So in this day and age of multiple marketing messages and complex positioning strategies – what does it mean to “Touch” your customer?
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary (in an extensive definition that runs more than half-way down the page) offers as a first definition:
To bring a bodily part into contact with, esp. so as to perceive through the tactile sense; handle or feel gently usually with the intent to understand or appreciate.
Well – that definition gives us a lot to consider in a marketing impact sense!
First, we note that the concept of touching is not limited to the usual conceptual aspect of marketing. Touching involves more than just thinking. It involves feeling.
Touch is realized through an impact of the senses.
The powerful aspect of the senses is that they are directly wired into the brain – senses shortcut the usual processes of logic and thought. The points where you touch your customers (i.e. your customer touchpoints) can be where you energize their emotions and feelings.
These emotional interactions – of course – can be positive or negative. And as emotions, they are often extreme (and therefore very motivating) in their intensity. So your customers can love you (just as your detractors can literally hate you) as a provider of products and/or services.
So the key is this: To understand *each* touchpoint in the context of the consumer’s overall experience of your product/service brand. As the impact of a touchpoint is powerful and complex – so is the requirement for marketers to understand their full array of touchpoint interactions with the consumer marketplace.