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I'm in the process of creating a user journey, and during my research, I've come across 'touch points'. However, I'm struggling to understand what they're, could anyone shed a bit more light on this?

An example I was given was 'It's a point of interaction between your customer and company involving a specific human need.

Thanks in advance.

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From Wikipedia's Touchpoint Definition

A touchpoint can be defined as any way a consumer can interact with a business, whether it be person-to-person, through a website, an app or any form of communication (“Touchpoint Glossary”, n.d.). When consumers come in contact with these touchpoints it gives them the opportunity to compare their prior perceptions of the business and form an opinion (Stein, & Ramaseshan, 2016).

and in context...

Touchpoints are an element in the IMC (integrated marketing communications), which portray the willingness on behalf of the brand communicators to use specific communication motives to reach the appropriate target audience. This is used to engage customers in the pre- and post-purchase experience when they purchase a good or service. Touch points allow prospective customers to become knowledgeable on the brand and the benefits offered and allow them to make a decision to whether they will buy the product or service. An example of a brand using effective touchpoints in their marketing communications is Toyota selling the Yaris car model to the youth segment. The way in which Toyota did this was firstly advertising the Yaris in television programs such as Prison Break, whose viewers are typically in the age bracket they were targeting. Toyota hosted an Internet contest where consumers could create their own three-minute television commercials. This method engaged the youth segment as it was interactive and let the prospect consumers experience the brand. Toyota also knew that the youth age group were social and would likely attend social functions; this meant that Yaris cars were featured in many sponsored events. They were also integrated into television comedy programs, which attracted their target segmentation during adverts.

These definitions and examples are very good to understand Touchpoints at a basic level, but of course there's a lot more to it, way more than what this site's format allows. See the Wikipedia link for example, it's really complete and thorough.

Outside of this, there are arguments for one-sided touchpoints (internal to the business), although I'm not so sure about that since I understand that you NEED a target audience that interacts with your marketing efforts, effectively creating connection nodes (or.... touchpoints!). Theoretically, they're valid, but again... IMHO those touchpoints are part of a different process

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    Or to put it another way - 'touchpoints' are also the sales assistants who you try to find in a store because you can't figure out where they put the thing you came in to buy. Millions of dollars of marketing and branding spend can fail at this point for want of an adequately trained junior member of staff... – PhillipW Nov 16 '16 at 18:56
  • ha ah, very true! :) – Devin Nov 16 '16 at 18:58
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All those things that impact or otherwise are memorable (good and bad) from across the total breadth of experience anyone has -- in terms of both exposure and engagement -- with anything.

Be wary of the wonks that only focus on engagement and positive experiences. Most of the crucial touch points come long beforehand, during prior exposure, and are negative.

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