If you knew who your ideal customers were, would you know where to find them? How can you identify customer touchpoints so you can engage with them at the right place and at the right time with the right message?
In 2019, the average person in the US spent more than 6.5 hours a day on digital media.
With such a significant amount of our time spent engaging with digital media and with so much to enjoy, businesses can struggle to capture their audience’s attention.
That is why it is becoming more and more important to identify the touchpoints in a buyer’s journey, so our message is both relevant and delivered at the right time.
If your business is looking to become more data-driven, understand your customers better, and increase your Customer Lifetime Value, be sure to check out Part 1—Secrets of Identifying Ideal Customers & How to Analyze Customer Data.
This guide is part 2 of the 7-part Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Optimization Process.
Since we know who our ideal customers are, we’ll take a look at ways to identify the touchpoints to interact with your customers in a more efficient way.
But first, what is a customer touchpoint?
What is a Customer Touchpoint?
A customer touchpoint is when leads, potential buyers, and current or previous customers interact with your brand in any stage of their buying journey or process.
You may be surprised at the number of touchpoints you have with each potential, existing, and past customer.
Consider how your marketing efforts extend from the time before customers have even heard of you, to when they become a loyal customer, and even when they have left you for a competitor.
Every social media post, blog article, webinar, paid advertisement, email, phone call, etc. are all considered a customer touchpoint.
Why do Customer Touchpoints Matter?
As marketing efforts become increasingly prevalent and complex, customers are always exposed to advertising of some sort.
Contrary to the common belief that people do not want to see advertising, they’re actually likely to appreciate advertisements that are relevant and helpful.
This trend has led to the emergence of personalized marketing.
Personalized marketing uses customer data to make advertising content highly relevant to their personal situation and interests, at the right time.
A common example: when you shop on Amazon, you’ll see plenty of personalized content to help you find more items of particular interest to you.
These include frequently bought together, products related to items in your cart, more items to explore, and more.
Amazon also sends automated emails to give more related product recommendations, remind you when you have something left in your cart, and notify you of deals you may be interested in.
According to Segment‘s “The 2017 State of Personalization Report,” 71% of consumers on average get frustrated with the impersonal shopping experience, while 44% of consumers are likely to purchase from a company again if they offer a personalized shopping experience.
People don’t want to see just any advertising or content. They are looking for what matters to them, and that encourages them to buy, and buy more.
All of this leads us to the importance of reaching your ideal customers at the right place, at the right time, with the right content.
Identifying the touchpoints and the relevant content at each phase of your buyer’s journey become the tools to help you get there.
So, let’s look at how to identify those touchpoints and the relevant content.
How to Identify Customer Touchpoints and Relevant Content [Best Practices]
Thorough planning and meticulous execution are the best ingredients for any marketing campaign.
It’s too easy to rely on your instincts and industry expertise to make assumptions about what will work.
To encourage creativity and meticulous planning, consider the following recommended approaches and best practices to follow.
Start with your Buyer’s Journey
A buyer’s journey is a process that your leads, prospects, and customers go through from their purchasing decision to when they choose to leave your brand.
Today’s buyer’s journey has become a bit more complicated compared to the traditional journey.
Traditionally, companies focused on converting leads or prospects to paid customers, as shown below.
With access to so much online information, and with so many more options available at our fingertips, the modern-day buyer’s journey has a few additional steps to consider.
Based on the nature of your business and your target audience, your touchpoints at each stage will be different.
For example, the purchase stage for a consumer eCommerce company may include their online store, call center, and affiliate sites.
On the other hand, for a boutique store, the purchase stage may include their local shop, online store, phone orders, and local events.
Gather Insights and Customer Data
Because knowledge and data are some of the most valuable assets to any business, it is important to continually gather these assets.
Even if you already have a great buyer’s journey, if you haven’t taken this step yet, it may be well worth your time.
Compiling and analyzing customer knowledge, insights, and data can fill gaps you may not be aware of or hadn’t even considered.
Let’s take a look at a few ways to gather this information.
Have you talked to your team members and other customer-facing departments for their insights?
This is important because many business owners and marketing professionals have limited knowledge of what happens day-to-day.
On the other hand, customer service or sales reps who interact with your prospects and customers may have very different ideas about their experience.
Review your Customer Analytics
All data cost money, directly or indirectly, so why not fully utilize them whenever possible?
Reviewing your customer analytics, including Google or Facebook Analytics, site traffic reports, and email performance reports, often reveal data points that you may not be aware of, such as:
- Where are your customers coming from, or how are they finding you? Google search, social media browsing, content downloads, or cold calling?
- What motivates them to buy? A promotional offer, consistent interaction with the sales team, or social proof?
- What do they want to see before they make a purchase? What other pages are they frequently visiting?
- Where do we lose their interest? Which pages have the highest bounce rate?
- What are they searching for in your site search box?
- What are their demographics, interests, and devices used?
Other Creative Ways to Collect Customer Data
Outside of traditional analytics information, there are other tools available to help you learn more about your traffic and customers, including:
- Surveys platforms, such as Surve Monkey, allow you to gather customer feedback quickly. Create a few questions for your potential, existing, and past/lost customers. Place them on your site pages, invoices, or reactivation emails to find more about them.
- Traffic behavior analytics tools, such as Hotjar or Crazy Egg, help you record and view heatmaps to learn more about how users are interacting with your site. These insights can help you test the right things where it matters and make changes accordingly.
- Competitive analysis tools, such as SEMrush or Ahrefs, provide insights regarding what competitors are doing, what is trending, and what else you could be doing. These tools can help you get more information on what to look for when doing keyword research, backlink analysis, or content research.
Segment your Target Base
Not all prospects and customers are created equal. They certainly don’t behave in the same way.
To get the most out of your marketing planning, segmentation plays a significant role in avoiding any generalization.
Determining the top audience you wish to target will allow you to determine the best way to segment.
For example, if your SaaS business primarily targets both freelancers and small-sized B2B companies, these groups may have different interests, motivations, and touchpoints.
Perhaps the best way to reach and interact with freelancers is through social media, whereas for B2B companies, it may be trade shows and LinkedIn.
This step leads to a marketing funnel that’s well-aligned with each audience group and will help you create more relevant messaging that resonates with them at the right time.
Test Various Channels
By now, you have a good understanding of your marketing funnel based on your customers’ buyer’s journey.
As in the example above, you most likely have multiple channels and touchpoints.
Since we don’t live in a perfect world with unlimited budget and resources, you may need to focus primarily on the ones that make the most significant impact on you and your customers.
For example, for your consideration phase, you can focus your marketing efforts on building reviews, writing blog posts, sending out coupons or promotions, or email newsletters.
How would you allocate your team’s time and budget?
By testing and measuring the impact of each touchpoint, you can prioritize them accordingly.
How to Measure the Impact of Each Touchpoint
While some performance measurements are straightforward and easily quantified, others may be subjective.
Is your training program for existing customers helping them use the products better and encouraging them to stay with you longer?
How do you measure the impacts of word-of-mouth or brand-awareness campaigns?
If you remember from earlier, we can gather customer data and insights from multiple sources.
Some of these sources are quantitative (data points with numbers), while some, such as surveys, are subjective, or qualitative.
Only focusing on quantifiable data can make you miss what’s really driving your prospects and customers.
Combining these methods to come to a holistic view of your customer touchpoints and determine their success is important.
Through segmentation, you’re keeping each group relevant and meaningful.
When measuring the impact of each group, keep the following points in mind:
- Consider both quantitative and qualitative data
- Segment your customer base
- Use a consistent method of pulling reports and calculating metrics
- Be sure to have statistically enough data to analyze
- Monitor the changes over time and identify what does and doesn’t work
You know who your ideal customers and primary targets are. You even know where, when, and how to engage with them.
Once you bring that traffic to your store or site, or when you finally grab their attention, the next step is to maximize your conversion rate.
You want as many people you interact with to take the desired action, whether that is signing up for a newsletter, downloading content, clicking on your ad, or purchasing your product or service.
The higher your conversion rate, the more effective you are in your marketing, in terms of budget and use of resources.
Check out Part 3 of the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) Optimization Process Series that focuses on maximizing your conversion rate at each stage of the buyer’s journey to help customers move down your marketing funnel.