Marketing is a Contact Sport
Ultimately, the purpose of marketing activities is to create or identify qualified leads. And by qualified leads, I mean people who are interested in your product or ideas, or whatever it is you are marketing to them.
To do so, marketers devise all sorts of ways to contact the potential leads, both directly and indirectly. We must contact our audience in order to convey the message, to present the features and benefits, and convince the audience to want what we have to offer.
More often than not, these are multiple contacts or “touches”. Many people under-estimate the number of touches required to turn a ‘suspect’ (the individual we target) into a qualified lead… and certainly the number of touches required to turn that person into a customer.
Studies have shown that 15 or more touches are very common to take place, before a person makes a purchase decision. The touches are a combination and a sequence of both marketing approaches and sales contacts.
Counting or tracking the number of touches, is not always easy. As a matter of fact, in some cases and for certain product categories it is nearly impossible to get an exact count. Nevertheless, you should attempt to estimate the number of touches it takes for your customers to become ones – you might be surprised how many contacts it takes!
After you estimate the number of touches it takes to turn someone into a customer, attempt to find what specific marketing and sales activities are the most effective ones (see ‘attribution’ below). Knowing what activities are most effective will help you better utilize your resources.
For marketing and sales efforts that yield results, I urge you to build a marketing plan made of many contacts (or touch points) over long periods of time.
Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer
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