Identifying Your Customer Touchpoints
Gaining the perspective, you need to connect marketing strategy and tactics.
Most businesses today are engaged in passionate and informed discussions about strategic marketing, branding, and eBusiness. But when it comes to deployment, the same companies struggle daily with weak positioning, inconsistent branding, unfocused technology efforts, and internal conflicts over resources and direction.
The problem marketers face is not a lack of strategic and tactical options; it’s a lack of a vantage point from which to view those options. If you could see your marketing efforts, the way you view a chessboard, the connection between strategy and tactics would become clear.
The concept behind Touchpoint Marketing is simple: a company’s “fingerprint”—their impact on their own market—can be seen in the collection of touchpoints through which a business communicates with customers and stakeholders. By mapping all of a company’s touchpoints according to their position in the customer life cycle, businesses can see their current situation, preview strategic options, guide tactical deployment, and ultimately measure results.
For a more detailed definition of touchpoint mapping, including some examples, review this article from the marketing agency Cymbic.
Different Maps for Different Companies
Just like a normal map, a map of touchpoints is useful for revealing many types of landscapes. Different kinds of businesses have different types of relationships with customers, which becomes apparent in the pattern of assets a business uses to maintain those relationships.
Businesses that rely on a large customer base, for example, typically need to spend a lot of resources attracting and engaging new prospects to keep the pipeline full. Successful businesses in this category, such as retail businesses, spend a lot of time and money on touchpoints that promote the brand and build awareness.
On the other hand, businesses that have a small customer base need to spend a lot more of their resources supporting and protecting the customers they have. Successful businesses in this category spend a lot of time and money on touchpoints that ensure customer support and loyalty.
Mapping for Marketing ROI
Many companies spend the bulk of their marketing resources attracting new customers, and neglect investments that might preserve customer loyalty. Among technology companies, in particular, the customer life cycle often moves out of the domain of marketing once a lead becomes a sales prospect.
It’s no secret that keeping a customer is usually cheaper than winning a new one. But the idea becomes more apparent when you combine touchpoint marketing with basic CRM techniques for comparing customer acquisition costs with customer lifetime value.
Are your investments in touchpoints to support acquisition balanced with your investments to support retention? For most high-growth B2B companies, the answer is no, though few companies realize it until they see it in black and white. For businesses that are already well aware of these metrics, the Touchpoint Map is useful in tracking ROI to find the optimum balance of acquisition and loyalty programs.