Research Insights 10.2 The Impact of Different Touchpoints on Brand Consideration

Principles of Marketing Communications

Source: Baxendale, S., MacDonald, E.K., and Wilson, H.N. (2015). The impact of different touchpoints on brand consideration. Journal of Retailing, 91(2), 235–53.

Abstract: Marketers face the challenge of resource allocation across a range of touchpoints. Hence understanding their relative impact is important, but previous research tends to examine brand advertising, retailer touchpoints, word-of-mouth, and traditional earned touchpoints separately. This article presents an approach to understanding the relative impact of multiple touchpoints. It exemplifies this approach with six touchpoint types: brand advertising, retailer advertising, in-store communications, word-of-mouth, peer observation (seeing other customers), and traditional earned media such as editorial. Using the real-time experience tracking (RET) method by which respondents report on touchpoints by contemporaneous text message, the impact of touchpoints on change in brand consideration is studied in four consumer categories: electrical goods, technology products, mobile handsets, and soft drinks. Both touchpoint frequency and touchpoint positivity, the valence of the customer's affective response to the touchpoint, are modelled. While relative touchpoint effects vary somewhat by category, a pooled model suggests the positivity of in-store communication is in general more influential than that of other touchpoints including brand advertising. An almost entirely neglected touchpoint, peer observation, is consistently significant. Overall, findings evidence the relative impact of retailers, social effects and third party endorsement in addition to brand advertising. Touchpoint positivity adds explanatory power to the prediction of change in consideration as compared with touchpoint frequency alone. This suggests the importance of methods that track touchpoint perceptual response as well as frequency, to complement current analytic approaches such as media mix modeling based on media spend or exposure alone.


This is an interesting article that uses a novel methodology to track the impact of marketing communications and other brand touchpoints on brand consideration. By investigating the impact of marketing communications, word of mouth, and ‘earned’ touchpoints simultaneously, the authors are able to pinpoint their relative value.