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What’s the sense in marketing?

It often strikes me as a chat with small businesses that marketing is all about “sense”. It’s about the five senses: touch, taste, see, hear and smell. There’s a sixth sense as well, but you’ll have to read the others to find out what that is (and for those of you who are film buffs, it doesn’t include Bruce Willis!). This musing is all about the first sense.

I can almost see you sitting there thinking that I’ve lost all “sense” of reality. I haven’t, promise. I’m going to take the five senses in turn.


Touch is all about your product. How many of us pick something up off the shelf to look at it? And don’t tell me that you have never walked through a clothes shop running your hands through the clothes on the rails (especially if you’re a woman). That’s great if you have a “tangible” product, but if you have a service that you’re marketing, where does touch come in?

Well, I suppose you could substitute “touch” for “experience”. Customers have to “experience” your service to see how they feel about it, they may not be able to pick it up with their hands, but you can create the same satisfactory feeling. It is about creating a sensory perception of touch. Giving your customers a virtual hug (there’s that madness again!) and making them “feel” that you care about the experience they get from you. When you create a relationship with a customer, think about the “touchpoints” they have with you – you’re communications, both on- and off-line. Think about the experience of touching your website, the “feel” of your literature, and the overall sense of quality and professionalism they get from you. When you pass your business card to someone, they automatically feel the card and rub their fingers on it (watch them next time, it’s true!) and they associate that feeling with your business. Sometimes its the little things that can make them feel that they’re in good hands.

So next time you reach out and “touch” a customer, or potential customer, think about creating a velvet touch rather than one that’s might feel more like sandpaper. And you never know, you might get a little “hug” in return!

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