September 8, 2021

Quality Assurance: Its Importance in Digital Marketing

The purpose of marketing is to bring awareness to your brand, help users understand your products or services, and eventually convert. In digital marketing, this means embracing both the creative process of the job as well as the analytic process to determine how your work is performing. These are two obvious and necessary components, and as such, they’re incorporated into nearly every campaign, project, or individual piece of content you create.

But there’s another important step that should separate your content from publication. It’s called quality assurance. Some call it quality control, cross-checking, or surveying, but the premise is the same — you really can’t do without it. Here’s what QA (as we call it at PHOS) can entail, why it can get overlooked, and in doing so, how your business can be affected.

What Is Quality Assurance in Marketing?

The QA process is one way to ensure that the work you do is flawless. Back in school, it was called “checking your work,” but when it comes to your marketing and content, it can be a little more involved than that.

Quality assurance can be high level — ensuring that the concepts behind your work support the strategic needs you’re trying to meet, or making sure all the different parts of a campaign are on-brand. It can also be highly tedious and time-consuming work, like verifying that all design, functionality, and content elements are properly completed.

Common Reasons for Skipping the QA Process

That all sounds pretty crucial — so why is the quality assurance process so often disregarded? The problem is that as part of the creative process, QA can deliberately or unintentionally be excluded. There are a few common reasons for this and different ways it can happen.

Poor Planning

While the planning process commonly outlines deadlines, stylistic guidelines, and overarching goals, sometimes the quality assurance process is simply forgotten. This can happen easily when QA is not intrinsically incorporated into a company’s creative process and budget at the outset. Simply put, it gets abandoned.

Tight Timelines

Things move quickly in business, and marketing is certainly no exception. Deadlines sneak up on you, and the faster you’re moving, the easier it is to miss something. Unfortunately, when moving at such a rapid pace, one step most commonly gets lost in the shuffle: QA. After all, the project is complete, so it can just get sent out into the world, right?

Lack of Resources

Either case above might be caused by a lack of resources. Perhaps you don’t have an employee whose job description includes QA. Or maybe the person who usually does this step is overwhelmed by the volume of work that’s coming through your pipeline.

Publish Now, Edit Later

Back when marketing included more printed pieces, dropping the ball when it came to quality assurance was a clear disaster. Mistakes and typos were more or less permanent. But in today’s digital world, projects are published online and often allow for edits after the fact. For example, when a web page is pushed live and a typo is present, you can simply fix the problem in the website’s back-end. In this less-than-permanent digital world, employees may be less likely to feel the pressure to get it right the first time.

Why Does QA Really Matter?

A few errors and typos here and there are a nuisance, we know. But in the long-term, are they really that important? Is spending time and effort on quality control really worth it? Why does it matter if everything isn’t perfect?

Errors Are Brand-Killers

When websites, blogs, and digital content are riddled with errors, it can leave a negative impression on users. Users may feel that they cannot rely on a brand, or may even assume that its people are unprofessional or disorganized.

Broken trust breaks brands. Broken links, incorrect images, or poor user experiences can badly damage your brand, especially if you are touting yourself as a thought leader or business of excellence.

Let’s Talk Value

Whether your client is large or small, an outside party or even yourself, providing value is paramount and inherently a part of every marketing plan. Content is created to boost sales, attract customers, and drive traffic to your business. If you replace quality content with sloppy work, then you might as well wave goodbye to the investments and relationships you’ve made up to that point with your client and their audiences.

User Experience Is Paramount

A terrible first impression can harm your bottom line. First impressions are made through user experiences.  Both internal and external users can benefit from the value you provide, but sifting through typos and broken links to get to the information they’re looking for is not the way.

Developing a functional QA process can eliminate the headache of high website bounce rates, lower traffic, and poor engagement over time. In checking that all links open properly, animations function as intended, and browser compatibility is cross-checked, you ensure the trustworthiness of your brand.

Quality Over Quantity

As humans, it’s important to note that none of us will ever achieve perfection. But that doesn’t mean that perfection shouldn’t be our goal. By reinforcing — or implementing —  QA into your work processes, you can help build a brand voice of authority and trust while producing quality work that will never disappoint your clients.

Whether your business neglects or has difficulty incorporating the quality assurance process into your creative designs, you can’t do without it. Growing your business the right way can be difficult, but our team of designers, developers, and marketing strategists are here to help every step of the way.

Lisa Roberts

With a love for learning and a heart to serve, Lisa partners with clients to reach their fullest potential by providing quality work and proven results. As a proud Gator grad, she has come to call Gainesville home and nothing brings her greater joy than pouring back into the community she loves.

Outside of PHOS, you can find Lisa relishing time with family, having a good laugh with friends, or blasting her favorites on Spotify. She loves a good docu-series, and will never turn down a good cup ‘o joe.