It’s the feeling of connection between two people. The comfort a child receives from a parent. One of five senses.
It’s touch. And we crave it as humans.
Applied to marketing in today’s digital age, touch—or multi-touch marketing as it’s called—is your only chance to break through the noise. And with year-end campaigns right around the corner, it’s important to know how to get someone’s attention.
Touch points come in all shapes and sizes
Take the excitement of dating for example. First, a smile or maybe a wink gets the attention of your special admirer. Some kind of signal to demonstrate that “love is in the air.” Next, you text or write a note (back in the day) to step up the interest level. If you’re feeling the vibes, your next touch is a late-night call to get to know each other better. Some flowers and a few dates later, before you know it, and you’re official. Touch, touch, touch.
Or how about a bride-and-groom-to-be trying to get people to their wedding. First, you start with a save-the-date about three months out. Then a print invitation comes about six weeks later. For your out-of-town guests, you leave a goodie bag in their room to welcome them. Before the wedding festivities are over, you make sure to pass out party favors. Then you write thank-you cards for the presents you received. Touch, touch, touch
Taking someone on a calculated journey
Both are examples of taking someone on a calculated journey to achieve a specific result. Whether it’s courting a girlfriend or getting people to attend your wedding, multiple touch points work. They create an experience that will keep you coming back for more.
And marketing is no different.
Look up best practices for the number of touch points in a successful marketing campaign, and you’ll get a different answer for each search. Is there a specific number of touch points that works? Or is it the quality of the touch point? My experience has been that it’s neither.
What really matters is timing. And, with timing, you win some and you lose some. So, focus on the wins.
A few of our wins
Courting Tammy Lynn Center: we’re passionate about missions that support those with special needs so Tammy Lynn Center certainly rose to the top of our “dream client” list. However, with an in-house marketing person already in place, the chances they’d use an outside agency were slim.
But you never know what sharing the love will do. Especially when you’re expecting nothing in return. So, we started following them on their social platforms. Engaging with their posts—liking some, sharing others, helping them spread their mission. Before long, our touch points had broken through the noise and we had their attention. They started following us, wanting to know who Angel Oak Creative was. And we started to develop a relationship. So, when it came time for them to outsource some marketing needs, they knew just who to use. Touch, touch, touch.
Inviting TROSA into a partnership: every agency wants to work with an award-winning organization. And when it comes to Angel Oak Creative, we’re no different. That’s why we want to work with TROSA (they’ve raked in the Independent Weekly awards here and here). Since they’re doing so much right, we knew that getting their attention would require a multitude of touch points. And that’s exactly what we did.
I’d already tried getting their attention before, to no avail. A few years ago, their development director had attended a workshop of ours at the NC Center for Nonprofits annual conference. When I followed up with a generic email the following week, thanking her for attending and expressing interest in exploring a potential partnership, crickets ensued. I don’t blame her. The touch point was nothing special. In fact, it was embarrassingly ordinary coming from a marketing professional. What can I say? Hindsight is always 20/20.
So, this time around, a few years later, I tried a different approach. Instead of the average email introduction I’d sent a few years back, I personalized this one with a video. Then, I immediately followed up with a hand-written postcard.
A few days after that, I followed up with a call. Guess what? Within the week, I had a meeting set up. Touch, touch, touch.
So, is a partnership in store? That’s still TBD but we’re closer than we were. And we’ll make sure to bring another touch point with us to the meeting (some free t-shirts).
If you’re planning an end-of-year campaign, and need help brainstorming your next series of touch points to break through the noise, let us help. Last year, nine nonprofits trusted us to touch their constituents with targeted messaging and the result was $1MM+ raised for our community!
– Caitlin Clinard, Founder & President