What Is TURF Analysis and How to Use it in Your Customer Research

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mrx glossary turf analysis

In this blog post, learn what a TURF analysis is, when to use one in your research efforts, the advantages it can provide, and how quantilope can help. 



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What is TURF Analysis?

Consumers love choice, right? Offer them as many different options as possible, advertise them via as many channels as you can and voila - your reach will be sky high and everyone will be happy.

Not so fast. 


Choice can be good when it comes to products, services, or the way you market your offer - but it doesn't follow that a wider choice will appeal to a wider range of consumers, nor that it will result in more profit for your business. What matters is the nature of that choice in relation to the preferences of your audience.


TURF analysis, which stands for Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency Analysis, explores the potential impact of a combination of products, features, or marketing actions on consumers' purchase decisions and ultimately your bottom line. It aims to find the right balance of the metrics reach and frequency to drive the highest overall sales.


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When should I use TURF Analysis?

TURF is the perfect analysis choice for product or communication optimization. This includes:

  • Brand portfolio and product line planning

    • Which combination of brands or products will appeal to the greatest number of customers within your target audience?
    • If you introduce a new SKU, will this cannibalize any variants within your existing product portfolio or will it attract new customers not previously reached?
    • Within SKUs, which features should be included for maximum appeal?
  • Marketing and advertising campaigns

    • Which mix of channels will enable you to reach the greatest number of people?
    • Which are the most impactful creative routes and copy options?
  • Service planning

    • Which combination of service features will achieve the greatest reach? 

For example, imagine you have a range of yogurts and you're finding that the strawberry and raspberry flavors are doing well, while the apricot and cherry don't seem to be as popular. There will be a few issues you might want to consider before revamping your product line:


  • Which people are buying strawberry yogurts, and which are buying raspberry? Are they completely separate sets of people?
  • Who's buying apricot and cherry, and which other flavors do they enjoy? You might not want to lose your apricot and cherry lovers entirely if they're contributing enough to your market share...
  • What might happen if you launch a mango variant?
  • Which advertising channels will ensure the maximum number of people hear about your new product line?

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What are the advantages of TURF and what will it show me?

TURF analysis' key strength, as we have seen, lies in identifying which possible combinations of items appeal to the greatest number of consumers. In the yogurt example, TURF would help avoid doubling up on product variants that appeal to the same people - so if all your strawberry lovers are happy to buy raspberry instead, you might decide to include one or the other in the range rather than both. The removal of apricot and cherry might mean you lose those customers altogether, so to keep them in your customer base you need to know which flavor they would buy instead. There might be a group of customers who prefer exotic fruit, and the introduction of a mango variant would bring in a whole new set of potential customers who would never consider buying strawberry or raspberry. 


The most obvious advantage of TURF is that it doesn't just rank the flavors in order of preference, but tells you which combination of flavors will entice the biggest number of people to buy from your product line. A less sophisticated market research methodology - one that tells you strawberry and raspberry are by far the favorite flavors - might prompt the conclusion that both should be included in the range. But TURF goes further than this, showing the total unduplicated reach and frequency - that is, the percentage of people for whom at least one of the flavors is appealing, where preferences overlap, and the average number of appealing flavors per respondent. So you might well decide that strawberry, cherry, and mango is the ultimate line-up because that combination of products will have the best market potential. It will attract the greatest number of consumers and boost your market share. 


Similarly, when it comes to marketing your new-look yogurt range, TURF can show you which combination of advertising channels will give it the greatest exposure. If a decent percentage of people are seeing yogurt adverts on both TV and social media, but another significant set of consumers is more open to advertising on the radio, you might choose to advertise via TV and radio only.


Other factors like pricing will be key to your final business decisions. However, understanding the optimal product line, service offer, or communication strategy will increase revenue, help to cut costs, and form valuable evidence to take to retailers when aiming to increase your share of shelf space.


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How can quantilope help me with TURF?

quantilope makes it easy to set up a study and analyze the findings with TURF. The automated TURF survey design is based on a MaxDiff method: respondents are presented with combinations of products, brands, or features and asked to make trade-offs between them. After this, an automated & customizable real-time TURF simulator produces optimized options for maximum audience reach.


Check out how to create and analyze a TURF study here or watch this webinar to learn how product lines can be optimized using quantilope's automated TURF module. 


For a great case study on the power of TURF, read about how quantilope's analysis helped understand behavior within the women's razor market so that shelf space could be used to drive optimal sales.


To learn more about quantilope's TURF methodology, get in touch below:

Get in touch to learn more!

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