"Top of mind awareness" is a marketing concept focused on the theory that consumers will buy products based on awareness of a certain company. As a result, marketers must do everything in their power to place their companies inside the minds of consumers to affect purchasing decisions. Achieving "top of mind awareness," or TOMA, requires consistent communication efforts by companies through various marketing channels. This also necessitates that these companies provide the consumers with relevant information to help the decision-making process without becoming nuisances.
It is extremely difficult for companies to stand out in the modern marketplace. Not only are there seemingly limitless companies to be found in each and every industry, but there is also a vast variety of marketing avenues from which companies can choose to get in contact with their customer bases. While all of this can be overwhelming, a company that manages to make an impression once on a customer is likely to stay in the picture for that customer whenever purchasing decisions are made. That is the key concept behind "top of mind awareness."
When attempting to get through to consumers and achieve "top of mind awareness," marketers must essentially carve out space in the brains of their consumers. To do this, they must understand that the decision-making process for purchases is rarely instantaneous. Consumers often take their time to make their decisions. Marketers must be ready to provide useful information about what their companies have to offer at every step of that process.
To make certain that "top of mind awareness" is cultivated, marketers must stay in constant contact with consumers without becoming pests. This requires changing up strategies at different times in the decision-making process. For example, a marketer might choose different paths to the customer base by following up a television advertising campaign with an e-mail blast. Another way to achieve diversity is to put across a different message each time an effort is made to engage consumers, so that the communication doesn't become stale.
Branding is another important concept in "top of mind awareness." If a consumer has to make a decision between many possible alternative, he or she will most likely fall back on a brand name that is well-known and trusted. Marketers are aware of this fact and concentrate on achieving consistent brand messaging no matter what the current marketing campaign might be. In that way, consumers are often reminded about the company and always have that company right inside their heads when it comes time to make a choice.