Marketing Touch Points

April 28, 2016

Back in the ‘90s, the phrase “high-tech, high-touch” was popular in healthcare to describe any intention to balance bells and whistles with care and compassion. Ever since, it’s become common to mistake the Information Highway for an Experience Expressway. It’s not. And finding the balance may be more important than we think.

Pros and Emoticons
When it comes to interpersonal communication, we all know the consequences of high-tech without high-touch. Without eye contact, we lose the ability to discern a facial expression … to use and read body language … to convey subtleties of humor, sarcasm and passion that can get lost in e-communication, despite the best use of emoticons. We can be misunderstood – often with disastrous consequences. More insidiously, the quality of our emotional connections can erode, even as our volume and pace of texting, emailing, Tweeting and pressing of the “Like” button skyrockets.

Melon-Thumping Syndrome
High-technology has been synonymous with marketing in the new millennium. Seeing the inherent disconnect, companies have invested billions to brand MyGadget and YourWidget in an attempt to personalize — even customize — the e-xperience. It only goes so far. Although we can purchase anything in the world on Amazon, there is no substitute for going clothes shopping at a store – caressing fabrics, mixing and matching, and making decisions in the fitting room. Although technologically obsolete, books, magazines and newspapers still satisfy our tactile craving. Many of us can have groceries delivered to our door, but are not willing to give up the experience of thumping a melon or hand-picking a steak. Always, we enjoy a fuller, richer, deeper connection when we go beyond our eyeballs and fingertips to have an in-person experience.

Balancing Act
Now let’s put this in the context of marketing. Are there opportunities to add “touch points” to your mix? What aspects of your brand could be marketed by using all of the senses and an emphasis on interpersonal connection? Many healthcare providers now employ “patient navigators” to help consumers make sense of information overload. Home builders are balancing virtual tours that deliver a more personalized experience within the physical sales center. Businesses across all industries are looking to “street teams” and other guerilla tactics to break through media clutter. In-person “meet ups” are becoming part of social media platforms. It’s all about balance.

Technology is a wonderful and amazing thing. We love it and crave it. But the brand that can connect with its customers’ craving for high-touch in a high-tech world will be that much closer to making successful, lasting emotional connections.

Ps. It’s an ironic story for an e-newsletter, right? Give us a call to discuss. Better yet, let’s do lunch — and leave our smartphones at the door.