It is important for both firms and marketers to understand customer journey and their buying decision behavior to successfully attract and retain customers. While there are several models in marketing to guide marketers in this regard, the AIDA model is among the most effective ones to create an effective marketing strategy.
There are four stages or phases in the AIDA model and each one is very significant in terms of understanding the customer journey. Industrywide, marketers use it in various scenarios and most commonly it is used in digital marketing, PR campaigns and for creating sales strategies.
In this post, we will discuss the AIDA model, each of its four stages and then provide examples to understand the relevance of the model in terms of marketing and consumer behavior.
What is the AIDA model?
The AIDA model offers you a simplified structure to understand the consumer’s journey before he buys a product until the final action or purchase. AIDA is an acronym and each of the four letters represents a distinct stage in terms of marketing and promotions. It also provides a roadmap for creating effective marketing strategies and driving higher brand awareness to increase sales.
This is the first stage in the AIDA model. During the first stage, termed awareness/attention, the customer gets to learn of a product. He starts knowing that a product/service exists.
The second phase in the AIDA model is termed interest. In this stage, the customer gets interested in the product/service. He finds more information related to the product/service through advertisements and his interest in the product surges.
The third stage in the AIDA model is termed Desire. The previous stage was Interest. After the marketer has got the customer interested in the product, the customer’s interest takes the form of a want to own the product.
This is where the journey ends in the AIDA model. In the previous stage, the customer had a desire to buy the product. In the final stage, he takes action or purchases the product.
What is the role of the AIDA model in marketing?
Marketers seek to grow the demand for their products/services to achieve higher sales. The AIDA model provides a blueprint or roadmap to understand customer decision making behavior. It guides the marketers so that they can use appropriate methods and tools to achieve higher engagement at each stage and grow their chances of success. From the first stage to the last when the customer buys the product, it is important for the marketer to keep the customer sufficiently engaged. It is important since if the consumer drops somewhere in the middle or loses interest, then the final purchase does not happen. So, if a marketing campaign can sustain customers’ interest for sufficiently longer, the chances of final purchase will grow higher. Marketers can use the AIDA model to know which methods and tools will help them ensure higher success in influencing the customers at each of the four stages.
Applying the AIDA Model:
How to grow awareness/gain attention of customers.
During the first stage of the AIDA model, the focus is on gaining the consumers’ attention or generating higher awareness. Here are some ways that the marketers can use to grow awareness during the initial stages.
Advertise on various platforms:
This is the age of digital marketing and regardless of the industry sector you are operating in, the easiest channel to reach your customers is the use of digital channels. Any business must have a website or app to attract customers. Businesses can advertise their products/services on diverse platforms and using diverse channels like digital marketing, TV and print ads, and other methods like email marketing. In this way, marketers can catch the attention of their target audience on diverse channels.
- Create a social media presence:
Generating higher awareness for a brand/product requires focus on creating a strong online presence. While a company’s own website and apps can be highly useful, marketers cannot do without creating a strong social media presence. Social media can effectively expand the reach of your marketing efforts. It will also help launch conversations on your products/services. The message can be spread faster through sharing which will help you increase brand awareness. In this way, the chances of garnering the attention of more and more potential buyers will grow.
- Mix outdoor advertising techniques with others:
If applicable or feasible, also use outdoor advertising tools and methods to grow brand awareness. While the use of these techniques has reduced over time, they are still effective and are used across various industry sectors to gain customers’ attention. Marketers can place large billboards and posters outdoors at places where they can catch the attention of the highest number of potential buyers. Distributing flyers at large events can also help at growing brand awareness.
How to generate interest among customers –
In the first stage, the focus of the marketers was on gaining the customers’ attention and in the second stage, it will be on growing interest among customers about the product/services. However, marketers now have access to diverse channels and tools which can help them accomplish their task easily. You can use your own website/blog to generate interest among customers. For example, marketers can publish a blog post that highlights the most important or crucial features of the product and its advantages. Apart from it, creating educational or promotional videos can also be highly helpful at this stage. One can publish a video explaining the crucial features of the product and its advantages.
How to grow the desirability of the product –
The third step in the AIDA model is a very critical step for marketers. This is the step at which they persuade the consumers to buy the product. It can be a bit difficult to stimulate your target customers’ desire and to grow the desirability of the product among target buyers. The focus should be on illustrating the benefits of owing the product.
Here are some questions that can guide the marketers at this stage:
What are the most desirable features of the product?
The most desirable features of the product can include various things like durability, quality, and design among other factors. For example, if you are promoting a smartphone, the focus can be on highlighting the unique features of the front camera.
What will be the positive outcome of buying the product?
Marketers must focus on the results or outcomes that the consumers seek from using the product. You can use them in your advertisements to target customers’ needs. For example, if a customer seeks to get more clear and better selfies from his smartphone then you must highlight this feature when promoting your smartphone brand.
What makes the product unique or different from its substitutes?
Differentiation is a key factor when it comes to succeeding in marketing. It will make the customers feel more inclined to buy the product if it is differentiated, unique and exclusive. Marketers must find ways to differentiate their product from the rivals and exceed them. This will improve the status of their product and brand.
How to enable customers to take action and make the final purchase –
Until now you have spent time trying to persuade the customer to buy your product. Now, it is the time for action. So, this is the time when you call your customers to take action. A call to action is a direct request to the customers to take a particular action that influences your brand or product positively.
For example, the call to action can include a request to register for a free trial before the actual subscription or subscribing to a mailing list/ YouTube channel. Or you can ask the customer to directly buy the product from your online shop.
Practical applications or examples of the AIDA model in real world marketing scenarios:
A new streaming service wants to double the number of its subscribers to grow its revenues so it can invest more in creating original content. Here is how they can use the AIDA model to achieve their objectives.
The streaming services provider establishes a social media presence and grows its number of followers on the most used social media channels. They regularly post content that discusses their platform and illustrates what they offer as a part of their services.
Marketers give an emotional touch their marketing campaign using crucial moments from their most famous movies and shows. Apart from it, they offer educational content and tutorials to illustrate how customers can easily access their favorite content and organize it on the platform.
The marketers lay a special emphasis on exclusive content which is accessible only on their platform. They also engage the users by highlighting other exclusive member only privileges.
As a part of their call to action, marketers ask users to register for a fifteen day/one-month free trial of the platform and limited access to the platform’s content. It offers several plans some of which are cheap enough for the customers of other platforms to switch to theirs.
A brand wants to promote a smartphone it has built especially for the selfie lovers. Here is how they can use the AIDA model in their promotional efforts:
The brand has an established social media presence and a large follower base which it uses to lay ads mentioning the release date of the smartphone and its main purpose.
Advertisements discuss the outstanding features that are a highlight of the latest model being promoted. Customers also get to learn about prices and various buying options.
The company launches a video campaign on social media channels demonstrating how the most crucial features of the product work and the type of results the customers can expect. The focus of the videos is the selfie camera and the outstanding quality of selfies it produces. It also highlights other technical features that affect the smartphone’s performance and make it a better choice for users.
Users are offered a link to buy the product from the company website and information related to other online and physical platforms where they can find the product.