As Global Director of Client Solutions at Kantar TNS, Rosie Hawkins reveals the steps to identifying, prioritising and optimising touchpoints to create meaningful impact for your brand.

Touchpoints aren’t the same as moments – but touchpoints are your opportunity to create moments and elevate them into something more meaningful and engaging. Of course, that’s easier said than done. There are so many touchpoints now and so much complexity, it can be hard to know where on Earth to start.

How do you navigate this landscape of endless touchpoints? How do you figure out which are the touchpoints that are going to have the most impact and deliver the most meaning for your brand and category? We asked ourselves these very questions as part of some recent work for the leading coffee brand Tchibo, and that led us to develop three key tricks of touchpoints.

Trick one: Do less, but do it excellently.

20% of the touchpoints deliver 80% of the impactThrough our work with Tchibo we identified no fewer than 43 touchpoints. However, just five of these touchpoints proved to be more impactful than all of the rest put together – shelf presence in supermarkets, actual product usage, TV ads, POS display and word of mouth.

It varies by country and category, but broadly speaking we see that something like 20% of the touchpoints deliver 80% of the impact, which means there’s a very, very long tail of activity that isn’t delivering much. You don’t need to invest the same time, energy and money in that very long tail of touchpoints. Doing fewer things but doing them excellently means that you can focus on those things that really add impact in creating the moments that matter most.

Trick two: Use the right tool for the job.

The touchpoints that you use need to deliver against your strategy. In the Tchibo example we asked, what’s the brand agenda? Is it about building brand equity? If so, word of mouth and TV ads played a strong role. On the other hand, if the immediate goal was driving short-term sales, then radio, print and TV ads were more valuable. Then there were also some “power touchpoints” – such as promotional stands in supermarkets, coffee used in restaurants and social media – that could deliver against both goals.

The bottom line is that different touchpoints deliver against different goals. It’s critical that brands not only understand which touchpoints are most valuable, but also align those touchpoints with the job that needs to be done.

Trick three: Don't just think about reach; moments are about engagement

If the goal is elevating the touchpoint into something truly meaningful, then we can’t just chase eyeballs – this has to be about quality of reach. For example, we compared Tchibo to the best-in-class performers in the category against those top touchpoints to assess quality of engagement. And from there, we could begin the optimisation process.

No matter what your category or sector, you do need to navigate the touchpoints, understand what is most important for your category and brand, then work to transform those most important touchpoints into something meaningful, into moments that matter.