TURF Analysis

TURF Analysis, an acronym for "Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency", is a type of statistical analysis used for providing estimates of media or market potential and devising optimal communication and placement strategies given limited resources.

Although originally used by media schedulers to maximize reach and frequency of media spending across different items (print, broadcast, etc.), TURF is now used to determine what drivers motivate consumers to purchase a certain product. This in turn can help companies determine which products and/or services to offer, and just as importantly, which not to offer.

In a research context, TURF analysis provides estimates of market potential. TURF analysis identifies the number of users reached by a communication, and how often they are reached. It can also be used to study their frequency of use of a particular product configured in a certain way.

Research Objective

The objective of Survey Analytics TURF analysis is to identify an efficient product portfolio. Specifically,

  • Maximizes the number of unduplicated consumers who will find their favorite items in the product line.
  • Minimizes the product line mix while maintaining maximum unduplicated consumer reach.
  • Finds the incremental value to the full line contributed by each additional possible product.

A TURF is a sequential analysis, when in each step the objective is to find the product that .reaches. the greatest proportion of the market that is still unreached.


The data input for a TURF analysis is most often a set of product preference questions asked of respondents. The format varies, but some common types are:

  • Purchase Intent Likelihood Scale: For each of the following products would you definitely buy, probably buy, might or might not buy, probably not buy, or definitely not buy?
  • Desirability scale: Rate the following 6 items on a scale from 1 to 6, with 1 being your most preferred product and 6 being the least preferred.
  • Ordered List: If you were limited to picking out at most 3 extra options, which ones would they be?

The key to designing a study that will include TURF analysis is that all respondents must evaluate all products. That is, this is a full block, within-subject experiment. In addition, the survey should collect basic demographics and purchase frequency and amount. The reasons for this are discussed in the Limitations section of the paper. SurveyAnalytics provides you with a bunch of survey templates and you can pick the one that is close to your research studies. Also with the highly advanced question types that we have introduced you can collect just the vital information, that makes sense.

Limitations and Merits

While TURF is a useful and commonly used tool, a few points should be kept in mind when using or interpreting results from a TURF analysis. TURF makes the assumption that once consumers are satisfied with a specific product they will no longer seek variety in that product category. This assumption is probably limiting for some product categories where there is substantial variety seeking. Also, TURF makes no assumptions about frequency or amount of use. It does not distinguish between the person who will definitely buy the product twice a week and the person who will definitely buy the product once a month. This is why the 'frequency of use' questions mentioned earlier can be valuable. Using the data from those questions as a weight will allow for a better estimation of the volumetric potential of the line.

Survey Analytics provides you with reports/ results that are easy to interpret though its a complex analysis that you are doing. SurveyAnalytics TURF results are relatively simple to understand and interpret. TURF is a useful technique for analyzing existing product lines as well as adding to and developing new product lines.

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