The role of UX in effective marketing campaigns – RBBi’s Fadi Ali

By Fadi Ali, s
enior managing consultant in UX & Research, RBBi

Developing a marketing campaign is usually one of the most challenging and exciting times for a company, as it gives them the opportunity to brainstorm and generate ideas that will bring them visibility. After all the fun and pizzas, whiteboards and post-its, things could get a bit challenging when the plan on paper becomes a reality.

By 2022, digital advertising spending alone in the UAE will reach USD 947.40 million. In KSA, it would be USD 1.42 billion.

A B2B marketing campaign typically spends 8-14% of the overall revenue, while a B2C campaign spends 10-20 per cent. Ensuring the return on investment is successful is critical to avoid disappointment.

In almost every stakeholder workshop we conduct, we hear this concern repeatedly from our partners, particularly from the e-commerce and retail sectors.

Often, we hear statements like:

“We have developed a very effective marketing campaign, but we are unsure whether it will be successful” or “Despite spending significantly on our marketing plan, the return on investment was disappointing. We do not know, however, what went wrong with the plan”.

And our answer would usually be, “but what do your customers think?”

Your marketing plan is nothing if it can’t relate to your users’ needs, wants, and mental models. Put differently, it means paying attention to their experiences.

Beyond acquisition:

Typically, marketing campaigns are driven by business objectives; however, the marketing team will set KPIs based on awareness and acquisition. Sadly, decisions, purchases and retention are rarely considered.

Maintaining user interest throughout the funnel is crucial to attracting users who are interested in your product or service.

Our user research across the GCC indicates that 60 per cent of organic users lose interest after experiencing a challenging website. For example:

The content is poor or does not provide enough information
A visual hierarchy that is confusing
Technical issues
Inconsistent information architecture
A lack of tolerance for human error

Often, users lose interest due to frustration, uncertainty, or self-judgement; one unpleasant experience may be all it takes.

As part of a UX strategy, companies need to examine the holistic picture and create a consolidated customer journey map and decide with partners which tactics are needed at each step. These tactics can be qualitative or quantitative, such as a UX audit, an interview with a user, an analysis of the competition, a data analysis, an A/B test, etc.

Several design positioning strategies emphasise incentives and rewards to tackle frustration, uncertainty, or security concerns. A key part of the user experience is to engage the user and guide them through their journey. Furthermore, putting the user’s emotion map at the centre of our design solution is key.

Allocating some of your marketing budgets to the user experience will improve your ROI and result in a more effective marketing strategy.

Your campaign’s objectives and user experience can benefit from testing with users when your platform is ready for your next campaign.

The key to a successful idea is to test it

By testing your business ideas, you eliminate any bias or emotion attached to them. Marketing campaigns offer the ideal opportunity to test your ideas with your target audience. It can have the final say if there is any uncertainty between the objectives of your organisation, your proposed plans, and your users’ expectations. A clear distinction must be made between what we know and what we believe we know.

We can support what we know by using data. Most of what we think we know are based on assumptions, biases, or clones of what we’ve learned under different circumstances. Marketers must be open to testing their solutions across multiple channels and touchpoints and accept the truth (even when it’s bitter).

As a consultant, we help our partners make sense of their data and identify the areas where they need to make further improvements in their marketing campaigns. Starting with high funnel areas, such as ads and campaign landing pages, we move down to low funnel areas, such as carts and checkout. Data tracking solutions offered by today’s technology and the various UX methods to use this data, such as remote user testing and A/B testing, will make this mission very efficient.


In many cases, A/B testing has been a critical factor in helping our partners maximise the effectiveness of their campaigns. You can use the insights you gained from testing to implement future campaigns confidently. Most of the time, they prove helpful (sometimes even surprising), especially when users’ preferences do not match our own. In several A/B testing cases, and with minimal development efforts, we’ve seen an uplift value of 80 per cent for clicks, 117 per cent for sales, 110 per cent for lead forms submissions and more than 400 per cent for engagements.

Marketing campaigns directly represent your business’s identity, values, and objectives. Additionally, they have the potential to boost your revenue and ROI significantly. Planning a marketing campaign within an organisation is enhanced by involving the best team members and the best ideas.

Do not forget that your audience is the only judge of this talent show.