Mingling with the UI (User Interface/User Experience) folks brought a number of eureka moments. I think User Experience Design should be more openly introduced to the marketing crowd as it helps to expand and reiterate powerful models that both professionals use – like storytelling.
Narratives are used by UI designers to generate and validate design ideas. Marketers use the power of a story to create a brand and help the audience visualize its character. Stories help us get connected with the products as if they were humans. Our social nature contributed to our overall evolution, so it is not as surprising that if we keep it in mind – we would design better products and we devise effective marketing campaigns.
Digging deeper, the personas seem to be another useful model that marketers can contribute to first and benefit from later. Personas are not market segments, but the former can be better constructed thanks to the latter. Marketing segments add demographic and relational framework to the persona development, filtering the research stage of the user design process. The difference between the two is that: marketing segments reveal demographics, sales and distribution processes, while design personas describe user behaviors, goals and motivations that represent a particular user group. At the same time, using the final personas developed in the process can be a great technique to develop effective promotional materials and sales training documentation. Imagine how useful it could be for the new product launch!
Marketers, mostly generalists, are fortunate to incorporate ideas and techniques while working with a number of other professionals, thus making it a constantly rewarding career.
P.S. To learn more about the User Experience Design, check out the site for Clear Sky Interactive that explains very well what the process entails.