What is a touchpoint in marketing?
12 Feb 2023 | by Kristina Boschenriedter
5 min read
When looking at the places where your company and its customers connect, you may hear the term ‘touchpoint’ used.
In this blog, we’ll break down the fundamentals of marketing touchpoints, and explain just why they are so important in your customer journeys.
What is the definition of a marketing touchpoint?
A touchpoint is a place or instance where your brand engages directly with your customers. There are a few different types of touchpoints in marketing, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. These moments occur in various places during the customer journey and can have a huge impact on your customer’s experiences, and the subsequent decisions they make.
Some examples of marketing touchpoints
- Landing pages - essentially the welcome mat for your marketing campaign, and often one of the early impressions your customer gets of your brand
- Blog posts - as these are examples of the expertise and insight that you can provide your customers, it’s important that they are thoroughly checked
- Social media - evidence of how you interact publicly with not only your loyal customers, but the general public, and often a place to demonstrate personality and tone of voice
- Conferences or other events - this may be someone’s first introduction to your company or the first time that they speak with a member of your team
- Phone calls - whether an introductory conversation or a follow-up, both are equally as important for creating a lasting impression
- Customer service helplines/chatbots - these interactions and how they are conducted can help your customer form an opinion of your company
- Catalogues - though this may not be relevant for every company, catalogues both virtual and physical can be important touchpoints
- Offices or stores - your product could be outstanding and your team the best in the world, but if a potential customer comes for a meeting and your premises are falling apart it’s bound to taint their opinion of you
Some touchpoints are only reached by your customers after a successful sale has been completed, in the form of feedback and subscription renewals. There will even be touchpoints that are entirely out of your control, such as word of mouth or independent customer reviews.
Touchpoints are present and relevant in all stages of the customer lifecycle, and the ones that come after a sale should be treated as just as important as the ones before.
Why are touchpoints in marketing important?
To put it simply - a good touchpoint can influence customer conversion in the same way a bad one would impact customer churn. Every touchpoint is an opportunity to foster a positive interaction between customers and your business and is something that could lead to them becoming loyal brand advocates.
On average it takes a customer interacting with 8 touchpoints to get to a successful sale. This number can vary greatly depending on the size of your business and your product. If some of the touchpoints they interact with are physical, such as a billboard or print ad, you may not even be able to record them. The more touchpoints there are available, the more opportunities your customers have to have a positive interaction with your company, build a relationship, and provide you with valuable feedback that can influence your future marketing decisions.
If you’ve ever had an interaction with a company that has left you either vowing to never use them again or to do business with them exclusively, you know how pivotal touchpoints can be. Effective touchpoints that give the customer what they need will improve their experience, and minimise the workload for your customer services team.
In a time where there is so much competition between brands as they vie for customer attention, touchpoints are places where you can demonstrate the uniqueness of your product or service. The more creativity and care you can put into these points of contact, the more likely you are to stand out against competitors. But you need to know which touchpoints require your attention.
How do I measure and review my marketing touchpoints?
Understanding how your customers think and feel is an important part of making touchpoints as effective as they can be. Not all touchpoints are of equal value, but some may be more important to your customers’ experiences than you think.
Customer feedback on touchpoints and their success rates is fundamental for managing time and resources effectively. Customers can highlight areas in their journey where they felt ‘friction’, or point out other things that put them off. This can help with your overall ROI, and streamlining your customer journey - which can sometimes involve hundreds of touchpoints!
As well as listening to customer feedback, you should also be conducting further customer journey mapping. This involves visualising the journey customers take when deciding to buy your product - the genuine journey from their point of view, not your ideal version of the steps they take. Looking at this customer journey map, you should be able to link each step to a relevant touchpoint that will help to influence their decision.
However, customer journey maps only represent a precise route taken at a fixed point in time by a specific customer - they have limitations because customer journeys can always change. Whether guided by global events or personal ones, customer behaviour isn’t always predictable. This is where journey mapping can let you down - unless you’re also implementing the appropriate customer journey analytics.
With this understanding of what customers might need from their touchpoints, and what data you should collect from your customers in turn, you can begin to invest in the appropriate software and management tools to achieve the in-depth analysis you need. That’s our cue.
How can Apteco Intelligence help?
We’ve helped to answer the question of what is a touchpoint in marketing, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the help we can offer. Even with all of the talk surrounding the use of AI, the AI that we think is most helpful is Apteco Intelligence. Using Apteco Intelligence to support your marketing strategies will give you an unprecedented level of understanding and control over your campaigns.
Marketing campaigns (the good ones, that is) should be constantly adapting and responding to new information - but without the help of automation, this can be a huge drain on your resources. The alternative is acting off of generalisations and assumptions instead of accurate analysis, which may result in negative experiences for your customers.
By studying your customers’ transactional behaviour we can make sure that your campaigns continue to be engaging. We can help you combine data from multiple sources, both offline and online and identify customer behaviours that are more likely to lead to positive outcomes.
We’re happy to help you learn more about Apteco Intelligence, or explore demo opportunities for Apteco PeopleStage or FastStats.