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How many brands can truly say they track their buyers across every customer touchpoint – from the first time they see the logo, to the moment they purchase the product or service?

Not many. That’s because the variety of media available to consumers today is vast.

So vast, in fact, it’s likely no two people will share the same customer journey or experience.

That’s why it’s so important to zero in on what your audience is doing, while keeping an eye on the latest trends. It’s these insights hiding in the sweet spot of market research that influence a consumer’s purchase decision, and get you closer to customer satisfaction.

If you’re ready to get inspired, we’ve the lowdown on how each customer touchpoint can bring value to your audience.

We’re focusing on what you need to know about the customer journey, from familiar touchpoints with the most potential, to touchpoints you might have bypassed altogether. 

Oh, and we’ve got the data to back it all up. 

Customer touchpoints: Knowing what’s working and why

1. Social media is powerful
2. TV ads are old, but gold
3. Gaming platforms cast a wider net than you think
4. Youtube gets customers engaged
5. Email is relevant and helpful

1. Social media is powerful

Some customer touchpoints, like linear TV, have stayed pretty consistent. How people watch it, and the ad formats presented there haven’t changed much. 

Social media, on the other hand, moves at a much faster pace. 

New platforms emerge quickly with new ways to engage customers, while networks that were once popular fade. The job of every brand and modern marketer is to move with this ebb and flow, and be crystal clear on the value social media brings to the customer experience and sales funnel.

Social media is the second most influential channel after search engines. 

And it makes a lot of sense. 94% of consumers engage with some sort of social media platform at least monthly, and the number who find out about new brands and products through social media advertising has grown 8% since Q1 2020. It’s a surefire way to reach a potential customer. 

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when it comes to customer engagement on social media.

According to our senior trends analyst, Stephanie Harlow: ”Over 6 in 10 consumers find personalized product recommendations extremely helpful. But at the same time, just over half think ads targeted towards them are intrusive.“

If that’s not confusing enough, consumers’ feelings towards personalized ads change depending on the product. Even though just under a third of consumers think personalized ads for clothing and shoes are useful, they’re much less inclined to feel the same way about housing and utilities (9%).

Social media can be your best friend or worst enemy. To avoid frustrating potential customers through misguided digital marketing, you should be clear on the role it plays in the customer experience. Once you identify what works best, and the content types your audience responds to the most, you’ll be one step closer to customer satisfaction every time you post. 

2. TV ads are old, but gold

The average amount of time consumers spend on linear TV per day has dropped by around 20 minutes over the last 10 years – but the power of TV advertising can’t be ignored. 

Consumers have different tolerance levels for ads depending on where they are, but across all age groups, TV ads are favored most. 

Chart showing how each generation finds out about new brands or products

TV is also the go-to channel for reaching older generations (boomers still spend around 3 hours daily watching linear TV), so when targeted right, TV ads have a serious shot at eliciting a positive response from the right audience.

3. Gaming platforms cast a wider net than you think

Gaming has been building momentum for some time, but it really kicked into high gear during the pandemic. 

What’s changed?

The industry’s set to exceed $321 billion by 2026, demand for consoles is peaking, and the opportunity for engaging this global audience is growing.

Chart showing percentage of internet users who play games

You don’t need a headset or special chair to be a gamer. These dated stereotypes can stop brands from jumping on the chance to connect with a massive amount of prospective customers.

The vast majority of consumers across all global regions are gaming in one way or another.

To be able to identify the right touchpoints, you need to know where the overlaps with your audience are, where gamers are hanging out, and where they’re most responsive to brands like yours.

Places they could be hiding include:

  • Apps: Casual gamers often play on their cell phones. 
  • Gaming-specific networks like Twitch or Discord: More enthusiastic gamers go there to connect, and follow pros.
  • Websites: Gamers visit places like news websites or blogs for entertainment, or to keep up with the latest developments.
  • Esports sites and arenas: Esports operates like the sports industry, so there are a ton of ways to sponsor, partner, and advertise. 

A dash of customer segmentation, and a sprinkling of audience insights will reveal which ones they’re using and why.

4. YouTube gets customers engaged

YouTube sits firmly under the umbrella of social media, but it deserves a special mention here.

Globally, on average, when it comes to monthly customer engagement, YouTube comes before every other TV, video, or film service we track (outside of China).

YouTube viewers in the UK and US are 21% more likely than average to use social media to find products to purchase.

The good news is there’s more to YouTube than just its core site. YouTube Shorts – a user-generated video platform featuring snippets of 15 seconds or less –  is one offshoot that’s killing it with 50 billion views per day. There’s also YouTube Kids, a stand-alone app built for children that offers new, targeted ways to approach a growing audience.

YouTube might not be the best for driving brand awareness, but it’s an ideal place to display your portfolio of products, and build up brand affinity over time.

5. Email is relevant and helpful

Email is a direct and complex customer journey touchpoint – one that’s used to promote products, nurture leads, boost brand loyalty, and ignite customer engagement.

The benefit of email from a marketing perspective is you already have a foot in the door. They’ve already made contact, and offered up their details for you to reach out to them.

This is where the power of email truly lies: you’re directly engaging a captive audience, who will likely know a thing or two about your brand. 

But when we flip the perspective to the consumer for customer feedback about receiving promotional emails, the positivity with which they’re received is surprising.

Customer surveys reveal that consumers consider email to be “relevant”, “helpful”, and “informative”. And while they don’t evoke the emotional response TV and video ads do, for the information-hungry consumer, they’re ideal.

Spamming inboxes definitely won’t get you the customer loyalty you’re working towards. It’ll have little impact other than to annoy people, but strategic communication from brands is generally well received.

Give your customer touchpoints some love

There are a million and one ways to engage your audience, but the aim of the modern marketer is to be hyper-targeted, and make every penny count when it comes to customer journey mapping. 

Being conscious of the limitations and strengths of the customer touchpoints you use regularly (and ones you’ve possibly neglected), and keeping an ear to the ground for emerging channels and trends is the mindset to get into.

While touchpoint analysis is great for context and improving customer interaction, it’ll only get you so far. Every audience is different, and uses each channel for different reasons.

You need to view your findings through the prism of your audience to find out where they are, why they’re there, and how to frame your message to create a better customer experience.

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