’m pretty sure elicitation + iteration + agile, is prettttty similar. Maybe a different use-case, but same process, same idea. I’ll replace some words in the above quote and inject them with some project/process innovation language: “…It’s also about listening after you’ve [implemented] and adjusting to the changing needs of the [project] + [stakeholders] and improving the [processes] in your organization, team, or squad. It’s easy to recognize this when you consider that users = [stakeholders].
Just a couple thoughts about how all of the natural, low-hanging synergies, and how USERS/CUSTOMERS are at the center across disciplines.