How to Do TURF Analysis

TURF AnalysisSpringtime is here! What better time to dust off your tools, including a nifty but underutilized method called TURF Analysis?

No, I’m not talking about something in your yard or garden.

I’m talking about the market research analytical technique called TURF Analysis. TURF is an acronym which stands for “Total Unduplicated Reach and Frequency.”

TURF Analysis is a somewhat fancy term for a pretty simple concept and associated analytical technique (but we researchers love fancy words, don’t we?).

What is TURF Analysis?

TURF Analysis is a technique that allows you to assess which combination of products and services will allow you to appeal to the greatest number of customers.

It is a simple improvement on the most common analytical technique, which is a simple frequency analysis.

Reach is a term derived from media research. It means how many people you contact.

Frequency, of course, means how often you are in contact with the people you reach.

When Do I Use TURF Analysis?

Have you ever asked:

  • Which combination of products or services would sell the best?
  • How do I determine which marketing and placement campaigns are driving consumers?
  • What is the best way to spend marketing dollars on a limited budget?

When you ask these questions, it’s time to conduct TURF Analysis.

How Do I Conduct TURF Analysis?

Several survey software packages include TURF Analysis capabilities. Here is a hypothetical example of how to run TURF Analysis using Survey Analytics software.

A bank is looking to offer credit cards to customers, and it asks a survey question about the credit cards consumers use: Visa, Mastercard, Amex or Discover.

Here are the results using simple frequency analysis:

Credit Card Frequency

What matters is not which credit card is used by the most consumers, represented by the frequency table. What matters is which combination of credit cards offers the greatest total reach. Because if a consumer holds both a MasterCard and a Visa, you can reach them by either means.

The software allows you to look at the reach of various combinations of cards.

Total Unduplicated Reach

The result of this calculation will be the percentage of consumers that have either MasterCard or Visa.

Of course, it would be tedious to look at every combination by hand. The “simulator” feature allows you to look at every combination under a specific count. In other words, you can look at every combination of 2 cards, then every combination of 3 cards, etc.


And now you can see the unduplicated market share for each combination of 2 cards, like so:

Simulator Output

Of course, different options have different costs of implementation. The cards will not cost the bank the same amount to implement. So they are faced with a trade off between cost and opportunity.

The price modeling function of the TURF Analysis simulator allows for looking at different price scenarios, allowing you as the researcher to look at a balance between cost and opportunity. Here is a snapshot of the output.

TURF Analysis Price Modeling

Finally, the line optimization function allows you to set a minimum reach, then see which combinations get you above that threshold.

I hope this brief explanation of TURF Analysis has been useful, and I hope it’s helped you cover new ground. Enjoy TURFing!

Links for Reading;

TURF Analysis Software

About Dana Stanley

Dana is the Editor-in-Chief of Research Access.


  1. My research company, Somra-MBL. Ltd, in Bangladesh, is a happy licensee of SurveyAnalytics. Great platform. Tried out TURF by using the platform. It was fun. Have been doing all sorts of BPTOs and Conjoints before we got SA. It was really easy to design, execute, deliver and explain to client.

  2. Greg Timpany says:

    TURF has rapidly become one of my favorite tools. I use an SPSS add-in and have found it very useful for analyzing value propositions and message points.

    Greg Timpany

  3. Hi Greg. I have spss turf installed in my computer but I don’t know how to run turf analysis in spss. I can’t seem to find anything online for help. Would you be able to help?

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