There are countless ways a consumer comes into contact with a brand before, during and after making a purchase.

These touchpoints – from shops and call centers to the trillions of digital touchpoints at our fingertips – span numerous channels, all of which play a vital role in the customer journey, from general customer satisfaction to purchase decision-making.  

As digital touchpoints continue to multiply, we look at eight of these that matter more than you might think.

Strategic marketing means targeting the right consumer touchpoints

1. Online and TV Advertising

While Generation Z are active users of ad-blocking software, they’re still receptive to online and TV advertising.

As our latest Gen Z report shows, 35% of this audience discover new brands via TV or online ads. And while online TV is popular, linear TV still captures 1.5 hours a day of this age group’s time, so don’t overlook the ad breaks.

2. Chatbots

Chatbots are simple software programs that sit within messaging apps and interact with consumers, automatically providing information or fulfilling requests.  

As our latest social report reveals, chatbots are a growing trend and present a key opportunity for brands to engage customers at any time in a direct and intelligent way.

KLM, for example, uses bots to turn customer conversations into part of the customer journey, introducing relevant third parties such as hotels or taxis at timely moments.

This adds more value, provides a better customer experience and keeps KLM at the forefront of the user’s mind throughout their entire journey.

3. Social Media

94% of online adults now have social media accounts on at least one platform, but it isn’t just for catching up and sharing news with friends. Social media marketing helps increase the potential for repeat business and can help with customer relationship management issues. Social media can give brands direct control to intervene in conversations in real time.

Almost four in ten internet users follow their favorite brands on social, while a quarter follow those that they’re considering making a purchase from.

Brands need to be visible and active on these channels, listening to customers’ needs and providing valuable content and information that propels them along the purchase journey every step of the way. 

4. Snapchat

Our research shows that Generation Z are 62% more likely than the average internet user to have an account on Snapchat – and it’s not just used for messaging.

Many brands have seen success with marketing campaigns on this platform.

A 2016 study from MediaScience reveals that Snapchat video ads commanded “over twice the visual attention of Facebook ads, over 1.5x the visual attention of Instagram ads, and 1.3x the visual attention of YouTube ads.”

5. Smart Packaging

According to our latest stats, 91% of people now have a smartphone. Some brands are responding to this growth by developing smart packaging that encourages users to interact with the product via their mobiles while in-store at physical locations.

In September 2016, Malibu launched a range of Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled bottles, allowing consumers to tap the brand logo with their phone to unlock five digital experiences, including competitions, drinks recipes and a playlist.

Look at ways that your packaging can increase customer interaction and tap into the ubiquity of mobiles, adding valuable touchpoints for shoppers whilst engaging them with your brand.

6. YouTube

95% of Generation Z visit/use YouTube, underlining the importance of video and entertainment for this audience. Brands can harness this platform in many different ways.

Nationwide, for example, developed its own YouTube channel called ‘Money Stuff’ in order to reach 14-16 year olds.

The initiative saw a 15% increase in brand awareness and a positive sentiment score of 99% among its target audience.

7. Online Influencers

Working with specialist bloggers or vloggers, or with select celebrities, can help brands engage with a younger audience and communicate their offering in the right context.

Generation Z consumers over-index strongly for following vloggers, actors and musicians, and they lead the way for discovering brands via celebrity endorsements and vlogs.

Consider which people could wield the most influence with your target customers by taking a closer look at who and what they follow, and why.

8. Video

Video is hugely popular on social media, with 96% of Facebook users watching video clips on any device.

In addition, as our latest social report shows, 99% of users of Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat also watch video on the respective platforms.

Video can be a powerful tool for presenting information in an original way, from interviews with product designers to behind-the-scenes advert footage or intimate chats with brand ambassadors.

As a starting point take a look at how video works for your audience, and plan your strategy accordingly.

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