TOMA is top-of-mind-awareness. 

I started out in marketing as a salesman for ad specialties and eventually started my own ad specialty business.  I’m talking about the stuff affectionately known as swag, tchotchkes, promotional products, etc.   (a $17 billion a year industry) I learned from an old pro that the good professionals guided their customers in looking at the purpose of the promotional product not just the product itself.  If you wanted to create good will, you chose a higher end item and made a strong presentation.  If you wanted to make them say ‘wow’, you found something different or new.  If you wanted them to remember you, you gave them something they would keep with them at the place where they made purchasing decisions.  Naturally, all of it has a logo, phone number, web site, email or some contact info so that when the day came and they needed to purchase something that the gift giver offered, the gift giver was ‘top-of-mind’ and they got the call.

TOMA is the fundamental concept behind content marketing.  The Modern Marketer knows that one of the two primary purposes of content is to place their firm top of mind with prospective customers.  What’s that you say, what’s second purpose?  The second purpose is to establish credibility.

The challenge for the Modern Marketer is to establish TOMA with the ideal prospect or target market.  Now, you have to ask yourself the question, “Have I established TOMA with the people in my target market?”   If you cannot or will not answer ‘yes’ to this question, then the bad news is you have a lot of work to do.  The really great news is that there is huge upside potential for those firms that are willing and able to establish TOMA.  TOMA with customers is also important, but it’s implied since the firm already has a relationship.

Most people (perhaps up to 98%) who respond to a campaign of one sort or the other are not ready to buy or even engage with the firm at that time.  However, statistics show that 80% of that group will eventually buy what you are selling.  The question is, will they buy from you?

A strong content marketing strategy executed well is the best way to establish TOMA in this modern marketing world.

Check out Joe Pulizzi’s blog, Content Marketing Institute, for some great content about content marketing.


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