If you’ve ever been motivated to take action due to an advertisement, you’ve likely been influenced by a technique called “AIDA.” AIDA stands for “Attention, Interest, Desire, Action” and it’s a tried-and-true process is used by marketers to entice prospects to make a purchase or take a desired action. The technique is commonly used in advertising vehicles such as television commercials, website copy and direct mail pieces.
The AIDA Model identifies cognitive stages an individual goes through during the buying process for a product or service. It’s a purchasing funnel where buyers go to and fro at each stage, to support them in making the final purchase.
It’s no longer a relationship purely between the buyer and the company, since social media has extended it to achieving the different goals of AIDA via information added by other customers via social networks and communities.
The attention portion of the marketing message occurs at the beginning and is designed to give the prospects a reason to take notice. Presenting a shocking fact or statistic that identifies a problem which can be solved by the product or service is one common method of gaining attention. Other methods can include asking a thought-provoking question or using the element of surprise. Visual elements, like an unexpectedly elegant design, loud colors or sudden motion, can also be good attention-grabbers. The purpose is to give the prospects a reason for wanting to learn more.
Initial attention-grabbers work for a moment or two, but your potential customer needs a reason to stay engaged. Once you’ve gained the prospects’ attention, the next step is to maintain interest in your product or service. Explain to the recipients how the problem you’ve identified in the attention step is adversely affecting their lives. A demonstration or illustration can help the recipients to further identify with the problem and want to actively seek possible solutions. By personalizing the problem, you’re making it hit closer to home.
In the desire stage, your objective is to show the prospects how your product or service can solve their problem. Explain the features of the product or service and the related benefits and demonstrate how the benefits fulfill the need. A common advertising process is the “before and after” technique, such as when a cleaning product makes a soiled item look brand new. Advertisers often use the suggestion of a better life (better health, better wealth, better romance) as a means of keeping would-be clients engaged. If done effectively, the prospects should now have the desire to make a purchase.
Now that you’ve created the desire to make a purchase, the final step is to persuade the prospects to take immediate action. In a one-on-one sales process, this is the time to ask for the sale. In the advertising world, techniques involve creating sense of urgency by extending an offer for a limited time or including a bonus of special gift to those who act within a specific time frame. Providing a phone number to call, a website to visit, or a digital button to click on gives prospective customers a clear and easy next step towards making a purchase. Without a specific call to action, the prospect may simply forget about your offer and move on.