As we enter a new phase of the pandemic where stadiums, arenas, and ballparks are starting to host more and more fans, it is a good time to think about two specific ideas that will help your premium sales and marketing efforts – touchpoints and positioning.
These two simple concepts are key to helping you maximize the opportunities you create now as markets reopen and customers start to make buying decisions in an environment with more competition for their spending and some limits on their behavior.
Let’s start with touchpoints. I define touchpoints as being all the places along the buyer’s journey where your prospect comes in contact with you, including post-purchase.
There are three important things to remember when thinking about touchpoints:
1) It is important to identify all touchpoints because we often miss a lot of them.
2) The small stuff usually has more impact than the big stuff.
3) All touch points matter.
Here’s an example that is overused but still matters – Apple. As a brand, Apple recognizes that every touchpoint matters. And they want each touchpoint to reflect their brand ideas of creativity, simplicity, collaboration, and excellence. In designing everything to highlight these ideas, Apple reinforces their brand with every touchpoint before, during, and after the purchase.
Don’t believe me? Think about how elegant the unboxing of your last iPhone was. Recognizing all touchpoints as opportunities to engage our market helps us deepen our connection to that market consistently.
This Apple example reinforces the idea of positioning as well. What is positioning? Positioning is the place you hold in your markets’ mind. As a marketer, your job in positioning your brand is to stamp two or three words or ideas on your customers’ brains so that when they think of you, those ideas are the first things that come to mind.
The key to effective positioning is choice. In your sales efforts, you must spend the time to make sure your position cuts through the clutter and sticks in your prospect’s mind. What is it about you that they need to know? Why are you better than the alternatives in the market?
You have to create a distinction in your buyer’s mind to help them make a choice. You can’t assume your customer will pick you because “sports” or because they always have. You must constantly work to reinforce the buying decision and the position you hope to hold in your customer’s head.
In my own business, I do this positioning constantly. At the end of 2020, I did some research to prepare for 2021, and I found that a lot of CEOs do not trust their marketing departments. I also found that most businesses need to grow but don’t feel confident that they know how to grow now. And that while people throw strategy around all the time, most people recognize that they don’t really have one.
These findings led me to a positioning statement for my business built around focused, effective, and profitable. In every piece I write, every talk I give, every podcast I’m on, or whatever place I might meet my market, I’m reinforcing the idea that you must be focused on results, effective in your activities, and everything is driven by profits.
You have to do the same thing. Make the choice obvious for why your customers should choose you and not someone else. That’s strategy and positioning, and you have to do these things to stand out to your customers.
Put It All Together
How do we bring these two ideas to life? Here are three steps you can use now.
First, map out your touchpoints. Keep in mind that we are all guilty of missing some of them, so spend the time to get as many of them down as possible.
Second, think through your position. You will need to know your market to get your position right, but you should have some research that points you in the right direction. If not, go have some conversations with your buyers. Focus on what makes you stand out or better than the competition. Don’t leave it to chance.
Finally, once you’ve got your position and your touchpoints, you will need to track your performance over time. What touchpoints really matter to your customers? Is your position in the market getting through to them? Are all of these touchpoints adding value to your customers as they move towards a purchase? Or are they at least neutral and not taking value away?
Pay attention to these things, measure them over time, and fix what is broken. You can do this stuff all the time, and you should. The key marketing advice that I give all my clients is that everything is marketing, and every touchpoint counts. This principle applies more than ever.
Are you making every touchpoint count?
Write to Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.