They Don’t Know… And They Don’t Know They Don’t Know!


(By Rick Fink) Whew, that is a confusing title! How many times have you heard an advertiser say, “We ask every person that calls or comes through our door how they heard about us.” The answers vary, but prior to the New Media Age (digital/social), it was typically newspaper, direct mail, or the Yellow Pages that garnered most of the credit.

Why do the customers say this? Mainly, because it’s true! These mediums are usually the last point of contact just prior to the purchase. It’s the end of the buying cycle or the bottom of the Marketing Funnel.

But, have your advertisers considered that it may have been the radio or TV ad that persuaded their customers to even consider looking at their ad or visiting their website? “Intrusive Media” (Radio/TV), if done correctly, should have created an emotional connection with prospective customers long before “Passive Media”(print/digital), which is the point of research prior to purchase, comes into play.

The average person will only consider doing business with someone they are familiar with and feel good about.

We ask the question in every one of our TOMA Surveys, “If you use Google or some other search engine, would you be more likely to click on a business that you have never heard of at the top of the list, or the first business you recognized or were familiar with?” The results are ALWAYS the same. 72-75% say they will click on a business they are familiar with. 2-3% say they will select the name at the top of the list, and approximately 22-26% say both.

It’s clear that having TOMA, “Top-of-Mind Awareness”, has a LOT of value!

Feel free to use that question and its results the next time a client says that their customers heard about them via the “Passive Medias” of the world, i.e. print, direct mail, social/digital.

If the employees of a business really do ask the customer how they heard about them, and that’s a big “IF”, the customer really doesn’t know… and they don’t know that they don’t know. But someone asked a question, so they felt obligated to give an answer! And that’s why the passive mediums get the credit!

It’s still the “Intrusive Media”, TV & Radio, that do all the heavy lifting and create the Top-of-Mind Awareness.

NEVER Stop Learning – Get Better Every Day!

Rick Fink from ENS Media ( can be reached by phone at 605-310-2062 or e-mail at [email protected]


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here