Monthly Archives: September 2012

TURF Analysis

In brief: Suppose a store sells different flavors of ice cream. To cut costs, it wants to sell only 5 flavors, but its supplier offers 30. Which 5 flavors should it choose for greatest sales?

One strategy is to choose a product line that maximizes the likelihood that customers will find at least one very appealing flavor among the 5 on offer. With at least one such flavor available, a customer will probably buy some ice cream if in the mood.

Suppose that 70% of customers find at least one flavor very appealing in the set of 5 flavors that make up product line A, but only 50% do in product line B. If so, for every 100 customers in the mood to buy ice cream, 20 more of them would be likely to buy some if product line A were in place. We say that the first product line has greater reach, because it extends to a larger segment of consumers in terms of sales. Reach is a useful measure of product line utility.

TURF (Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency) analysis is the marketing research technique of choice to measure reach. TURF analysis is good for (a) finding the best product lines for sales and (b) deciding how to best extend existing product lines. By “product lines” is meant not just different products, but different flavors of the same product, or different colors, sizes, and so on.

TURF yields easy-to-understand statistics that make it clear which product lines do best and by how much. Continue reading