AIDA model is a marketing communication process which is used by marketers to make their target customers make a purchase or take the desired action. It starts with sending out a communication message (typically through advertising) and ends with the purchase of the product or any desired action.
The Need for AIDA Model
All forms of marketing communication have a twofold purpose. First, they seek to inform the target consumers about the product or service being marketed and second, they do so with the intention of moving the target consumers to show an interest in such products and services. This interest may or may not motivate the target consumers to purchase or procure the product and there are many other marketing and sales techniques that give potential customers that small push to spend their money in the marketer's or the seller's wares. In other words, a marketing communication is successful when it manages to grab target customers' attention in a way that piques the latter's interest in the product or service being marketed, followed by awakening a strong enough desire in the target audience for that commodity to want to take action to own it. This is the premise upon which the AIDA model of advertising and marketing communication is based.
The AIDA Model - Brief History and Details
AIDA is an acronym which expands into Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, the four tenets of successful marketing communication that we discussed in the introductory section above. The AIDA model specifically applies to advertising and is one of the most popular models of advertisement development. This concept saw its inception in the late 1890s when American advertising and sales pioneer Elias St. Elmo Lewis first broke down the process of hooking and reeling in target audiences into a four-step action plan. In his own words:
"The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader, so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement."
So, how does one go about each of these four aspects to get the desired outcome from an advertising campaign? Let's find out.
The first question an advertiser needs to ask and comprehensively answer is how to get the target audience's attention? Depending upon the product and the market segment for which it is meant, the marketer and/or the advertiser needs to come up with a campaign mix which effectively engages the right senses of the target segment.
Now, in order to fashion a campaign such that it optimizes the creative efforts and resources so as to hit bull's eye with the audience, an advertiser must also find out exactly what kind of message, media or channel of communication, and genre or format of advertising would be most suited to touch a chord with them. For instance, if you are marketing a sports equipment, besides the images of the equipment, you might want to imbibe the terms and jargons (if any) that are specific to that particular sport. Similarly, when advertising a financial product, it's a good idea to use the slice-of-life advertising format showing a case-study kind of scenario where a customer switched from one policy/plan to another and how that benefits him.
After making sure the attention-grabbing part of the campaign is in place, a savvy advertiser must now focus on how to keep the audience engaged to the advertisement's message or communication. This is important because attention alone is not sufficient to convert a prospect. The audience's interest needs to be roused so that they feel the need to understand the communication and inquire more about the product. In order to elicit interest from the audience, advertisers must focus on the target segment's needs from the particular product or service.
So you've hooked the audience once you've got the above 2 points right. Now, you need to slowly reel them in. Remember, a hooked fish can still wriggle out and escape so you need to do the reeling in with equal care and dexterity to have your target audience right where you want them - asking for more. At the point in the campaign where the audience's interested in the product is tapped, the advertiser must talk about the features and benefits of the product and map these features and benefits with the audience's needs. Everyone likes their problems solved and needs fulfilled and a communication which focuses on this s always most likely to tap the audience's interest and make them want the product.
The last stage of an AIDA model of advertisement campaign is for the advertiser to make a call for action to the audience. It may be a call to purchase the product, take a trial, collect samples, etc. This last bit explicitly nudges the audience to get up and go to the retailer, stockist, or service provider and make an offer to procure it against payment. The advertiser can include details of procurement methods and offers (for example, details of loans and installments, etc., which may be availed to purchase the product) as well as details about its availability status (already launched, coming soon, retail partners, etc.). Information about product guarantee/warranty, newsletter subscription for regular updates, privacy policies, etc., should be given at this point.
The AIDA model is as simple and straightforward as can be. The rules are clear, the steps are in rational order, and there is hardly any room for guessing or fumbling for an advertiser. These factors make it one of the most practical models on which to fashion an advertising campaign. Its simplicity and clarity of execution are its biggest strengths, making the AIDA model a popular choice among advertisers and campaign designers.