by Christine Jaros | August 30, 2022
So, what is a ‘touch point’? A touch point is any interaction, connection, contact or impression via your product/service with a potential customer. Facebook ads, postcards and email blasts are a few common examples. There are hundreds, even thousands, depending on your marketing strategy and outreach.
Most marketing analytics suggest it takes at minimum of 20 touch point encounters to not only make a consumer aware of your brand, but to convert them into a paying customer. Achieving that ‘ah-hah’ moment which creates brand awareness and sales is part of your product’s selling journey and worth mapping. It requires a great understanding of your product’s nuances, as well as your audience’s needs.
For the small business owner, knowing which touch points are most effective will save you time and money, as well as allow you to maximize your marketing dollars and focus in on additional product options that can raise revenues. In the end, each touch point shapes your target market’s perception of your products so by the time they decide they need your product or service, they will choose your brand.
There is work to be done first before jumping into marketing touch points.
You will need a well-defined brand strategy. Otherwise, it’s like jumping into a pool without water. Most people think branding is about logos, font size, type and color. All of that is true, however, in today’s world of digital marketing, a brand strategy is integral to creating content, so it also includes brand personality, the tone or voice, brand look and feel, branding messages, profiles, ‘About’ and story.
Once you have a brand strategy and content available, you are ready to identify your touch points.
Within any marketing strategy, there are categories or ‘channels’ for touch points. I’ve named several channels below, but the four most common include Google, social media, websites and email. Let’s go through a few of these:
One of the largest channels where you can develop touch points, Google has many options allowing you to connect and shape your potential customer’s perceptions and choices. Some of those are as follows:
- Organic search queries: You are probably most familiar with this initial touch point encounter as a keyword is entered into the search bar and your brand may appear in a list of responses to the query. Many utilize SEO (search engine optimization) to improve/maximize their keyword usage and better deliver their brand in response to an Internet search. Be mindful that there is more than one search engine. Google, Yahoo and MS Edge are some of the top engines.
- Google Search Ads: This is another way to increase your brand exposure and touch points by running ads using a common phrase potential customers use in their search query. An advertisement for your product/service will appear in response to their search which now offers the customer more specific information about you and your business. Your ad message can shape customer perception and bring them one step closer to purchasing.
- Google Shopping Feeds: When a customer generates a product search, a feed appears at the top of the search results listing products, prices, and where they can be purchased. You can advertise your product within this feed (via Google Merchant Center). This account will integrate with your e-commerce/website, thus creating another touch point that brings the customer to a potential purchase point regarding your products.
- Google Ads Display Network: While this touch point option utilizes a repository of websites allowing ads to be displayed via product searches, its most important to point out it also includes displaying ads within YouTube videos. These ads are very visual, and generally contain an offer or a button which allows the viewer to engage with the brand.
- Social Media
This is a popular and well-used channel for building engagement with your audience. There are many options for touch point encounters, including:
- Engagement campaign: Take a survey, post an informative article, offer a link for a questionnaire. The result of using these engagement tools is getting the user to interact with your brand which brings them closer to a sales conversion.
- Conversion campaign: This differs from an engagement campaign as it includes users who are further down the sales funnel, like a customer who has received an estimate on a gutter installation, but has not yet pulled the ‘buy’ trigger. This campaign may include limited-time special offers, discounts, and upgrades to motivate the customer to take action sooner.
- UGC ( User-Generated Content): When social media followers tag and post organically about your product, this is user-generated content. For instance, a customer who posts a selfie about their new dress and the post mentions your brand is a UGC. This is unsolicited fanfare which creates organic brand encounters with your target market.
- Organic Reach: Essentially, this is the initial step most new business owners take when they post and use hashtags. They are seeking an audience response which involves an organic awareness of the brand – like stumbling into a great store down an alley. It’s a low return on time and marketing dollars, but connectivity can occur with creative content and using hashtags.
- Retargeting campaigns: Potential customers who exhibit interested behavior on your landing page or website (like adding a product to the cart but not purchasing) can be moved to a retargeting campaign via your social media accounts. Its one more opportunity to shape their perception by giving them additional content and information.
Don’t overlook the value of your website. Your website is a great channel for touch points that move your audience to action. Target users when they land on your website with appropriate pop-ups (Google has been known to downgrade a website due to intrusive pop-ups throughout the site) , flash sales, limited offers, upselling opportunities, newsletters, coupons, and more. All these encounters build and shape your audience’s purchasing journey. Build action points into each page.
This channel for touch points evolves with your ability to collect emails of potential customers via other touch point encounters.
Email blasts and email campaigns using an email platform can put your information front and center with your audience. Tailor the email to include the action you want your audience to take. Do not overdo the frequency of emails, especially if you are not getting a response. You will turn a customer away. The goal is to increase interaction.
It’s important to note that you cannot add potential customers to your subscriber list without their explicit permission and you must give them the opportunity to opt-out in each message that’s sent.
Here are some additional channels for you to explore touch point development:
- You Tube Videos
- Mobile Phone
- Word of Mouth – Referrals
- Local physical environment of brand (your showroom or store)
- Packaging and Display
- Direct Mail – Using post cards
- Blog Posts
- Business Cards
- Invoices and Proposals – Using logo stationary
- Shipping Material Inserts – Your product catalogs, line sheets, flash sales opportunities
- Discovery phone calls/cold calling
- In-person workshops
- Deliverables – Rank high in satisfaction, shipping, ease of ordering, etc.
- Customer support
- Direct selling with potential customers
- Trade shows and markets selling to buyers
- Professional Associations – Use your industry groups to network, co-brand with colleagues, be a guest speaker
- Traditional Marketing/Media Campaigns: Using radio, TV, newspapers, catalogs, magazines, billboards, bus stops, car wraps
Again, determining what works best for your product and brand will allow you to turn that consumer inquiry into a customer purchase. Start counting!