Reach Out and Touch
Mapping Effective and Engaging Touchpoints
IN CHAPTERS FOUR, FIVE, AND SIX we’ve been exploring the
need for a full and deep understanding of our consumer targets.
Understanding our consumers and their rational and emotional
needs is critical to developing the experience effect.
A deep understanding is the foundation for making a connec-
tion with our consumers and motivating their behavior, perhaps
even adding value to their lives—which is ultimately what we need
to do as marketers if we hope to build a relationship with them
and if we hope to build brand loyalty to any extent.
Now it’s time to do what we set out to do: actually create the
experience effect. We now not only have a good understanding of
the target markets, both rationally and emotionally, but we’ve also
defined the brand. We’ve got what we need to start building. The
next step in our process here is the touchpoint.
Marketers use a lot of different terms when it comes to
describing consumer touchpoints. Some use terms such as media,
channels, vehicles, venues, connections, or even engagements. All of
these terms mean the same thing in my mind. I like the concept of
a touchpoint because it is so visually descriptive and so broad in
its potential coverage. It’s a chance for the brand to reach out,
make a connection, provide information, and motivate consumers
to do something that will ultimately impact their lives.
Marketers have often thought of
touchpoints in only the traditional
way, as in television and print adver-
tising. In a constantly changing world
of media options, I’d like to think of
touchpoints in the broadest way pos-
sible to include any channel available
to us, whether on the Internet, out of
home, in any kind of mail, or in any
manner in which the brand can con-
nect with a consumer. Any opportuni-
ty to reach a consumer is a touchpoint that we should potentially
use to build the brand experience. It can be anything that puts the
brand within arm’s reach of a consumer. Movie theaters, cell
phones, bathroom stalls, chat rooms, exercise bikes at the gym,
taxicabs, pens, banner ads, freight trucks, social media—anything
and everything.
Don’t be constrained by traditional thinking, like television
advertising or even websites (the “new traditional”). Think even
broader than what is currently called the new media on the
Internet, like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. With the proliferation
of media options, the list of potential touchpoints is almost end-
less. Almost anything is a possibility—even people walking up and
100 The Experience Effect
A touchpoint is anything
that puts the brand
within arm’s reach of
a consumer—movie
theaters, cell phones,
bathroom stalls,
chat rooms—anything
and everything.
down the streets, one of the oldest forms of media, although now
we call them “street teams.”
Banana Republic does a great job of using shopping bags as a
touchpoint. If there’s a sale happening at Banana Republic, then
the streets and the mall are filled with consumers carrying shop-
ping bags announcing the sale.
Touchpoints themselves can have rational and emotional
components. Advertising touchpoints can be pretty straightfor-
ward, but the creative execution can certainly leverage an emo-
tional connection—an entire industry has been built around it. I do
love the newer media and the more creative touchpoints for their
emotional component. Many of our choices here have strong
emotional potential, especially in areas where consumers can
connect with each other and share their experiences, like in blogs,
message boards, forums, or the social networking sites like
MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. These touchpoints are
hugely emotional and offer a tremendous opportunity for mar-
keters if we engage with consumers correctly. Of course, user-
generated content within a touchpoint hits the top of the emotion-
al chart. Just take a look at some of the videos that consumers
submit to websites about breast cancer, for example.
YouTube is a multiple touchpoint for advertising and sponsor-
ship opportunities in addition to the video uploads. For some
brands, it makes sense to specifically develop long-format adver-
tising for use on YouTube alone, and a lot of brands are adding
their advertising to YouTube as a way to work around DVR and
TiVo surfing. Nike actually puts extended versions of its advertis-
ing on YouTube so that brand lovers can get the full experience.
Kraft uploads how-to videos from its website as well. So as a con-
sumer you may not catch the television advertising when sched-
uled but you can still experience it online. The rules are less strin-
gent and the emotions can run much higher, which means the
brand can go much deeper with consumers than it can on network
101CHAPTER 7 Reach Out and Touch

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