Marketing Touchpoints: Understanding the Customer Journey

Marketing Touchpoints: Understanding the Customer Journey

8 Min Read

Marketing is one of the most important steps in growing any business. Even if you have the perfect product or service out there, nobody can buy it if they don’t know about it. Making use of effective marketing touchpoints requires the right blend of digital and offline advertising campaigns to build awareness and strengthen your brand. 

What Are Touchpoints in Marketing? 

In marketing, a “touchpoint” is any interaction a customer has with your brand — literally, a point at which they touch your business. This could be anything from seeing your logo on a billboard or a storefront to clicking a digital ad on social media. Marketing touchpoints can also be in person if a customer interacts with a salesperson or customer service agent. 

Understanding the Customer Journey

The customer journey is a series of engagements a customer has with your brand. When you understand this journey, you can customize your marketing touchpoints to appeal to people at various points on their path.

What Is the Customer Journey? 

When a customer has a problem, they start seeking out solutions. At the beginning of their journey, they look for brands that can meet their needs and start narrowing down the best choices. Eventually, they gather more information on their shortlist and finally choose a solution. 

The Role of Customer Journey Touchpoints

When you understand the customer journey, you can tailor your marketing touchpoints to appeal to potential customers based on their needs at each step of their journey. You can tailor your touchpoints to build awareness, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and influence customers to buy your product or service. Instead of relying on broad campaigns, you can adjust small parts of your marketing mix to better meet a potential customer across their journey. 

Benefits of Using Marketing Touchpoints

Touchpoint marketing helps you deliver targeted messages instead of relying on generic content and hoping it appeals to the masses. By thinking about the messages your customers need to hear at a particular moment, you can foster meaningful interactions. Touchpoints also help you build credibility and nurture long-lasting relationships.

Types of Marketing Touchpoints

You can engage with your current and potential customers in multiple ways. 

Physical Touchpoints

Physical touchpoints are tangible encounters between a customer and your brand. They include: 

  • Store or office location
  • Packaging
  • Signage
  • Point-of-sale systems
  • Your actual product
  • In-store promotions and offers

Digital Touchpoints

These touchpoints are a crucial component of your marketing strategy. Digital touchpoints refer to how you connect with customers online. You can use them to reach a wider audience and solidify your brand’s image before someone physically interacts with you. These touchpoints include: 

  • Company website
  • Emails and newsletters
  • Digital ads
  • Search engine listings
  • Videos
  • Blog posts
  • Web sales

Print Touchpoints

You may think print is outdated, but it can still be an effective way to communicate with customers. With print touchpoints, you can reach out to a potential customer before they seek out your brand. You might mail a postcard to local residents announcing a new store opening, for example. Or you could post flyers to promote a fun event. Print touchpoints include: 

  • Flyers
  • Paper mailers or postcards
  • Product catalogs
  • Brochures
  • Billboards
  • Mailed rewards, such as a gift card or a coupon
  • Thank-you letters

Human Touchpoints

Finally, anyone who works for your company can serve as a human touchpoint. This includes anyone who interacts with potential customers, from the store greeter or receptionist to your management team. Human touchpoints include: 

  • Sales team members
  • Customer service representatives
  • Receptionists
  • Technicians or service providers
  • Project managers
  • Company managers and leaders

Examples of Touchpoints in Marketing

Use these examples to spur creative ideas for touchpoints with your own customers. 

1. Social Media

With more than 5 billion users as of January 2024, a presence across multiple social media platforms is a must for facilitating meaningful interactions with your customers. You can tailor your social media ads to appeal to people at various points in the customer journey. Businesses often use social media campaigns to create brand awareness and reach customers at the consideration stage. 

2. Online Advertising

Whether you’re interested in taking out a digital ad on a relevant website or you’re paying for a prominent spot in the search engine results, you can use online ads to build your brand awareness or promote new offers. Use thoughtful keywords and an eye-catching design to drive people back to your website. 

3. Customer Support Channels

Any platform you use to address customer service issues is a touchpoint. These channels often include chatbots, email, direct messages on social media, and call centers. Keep a consistent tone and voice and use the same protocols across channels to enhance the customer experience. Someone interacting with your brand through a chatbox should get the same level of service as a caller.

4. Product Catalogs

If you’re selling physical products, digital and hard-copy catalogs are a great way to showcase them in the best light. Use high-quality images and compelling descriptions to improve your chances of selling to a potential customer. 

5. Digital Marketing Content

This type of content includes social media posts, promotional videos, infographics, and blog posts. Digital marketing content helps you make a good impression with current and potential customers and helps you establish credibility. 

6. Customer Referrals

Most people still trust family and friends far more than a company’s advertisements. By asking your best customers to recommend you to their family and friends through word of mouth, social media mentions, or reviews, you can prove your brand is trustworthy — this is often called social proof

7. Emails 

Email is a versatile touchpoint. You can use it to say “thank you” after a sale, or you can regularly communicate with your loyal customers to give them access to exclusive rewards and deals. Emails are a great way to keep in touch with customers and build a long-lasting relationship. 

8. Point of Sale

In person and online, the cash register is your last chance to interact with a customer before they leave the store. Focus on making the checkout process fast and pleasant. You can also upsell with point-of-sale displays and online ads at checkout. 

9. Customer Satisfaction Surveys

Satisfaction surveys give customers a chance to tell you exactly what they think. Use them to gain valuable insights on how you can improve your products or customer service process. 

10. Company Events

Businesses across industries use events to connect with customers and create memorable experiences. Events could refer to industry conferences and trade shows as well as specialized customer appreciation events in a retail space. Make them fun and memorable for a lasting impression. 

How Many Touchpoints Are There Before a Sale? 

You need to plant seeds of need and nurture relationships with potential customers before they make a purchase. In the B2B world, it generally takes eight touchpoints to make a sale. Overall, marketers have been using the “rule of seven” for decades, meaning that a typical customer needs to hear your message seven times before making a purchase. 

Your brand’s average number of touchpoints per customer could be higher or lower, depending on how you’re communicating your unique value proposition and addressing customers’ pain points. 

Difficulties With Tracking Marketing Touchpoints

Volume is the main reason it’s hard to track marketing touchpoints. Customers are likely going to interact with your brand multiple times before they decide to make a purchase. For this reason, it can be hard to pinpoint which touchpoint was most effective in converting a prospect into a customer. 

You can use various marketing attribution models to track your campaigns and determine which touchpoints need some tweaking. 

Best Practices for Marketing Touchpoints

Consistency is key to nailing your marketing touchpoints. You want customers to have a seamless journey with your brand, regardless of the touchpoint. Use a similar brand voice and tone across your marketing channels. 

Make sure your messaging is consistent at every stage of the customer journey. Customers who need support after a purchase should receive the same level of service as a customer in the store who hasn’t bought anything yet. 

Finally, make sure you deliver on your brand’s promise. Survey your customers to see what they like about your brand and what makes you stand out. Then build your marketing strategy around your strengths. 

How CTV Advertising Fits Into This Picture

Connected TV (CTV) is a popular marketing channel because you can reach 81% of households on a streaming device. It’s a great way to reach customers at the start of their journey and inspire them to learn more about your brand.

Since you can target CTV ads in the same way you target potential customers on social media, you can appeal to your ideal customer based on their particular needs.

While TV advertising was once reserved for brands with big budgets for upper-funnel awareness campaigns, with a performance-focused partner like MNTN, you can use TV advertising as a further-down-funnel touchpoint to help drive conversions, too. These campaigns can be tailored to meet the needs of various audiences, including retargeting campaigns to offer a different message to those that have already explored your products. Learn more about how you can add CTV to your marketing mix with MNTN’s Performance TV solutions. 

Marketing Touchpoints: Final Thoughts

Most customers will interact with your brand multiple times before they make a purchase. Effectively using marketing touchpoints to appeal to a customer based on where they are in their decision-making process can improve your sales. 

When you understand the various marketing touchpoints and how they fit into your customer’s journey, you can refine your ads and your overall marketing strategy. These tools allow you to deliver a cohesive customer experience every step of the way, which solidifies your brand’s image and can inspire customer loyalty.