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26 May 2015

A Comparative Look at the Customer Decision Journey Might be the Key to Optimizing Marketing ROI

Today’s marketers face the challenge of allocating resources to various touchpoints along the customer decision journey in order to optimize their spend while making the biggest impact on their potential customers. But aside from brand advertising, most of these touchpoints have only been understood in isolation. MESH recently teamed up with Cranfield University in order to understand touchpoints in the customer decision journey comparatively rather than individually, and the study yielded some surprising results.

Recently published in the Journal of Retailing, the study, titled “The Impact of Different Touchpoints on Brand Consideration,” utilized Real-time Experience Tracking (where by respondents live text their brand encounters) to understand the impact of six touchpoints across four industries (electrical goods, technology products, mobile handsets and soft drinks) on brand consideration. These touchpoints included brand advertising, retailer advertising, in-store communications, word-of-mouth, peer observation, and traditional earned media. The study looked at frequency of these touchpoints as well as positivity in order to help explain their impact on brand consideration.

While the results varied somewhat by industry, an overall look at the study revealed that in-store communication is the most influential touchpoint followed by peer observation and brand advertising, suggesting that marketers may want to consider spending more of their budgets on these touchpoints rather than on traditional earned media, which was the least influential touchpoint. Peer observation was also shown to be notably frequent in additional to being influential, which suggests that marketers could benefit from understanding this touchpoint in greater depth. The results of this study demonstrates how understanding the relative importance of touchpoints along the customer decision journey can help marketers to optimize their budgets and gain the most ROI. To read the full paper, please go to: