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Do You Have TOMA?

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Do You Have TOMA?

Mary Jo King

My marketing friends know this old term, meaning Top of Mind Awareness.

TOMA is the state of owning the space that your product or service occupies in your prospects' mind. If you can achieve this, you'll get the first call when they are ready to buy. Only a fraction of your potential customers are ready to buy now, so what are you doing today to ensure that you have TOMA when they need you tomorrow?

As a business builder, you have many options for your advertising dollar. The key is to find something effective that is budget-able for the long run. If it doesn't afford you a consistent presence in your target market, you are not building TOMA.

One of the easiest ways to maintain TOMA with existing customers is the judicious use of a mailing list. Email platforms and CRM systems have made this easy to accomplish, and it's very cost-effective. Never mind the nay-sayers who proclaim this a dead marketing tool; just learn to do it well. You'll know you're on the right track when your "open" rate is >20%, and your link hit rate is >3%. This method works best for maintaining--rather than growing--your market share, but good businesses do a fair percentage of customer referrals, too. And referrals are pre-sold!

Mobile marketing is both the present and future of digital marketing. This multichannel, digital marketing strategy is aimed at reaching a target audience on their smartphones and tablets, via websites, email, SMS and MMS, social media, and apps. Mobile is disrupting the way people engage with brands. Everything that can be done on a desktop computer is now available on a mobile device. From opening an email to visiting your website to reading your content, it's all accessible through a small mobile screen.

Social media can be highly effective in achieving TOMA with existing customers. Social media marketing isn't for the uncommitted, however; it's high-maintenance when you're doing it right. There is a bit of artistry in achieving the right balance between providing useful information and touting your product or service (90:10 or 80:20).

Intrusive mediums such as broadcast radio and television can be very effective for establishing TOMA. To maintain a consistent presence at a relatively low cost, radio is hard to beat. It can be well-targeted, and unlike television, a locally-produced commercial can hold its own next to national spots. Package deals and program sponsoring can be very affordable.

Local newspaper directories, journals, and entertainment guides can offer reasonably-priced print options for your marketing dollar. If you can avoid a lot of "spill" (ad dollars wasted outside your target market) these can offer a great TOMA solution for you. Be careful; this can also be a shocking waste of money. And if you're still spending big bucks on yellow page advertising, it's time to rethink your whole marketing plan.

Want to brainstorm?  Call me. Two good brains are always better than one.

PS: Job seekers can achieve TOMA with regular follow-up!