For touch points, creativity is the most important factor

As originally seen on http://www.weidert.com

I recently attended the Public Relations Student Society of America’s National Conference in Orlando, Fla. where I had the opportunity to hear from Geno Church, word-of-mouth expert and author of the new book Brains on FireI was lucky enough to be able to hear him speak again at the Northeast Wisconsin PRSA’s annual meeting last Tuesday. During his presentation on social media strategy, he briefly talked about ‘touch points’.

It seems that touch points have been a popular topic on marketing strategy blogs lately. In a world that is becoming more and more automated everyday, companies who get personal with their customers stand out in the crowd. Tangibles like business cards, newsletters, packaging and personalized emails are all considered to be touch points, and if they are executed strategically, their simplicity will enhance and strengthen your brand.

On the book’s blogBrains on Fire colleague Amy Taylor wrote about a recent experience she had with the company MOO. Not to steal her example, but I also had a similar experience with the company that I’d like to share with you. I came across MOO a few months ago when I was looking to make new and creative business cards. A quick Google search brought me to their website where I found several creative options to add to my personal brand. I chose a design, placed my order and waited for my cards to arrive.

Normally, I receive a basic email after an online purchase saying that my order has been processed and I am provided with a tracking number. Boring, plain, nothing special. Much to my surprise, MOO was different. Shortly after ordering, I received an email from “Little MOO”, the company’s automated email service. Not only did Little MOO give me a tracking number, but he also assured me that he would be there to answer any questions I had along the way. Below is the opening paragraph from the email:

Hi Jessica,

I’m Little MOO – the bit of software that will be managing your order with moo.com. It will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s done and on its way to you.

Letter from Little MOO

Not only did the company keep me updated on the order process, they also built anticipation for the arrival of my business cards. Most importantly, though, they made me remember them. By adding a little bit of creativity to their automated emails, I was entertained and left anxiously awaiting the next email from Little MOO. Geno also makes the point in his blog that not all touch points have to be extravagant or even expensive. The simple wording of this email is what put their name in my head.

But not all touch points have to be digital. I recently booked a weekend at the Sand Bay Beach Resort in Door County in hopes of catching the last of the fall colors. In addition to sending me a pamphlet about their hotel, I also received several pamphlets about attractions in Door County, as well as the featured events that were happening when I would be there. The hotel also contacted me to see if they could help me book any scenic tours or wine tastings. Although this is something that they probably do for all of their customers, it was personalized for the time that I would be there and it made me feel like they valued my business. Again, this was something simple and inexpensive, but it went a long way in making an impression on me.

Now, more than ever, it is important to stand out from the crowd. Are your automated messages blending in? Be creative, think differently and make those personal connections. Not only will you stick in your customers’ minds, but you will build your company’s brand loyalty.

Read Amy Taylor’s blog posting about touch points for more insight.

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