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User-Centric Marketing by Paul Boag Summary

Updated: Jan 9

This review is only for 1 course in CXL's growth marketing minidegree. For all the others please head over to the index here

Who is teaching you?

CXL claims to bring in the best of the practitioners from all fields of growth marketing . This course is no different.

Paul is a leader in conversion rate optimization and user experience design thinking. He has over 25 years experience working with clients such as Doctors Without Borders and PUMA. He is the author of six books! Wow. In the course, he shares funny stories of his time working with clients. Once, he replaced all the mousepads of the employees to mousepads with customer profiles (user personas) to get employees to think 'customer first'. It's a light, fun yet super important course to take.

Setting of the course​

In a sitting style, Paul takes all the lessons at CXL institute. It's more of an audio course than is a visual course, which means you can take it while doing your daily chores. The goal of the course is to help you think about users all the time. It's not a hands-on course like the Google Analytics course but it's incredibly practical. User centric marketing is more about the psychology and research than it is about playing with numbers.

​ Contents of the course

  1. Details out the way you can and should survey your customers.

  2. Which tools to use

  3. Which templates to start with

  4. And lots more.

Create happy customers

User centric approach to marketing creates happier customers. Talking to your users gets

  • Right Product-Market fit

  • Stay ahead of the competition

  • Know what to improve.

How has digital changed customer brand relationships? ​

We complain faster.

Dell experienced this when the Dell Hell post become viral.

​We recommend it to our friends quicker Appsumo partnered with tech companies and extended deep discounts. They went viral. Their marketing playbook guide is here.

It's cheaper to correct mistakes but also deadlier when brands are too slow to respond.

To commemorate the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, AT&T tweeted a photo of a phone with an image of the Twin Towers, leading to criticism that the carrier was capitalizing on the tragedy.

How to go about user centric marketing?​

"Know thy customer" ​ You want to create a customer journey (template) for each user persona (template) and eventually perform an empathy mapping exercise (template).

No Budget? No problem.

Ask the boundary spanners in your organisation. They are those people who interact with your customers every day. Ask them. ​ Talk to your recent customers - people who recently signed up for your product or service. ​ Stalk your competitor's customers on the internet. Create a google alert.

Tools for user-centric marketing


Qualtroo and Hotjar for on-site surveys

Remote testing: and Betalist (when product is in beta). Zoom if you don't want to pay. ​ But having tools is not enough, you need to know how to use them. ​ Your surveys need to be as short and close ended as possible.

A list of questions to consider

Should you focus on who your audience is or what do they want to do? What stops them from buying from you? What are their objections and pain points? ​ Surely, you can pay users $50/test but you can get better data if you could just motivate existing web visitors to complete the survey. It's your timing that matters and how closed ended your questions are. Don't focus too much on 'who' this customer is. You don't need to know their email address or their name. Just ask a question -- get to it. Preferably when the visitor is about to leave. ​ You could ask users to: 1. Complete a specific task 2. Complete a broad task. ​ In return, 1. Pay them money 2. Give them a free resource 3. Surprise them with a free resource. An unexpected hit of dopamine?

Find what matters to your users​

A top task analysis focuses on the most important needs of your customers. It's important to remove clutter so that the user can find the most relevant information quickly. *Cognitive overload is a real problem. ​ "It's focused on enabling you to prioritize your messaging by understanding what questions and objections matter most to users." ​ Use

  • Open/Closed card sorting to place the most important info at the right places

  • A 5-second test: to verify if you've done a good job.

  • Use a word cloud to ensure that the audience is using the ideal words to describe your copy.

Don't create w/o a testing a prototype. ​

Always create a prototype that you can test. I know's (very famous fintech company) initial growth marketers tested 5 copies to sell their usp. It looked so raw, in very much like the spirit of growth marketing. ​ Tools to use:

Mock your prototype up in PowerPoint, Keynote or Balsamiq. Gather not more than 6 people for 40 minutes each, individually and get them to perform a simple usability test. Repeat this process multiple times until you feel confident. Usability tests can be performed on any audience not just your target audience, unless your audience are children or the elderly. You test for:

  1. Can the user understand the basic concept?

  2. Can they navigate and find stuff?

  3. Can they do what they wanted to?

Tools to use: Google analytics (or alternative) for tracking and measuring. Answers “What happened?” Screen recording tools - Hotjar / Mouseflow. Answers “Why it happened?” A/B testing tools - VWO or Google Optimizely - Answers “How to fix it?”

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