Inbound Marketing + Sales Blog

May 15, 2018

The Customer Journey Map and Marketing Touch Points: How to Unify Them

3 min read

Written by: Amanda Nielsen  |  Share:

shutterstock_707212957The process of identifying and weighting marketing touch points is critical to effectively implementing a marketing attribution strategy. Moreover, it can enable marketing teams to gain a holistic view of their marketing and sales funnel in relation to the customer journey. By unifying the customer journey map with your marketing touch points, you can identify and capitalize on the most valuable elements of your current marketing ecosystem, and, in turn, drive growth for your organization.

Before you can begin mapping your touch points to the customer journey, it is important to understand the different types of marketing touch points in relation to your marketing and sales funnel. A marketing touch point is any interaction between your company and a potential buyer. This could be any activity from viewing your content mentioned on social media to stopping at your company’s booth at an in-person trade show. At New Breed, we use four different types of marketing touch points to configure our marketing attribution models: First Touch, Lead Creation Touch, Opportunity Creation Touch and Closed Won Touch.

First Touch

True to its name, a first touch is the very first time a prospect encounters your company. This touch point is the way someone becomes aware that your company even exists, and, more often than not, this touch point does not include any type of conversion.

For example, if a prospect hears about your company by word-of-mouth, that would be considered a first touch point. Because these first touch points don’t usually involve any type of conversion, they are typically weighted the least in many revenue attribution models. However, first touch points are essential for brand awareness and act as the jumping off point for your company’s relationship with a potential customer.

Lead Creation

The Lead Creation touch occurs at the first time a user converts on your website or becomes a lead by some other means. This touch point could potentially manifest as an opt-in to a newsletter subscription or a form fill to access a premium content offer. This touch point represents the first time a prospect voluntarily provides a piece of their contact information, and it is a critical first step toward their becoming a customer.

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Opportunity Creation

The Opportunity Creation touch point occurs at the point immediately before an SQL converts into an opportunity. Think of this touch point as the action that nudges them into the next lifecycle stage. Oftentimes these touch points occur on Bottom-of-Funnel (BOFU) content offers like demos or free trials.

Closed Won

Similar to Opportunity Creation touch points, Closed Won touch points occur immediately before an opportunity converts into a customer. Prior to becoming closed won, this deal is in the conversation stage of the sales cycle, where the prospect is deciding whether or not to do business with your company. In this stage, touch points on resources like case studies, testimonials and demos are likely to make or break the decision to become a customer, so consider them carefully in your evaluation.

Customer Journey

By mapping the touch points detailed above to the customer journey, revenue teams can gain a comprehensive understanding of the entire sales process and identify which touch points are contributing to revenue — and perhaps more importantly, which are not. 

To map your marketing touch points to the customer journey, you must first identify the proper marketing attribution model for your organization. The right marketing attribution model can assign revenue credit for a customer based on the touch point(s) that influenced their decision to buy. The most common B2B marketing attribution models are: First Touch, Last Touch, Linear Multi-Touch and Time Decay Multi-Touch.

Consider the following factors when picking your marketing attribution model:

  • Size of your marketing and sales teams
  • Length of sales cycle
  • The tech stack in place (marketing automation, CMS, Business Intelligence (BI) Tools, CRM)
  • Reporting needs from the C-Suite or board members

For more information on the selection process, check out this post on choosing a marketing attribution model.

Depending on your choice of marketing attribution model, the touch points discussed above will be assigned different values based on their position in the customer journey. Though this is not true for every revenue attribution model, oftentimes, touch points nearest to the closed won stage will be weighted as attributing the most value. Conversely, touch points nearest to the beginning of the sales cycle will be weighted as attributing the least revenue.

By placing varied values on the different types of marketing touch points, marketers can better identify any gaps that may create fall-off in their marketing and sales funnel. Conversely, they can determine which touch points and their respective content are generating the most contribution to revenue, enabling them to further capitalize on those points. 

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Demand Generation

About The Author

Amanda is an internal marketer specializing in inbound copywriting, lifecycle marketing and co-marketing initiatives.

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