You have to make choices when it comes to what products you develop and the features you include. Ultimately, you want to offer a product line that appeals to a significant percentage of the population within your given market.
That’s where market research comes in. Analytical tools and techniques, such as a TURF analysis, can help you determine what resonates most with your customers and what combination of features will appeal to the largest portion of the market. From there, you can develop marketing communication and products that align with customer preferences for a successful product launch that incorporates optimal messaging.
What is a TURF Analysis?
With many market research surveys, your goal is to assess what variations of features or benefits are most appealing to customers, especially in the context of product development research and marketing communications. While that’s part of a TURF analysis, there’s more to it.
TURF stands for Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency. A TURF analysis is a statistical technique that calculates how many people prefer a particular combination of features. Using an algorithm, the analysis then ranks the options accordingly. Unduplicated reach, in this context, refers to your ability to reach—or appeal to—the broadest range of unique customers across various channels.
Let’s say you want to launch a new product for the home improvement market, like a type of flooring, window line or selection of outdoor power equipment. With finite real estate on your packaging or POP, you can only communicate so many values —or perhaps only one. You need to determine what limited combination of attributes is most likely to appeal to the largest number of existing or potential customers. That’s your reach.
How a TURF analysis differs from other statistical techniques is that it will reveal what assortments will have the greatest reach without duplicating customers.
For example, if you’re introducing a new window line, a traditional survey of customers might find that vinyl casement windows and vinyl cottage windows are the most appealing variations in your potential lineup.
However, those two choices might be preferred by the same set of customers, whereas a wood casement window would be appealing to a different set of customers, thereby expanding your unduplicated reach if you introduce that product along with one of the vinyl options.
What is a TURF Analysis Used For?
A TURF analysis is a valuable tool within the realm of market research, product development, and marketing communications.
It can be used to help your company make data-driven decisions to optimize your portfolio of building products while also providing insights to strategically choose which product attributes to market to your customers.
- What product line can we offer to efficiently maximize our reach in the market so the highest percentage of customers will purchase at least one SKU?
- What is the most effective message to communicate for marketing?
- Will our new product reach new customers or primarily draw from the customers who are already purchasing one of our existing products (i.e. product cannibalization)?
- What is the incremental gain of customers by offering additional products?
Because TURF analysis tells us what combination of attributes for the product will reach the widest unique audience, it can be utilized to optimize your marketing and advertising strategies, by answering, for example:
- What messaging will connect with the broadest range of customers and motivate them to purchase new products?
- What channels or marketing strategies can you use to introduce your brand or product to new customers?
- Which ad options leave the best impressions or will result in a higher rate of conversion?
- Which distribution channels are preferred by various building products customers?
TURF analysis will provide you with the right combination of products or marketing statements that will appeal to the broadest range of unique customers. Allowing you to maximize your packaging real estate or product mix. This research is crucial in developing an efficient plan for your product launch, from where to spend your advertising resources to refining your messaging.
How to Conduct a TURF Analysis
With a TURF analysis, you get a more comprehensive overview of market potential by assessing every possible combination of home improvement products within a particular category to discover which combination appeals to the highest percentage of total respondents.
Here are the typical steps involved in a TURF analysis:
1. Conduct a Survey
You’ll be best off hiring a professional custom market research firm to conduct your survey. Then, within the survey, ask respondents to rate and rank various attributes related to your product or marketing. These can be product features, benefits or value propositions you’ve determined are differentiators or competitive necessities.
2. Rank Your Responses
From the survey responses you collect, the TURF algorithm will assess all possible attribute combinations and their respective reach. With this data, you will know concretely which combinations yield the highest number of unique customers—filtering out overlaps in preference.
3. Take Action on Your Data
With research on the unduplicated reach of various features, benefits or statements, you can make informed decisions regarding the development, distribution and marketing of new or existing offerings. Make sure to consider the results of your TURF analysis in the context of other market research involving supply logistics, product price and additional factors.
Starting Your TURF Analysis
Before launching a new product, package or marketing campaign, you want to test your assumptions. Use custom market research to ensure you’ll get the highest return on your investment by reaching the highest percentage of customers possible in the most efficient manner. Statistical techniques like TURF analyses are one type of market research to help you glean that data and put it to use. Our team at Farnsworth Group can work with you to further explore the market potential of new products your team is considering taking to market.