Marketing touch points are any methods or modes of contact between a company and the consumer. Touch points can be face-to-face discussions, promotional fliers, online ads and anything else that involves a business marketing message, brand name or logo reaching the customer. The amount and effectiveness of your small business marketing touch points can determine your level of success and the ways your marketing can be improved.
Physical In Store touchpoints
In store touch points vary by the type of small business you run. If you have a clothing store, your touch points are the associates on the floor, the register at checkout and the receipt every customer receives after a transaction. These touch points can be used as marketing tools but will require separate approaches. Your associates can inform shoppers of a sale on jeans so they know about current promotions. Your cashiers can offer discounts on purchases made with a store credit card to promote its use. Your receipts can print with promotional coupons that offer 20 percent off the next purchase of $50 or more to give your customers an incentive to return.
If your small business has an Internet presence, electronic touch points can play a large role in your marketing strategy. Electronic touch points are more measurable than some others in their efficiency and efficacy, because records of clicks, click-throughs and orders can be obtained in most cases. Electronic touch points include email communications, clickable banners, social media pages and any other means of creating contact with your customer base online. The people you attract with electronic touch points may be different than those you contact through more traditional means, and your marketing should reflect that difference.
Mail and Print
Print materials distributed in local newspapers, by hand or through the mail, bring your marketing message home. These more traditional marketing touch points are effective, as they do not require the client to initiate contact through in-person or webpage visits. Print marketing can be distributed to existing clients as a method of retention or randomly as an attempt to bring in new customers. In either case, print marketing touch points are more costly than electronic and in-store campaigns but can bring dividends if your customer base is expanded.
The customer service experience is a valuable and difficult touch point to manage. It often has a tremendous bearing on the consumer's opinion of your small business and whether or not she will continue to purchase your goods and services. If a customer has a difficult time with a customer service problem or leaves the situation unsatisfied, she will likely be on the lookout for a new place to shop.
The customer service touch point involves more personal interaction than most other marketing touch points. It usually involves a client who is already unhappy with his overall experience and who has initiated contact with your business. As a small business, the personal relationship you build with each client can be the most important marketing touch point there is.
When you've aligned and analyzed all of the marketing touch points your small business uses to contact its customers, they can provide you with a guide to what is working and what isn't. An in-depth analysis of this data can help to make your marketing more efficient by revealing which touch points are underachieving and which are overachieving, which cost too much and which are more affordable.
A lack of touch points in a given area or an overabundance in another can also lead to less than ideal marketing return on investment. Understanding how and why your touch points should be spread out will help make your small business marketing more efficient and effective.