Thought Hive: Growth-Driven Design Priorities and Challenges


The future of digital marketing revolves around the personalization and engagement that companies must give to attract, convert and retain their customers.

Old-school outbound marketing believes the best way to market your products and services is by putting you and your products before the customer's preferences.

Sure, things were, and sometimes still are decided in a focus group. But there wasn't much of a chance for the customers' preferences to shine through in real-time and make a difference.

It’s time to create more interactive content that's personalized based on your customers' preferences and actions. Let’s take a closer look at how you can put more control in the hands of your customers by using interactive marketing and growth-driven design.

People ignore design that ignores people.—Frank Chimero

Pro Tip: Personalization that's driven by data increases engagement with customers and leads to more relevant, curated content.

Growth-driven design can be defined as fluid website design that is user focused. Based on a continuous process of learning and analyzing specific metrics, you can isolate elements on your website that need improvement. Interactive marketing is fluid as well through a pretty eclectic range of inbound marketing services like the few listed below:

  • Adaptive web pages
  • Personalized video ads
  • Individualized product recommendations
  • Personalized email marketing messages
  • Personalized calls to action

Almost any inbound marketing tool can be bettered by incorporating growth-driven design and interactive marketing. You can even create interactive white papers designed with user engagement that provides real value and educates your customers at the same time. Or you can even create a growth-driven launch pad website—providing your customers with a website that is tailored to solve their pain points 24/7.

Interactive content and growth-driven web design allows you to steer the buyer's journey in ways that create more nuanced customer profiles that ultimately benefit your company. The real-time information that you collect empowers your lead scoring and lead nurturing efforts far beyond what traditional outbound marketing methods can accomplish.

To be a great designer, you need to look a little deeper into how people think and act.—Paul Boag

Create a Seamless Buyer's Journey

You've probably already dealt with interactive content if you've been on Amazon and gotten personalized recommendations based on your browsing and purchasing history. It can feel like magic even when you know the trick.

The same can be said for your website design. For example, if your website is designed to accommodate the 54% of consumers who believe that it is easier to find information on mobile-optimized sites, they’ll feel more inclined to stay on your website, because you took the time to learn and understand them by personalizing your website to make it mobile friendly.

However, because some websites are created with traditional website design practices, companies miss out on the HUGE opportunity to engage with their audience, retrieve data on their user experience, and thoroughly apply improvements quickly without having to wait 2 years for a website redesign.

Take this as another example. If your company’s Products and Services page was not accessible on mobile even though your data shows that 40% of smartphone and tablet owners search for B2B products on those devices, then currently you have a website that is not user focused—driving away potential leads and customers.

Create a seamless experience for your audience, especially on your website. Use your existing data and create high impact, must have action items to improve a specific element, in this case, your products and services page not being mobile responsive, on your website for your users and ultimately to meet your company’s goals.

Pro Tip: Incorporating more dynamic content and growth-driven design into your marketing strategy just makes the buyer's journey that much more seamless, especially since 74% of your potential customers get irritated when web content, video ads, and promotional content appear to have little to do with their interests.

To top it all off, you'll glean much more data on your potential customers. This data can then be uploaded into marketing automation software that, in turn, can be used to create a higher level of contextual intelligence on all of your leads and further streamline your website and other marketing processes for the benefit of your entire audience.

Our websites are fluid, so our processes and workflows need to match.—Brad Frost

Keep It Personal by Being Personable

Personalization is all about making the overall experience more relevant and valuable for your customers by delivering more engaging content in real-time.

One way to do that is by introducing your company and current product lineup in a video, then letting the customer decide what s/he wants to explore next.

Depending on the product they choose, you can provide your viewers with text annotations that delve deeper into the topic or lead them towards blog posts, eBooks, whitepapers or PDFs that give them the time and space to learn more about the topic they've selected.

Giving your customers the wheel, so to speak, actually is in your best interest. You'll be collecting better data on their preferences and current interests which can later be put towards delivering even more relevant video content in the future. Collecting better data also results in a very tangible improvement in profile building and lead nurturing.

Pro Tip: As an example, when your customers take more control by selecting which scenes get played or what products get explored next, you've just automatically boosted customer engagement and learned more about their process.

Focus unswervingly on the customer.—Jesse Hertzberg

Interactivity and growth-driven design can be used in both B2C and B2B marketing contexts to kickstart your web pages, email marketing messages, calls to action and even your infographics. Inbound marketing that changes the interaction with customers from a monologue to a two-way conversation takes into account customer behavior as well as their preferences—yielding more sophisticated persona profile building, higher quality leads and more returning customers.

Growth Driven Design Priorities

Understanding the importance of your website is like paying your taxes. You have to do it unless you want the IRS knocking down your door.

Traditional website design is focused on the sale in every avenue of your website. And web designers and developers have more control over your website—disallowing you to make quick updates. Ultimately, traditional web design is business focused.

However, especially in today’s interactive and user-driven world, there’s still traditional websites being created that stay static for one to two years or longer despite websites being your 24/7 brand advocate.

Your website sets the stage for attracting, converting, closing, and delighting your audience. But how can you do that if you have to create an expensive or tediously long new website and eventually a website redesign?

This is where growth-driven design comes into play.

Pro Tip: Growth-driven design is user-focused website design with shorter development and metric-focused analytics for continuous growth-based redesign.

With that, let’s narrow in on the four ways you can start telling your audience’s story in your website with growth-driven design.

If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.—Jay Baer

Tell a story that’s purposeful.

With anything in life, you must have a solid foundation. From houses to relationships, you and your team must take your time within this planning stage first before you jump into building your website. Check out these tips for telling a story that’s purposeful for your website’s planning stage:

  • Do Your Homework: In order to start creating goals for what your website should look like, you have to take yourself and your company out of focus. As stated before, growth-driven design is user focused. If you don’t have the users in mind when you are creating your goals or planning for apps and features to include on your site, you are solely basing your decisions off of you and your team’s personal knowledge—falling back onto a company-focused website. So, do your homework by:
    • Defining Your Buyer Personas: This is your ideal audience. Find out their demographics, their position in their company, their experience level, etc. Even do interviews with your current audience. The more in-depth you can be about defining your buyer personas, the more accurately you can understand and engage with your audience.
    • Researching Quantitatively: Dive deep into your existing website data and see what aspects are doing well, poorly and just need improvements.
    • Researching Qualitatively: Dive deep into your existing users to your website and see what aspects they are having problems with and engaging with the most. Understand who they are, their needs, and how you can solve them on your website.
  • Be Goal Oriented: Based on your homework, create goals around how this will help boost your marketing and overall company goals. And this is essential with the help of your research from your buyer personas to your quantitative and qualitative research.

Through qualitative research, we’re able to observe the user’s goals, motivations, and pain points in action. This helps us to develop an understanding of the human behaviors that are tied to the quantitative data points that we’ve collected.—Austin Knight

Tell a story that’s effective.

The next way to use grown-driven design is through the effectiveness of using a wish list. A wish list is a brainstorming session of ideas around design elements, number of pages, specific features and applications, etc.

However, you don’t just stop at making this wish list. Once you’ve created it, narrow your ideas down using the 80/20 rule—deciding between must have ideas that will impact your audience by 80% or ideas that are 20% impact as nice to haves. To help narrow down your wish list into action items, create hypothetical statements based on the research and goals from the planning stage. In fact, the following is an example on how you should create your statements for website effectiveness:

Tell a story that’s engaging.

Finally, tell a story with your website that’s engaging with a launch-pad website. A launch-pad website is created without expecting it to be perfect. And let’s be honest, no website is perfect. However, its design is based on simplifying the website design creation process and how fast you can get your website into the hands of your audience.

With traditional website design, the focus lingers too long on design element assumptions. You won’t know how your audience and especially your new users will interact with your website until they use it. And with the traditional website design process, it can take months just to launch your website and years before you even consider a redesign. The same is not true for growth-driven design.

With growth-driven design, you can launch your website in a month, built around your goals and must have action items that you created in the planning phase. So, once you’ve created it, you just have to put in your audience’s hands and analyze the data from there.

Our users are constantly telling us what they like and don’t like about our websites and apps through the actions they take.—Matthew Rheault

Your website is not static. It is a round-the-clock, active member of your company. And with growth-driven design, your website undergoes a continuous design strategy due to the constant data you receive from your audience. Start making your website purposeful, effective and engaging with growth-driven design—allowing it to transform from static to living.

Do you have valuable insight to add to this topic? Please feel free to add a comment below, reach out to us @DirectImages on Twitter or provide insight to the In-Sites Thought Hive Submission form below and be featured in a future Thought Hive.

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Topics: Online Design, Website Design

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