The case for holistic touch-point management – an evidence, value-based approach to informing brand communication planning

Simon Cole

INTRODUCTION

As debate about the commercial significance of brands is consigned to history and they're increasingly appreciated as the corporate assets they undoubtedly are, attention has focused squarely back to the metrics by which they're managed. In particular, interest is growing in measures that explore the contribution of the full set of touch-points that collectively govern the brand's reputation as a whole – the many and varied points of contact between brand and consumer that can all too easily seem like a dangerously bewildering array of options in the absence of suitable discipline, organisation and rigorous assessment.

Traditionally, brand managers and marketers alike have sought to judge the impact of activities piece-meal using a variety of well-worn consumer research techniques. On occasion they have even gone so far as to estimate any earnings benefit those communications ultimately return. However, while the tools at their disposal have certainly provided much helpful insight into the efficacy and impact of brand communications they invariably come up short. All too often they suffer from either an undue emphasis on one or just a few 'core' media at the expense of all others or a reliance on measures that fail to account for the broader and longer run benefits (cf. immediate responses).