TOMP – Top of Mind Preference

For most marketers, one of the key metrics advertising and marketing is designed to drive is TOMA – Top of Mind Awareness. Before digital, TOMA was tracked almost slavishly as an indicator of advertising effectiveness.

But the days of TOMA are over.

In today’s overcommunicated world, simply establishing awareness among your self-educating target audience isn’t nearly enough. Even top-of-mind-awareness just gets you invited to the search engine dance. If you want to win the invisible sale, you need to go beyond simple awareness to establish preference.

We call this goal top-of-mind preference (TOMP). Don’t fret if you haven’t heard the term—we made it up. But it should absolutely be your propinquity marketing goal. The propinquity model is quite simple:

To see me → To know me → To like me → To buy from me

So although TOMA might be easy to track, it only gets you two steps deep in the funnel. TOMP, on the other hand, gets you all the way to the third level, often before prospects have even raised a hand to identify themselves to your organization. In a world where research indicates upwards of 50% of self-educating buyers (70% of almost every market category by the way) are going from consideration to short-list of purchase options before they even let any companies know they’re in the market to purchase, TOMP is the holy grail.

Will TOMP Save You From a Google Search?

The short answer is “possibly.”

If you’ve truly established TOMP, a prospective buyer very well might just consider you the single source provider and purchase from you. But, even if that same prospective buyer decides they “just need to be sure” and fires up a Google search, it’s an entirely different search intent.

Instead of just looking for options, where every option has an equal chance of winning the day, your prospective buyer (because you’re their TOMP) is now searching for reasons to either buy from you or someone else. That means you’ve got a 50/50 chance of winning the search and ultimately the purchase.

We’ll take a 50/50 shot over 1 in however many options the prospective buyer finds, every day.

Because a propinquity approach is based on creating and sharing helpful content and advice, it’s perfectly suited to create TOMP among your prospective customers. It’s easy for buyers to ignore the hard sell. But when a person or company produces content designed to help you make a better buying decision, it’s hard not to like that person or company. Not only does that become the first company you think of, but it also becomes your preferred company—possibly the only company you will turn to for assistance.

Want to learn more about creating TOMP for your brand? Drop us a line and we’ll happily schedule a time to help you think through that goal.

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