By: Gordon Conner
Any time you have contact between a company and its customer, that’s a touch point. These touch points can be ads, marketing materials, face-to-face- sales discussions, delivery staff or anything else that involves a business message, logo or brand name that reaches the customer. Even finding the right dress for someone special. So the amount of touch points and the effectiveness of those interactions is all going to determine the level of success you have with that customer and how your marketing and branding efforts can be improved.
The type of business that you run will determine which in-store touch points you need to perfect. If you have a clothing store, for example, your checkout register, the employee that runs it and the receipt that the customer receives are all important touch points. They all need to be addressed as important marketing tools, but should be handled differently. Your associate can inform customers about the sale you’re conducting on jeans. The cashier can promote the store credit card. And your receipt can carry a message about a 25% discount off the next purchase of $50 or more.
If you’re a small business with an Internet presence, electronic touch points can play a major role in your marketing plan. These electronic touch points can be a lot more measurable because you can record clicks, click-throughs and purchases. Electronic touch points can be things like social media pages, email, clickable banners and all other forms of contact with your customers online. And the customers that you attract with these online touch points can be different from those you get through traditional media. As the result, your marketing needs will be different for each.
Print and mail
Print messages through newspapers, marketing materials or through the mail really bring home your marketing message. These traditional touch points are still effective because they don’t require any personal or web page contact. Print methods can also be used to retain existing customers, as well as to attempt to bring in new customers. Either way, these print marketing touch points are more expensive than electronic and in-store campaigns, but they can pay off if the customer base is expanded.
Customer service is a really important consideration, but it’s a very difficult touch point to manage. This touch point has an enormous impact on how the customer feels about your business and whether or not she will continue to shop with you or not. If she has a problem with her buying experience and leaves with a bad taste in her mouth, she will more than likely be looking for another place to shop the next time. This touch point simply involves so much more personal interaction than most of the other touch points. It often involves a customer who is already dissatisfied with her shopping experience and who has contacted you about her problem. For a small business, the relationship you build with each customer can be the most important touch point of all.
After you’ve reviewed and analyzed all of your marketing touch points, you can then get an idea of what’s working and what isn’t. As a result of this input, you can pinpoint which touch points are doing the job and which aren’t. You will also discover which are costing way too much, and which are actually paying off for you.
You can also see where you’re overdoing the touch points and where you need to beef it up. Once you understand how to spread out your touch points, you’ll be able to make your small business more effective and efficient.
About the Author
Gordon Conner is a brand coach, copywriter, content writer and blogger who writes “Snappy Copy That Sells Stuff”. He has been providing Category of One advertising, marketing, branding and copywriting services for 39 years and lives in Midlothian, Virginia. He can be reached through email at Gordon@BranWorks.com.