AIDA Model

The Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action model in advertising

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What is the AIDA Model in Marketing?

The AIDA Model, which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action model, is an advertising effect model that identifies the stages that an individual goes through during the process of purchasing a product or service. The AIDA model is commonly used in digital marketing, sales strategies, and public relations campaigns.

AIDA Model in Marketing (Diagram)

The AIDA Model Hierarchy

The steps involved in an AIDA model are:

  • Attention: The first step in marketing or advertising is to consider how to attract the attention of consumers.
  • Interest: Once the consumer is aware that the product or service exists, the business must work on increasing the potential customer’s interest level.

For example, Disney boosts interest in upcoming tours by announcing stars who will be performing on the tours.

  • Desire: After the consumer is interested in the product or service, then the goal is to make consumers desire it, moving their mindset from “I like it” to “I want it.”

For example, if the Disney stars for the upcoming tour communicate to the target audience about how great the show is going to be, the audience is more likely to want to go.

  • Action: The ultimate goal is to drive the receiver of the marketing campaign to initiate action and purchase the product or service.

Therefore, the AIDA model says that Awareness leads to Interest, which leads to Desire, and finally, Action.

Let us consider ways to use the AIDA model by looking into each part of the hierarchy.

First Step: Attention

Often, the attention part is overlooked by many marketers. It is assumed that the product or service already got the attention of the consumers – which may or may not be the case. In any event, don’t just assume that everyone is already aware of your product. One of the best approaches to attracting consumer attention is what’s called “creative disruption” – breaking existing patterns of behavior through a highly creative message. This can be done in several ways:

  • Placing advertisements in unexpected situations or locations. This is often referred to as guerrilla marketing.
  • Creating shock in advertisements through provocative imagery.
  • An intensely targeted message. This is also referred to as personalization.

Essentially, the goal is to make consumers aware that a product or service exists.

Second Step: Interest

Creating interest is generally the hardest part. For example, if the product or service is not inherently interesting, this can be very difficult to achieve. Make sure that advertising information is broken up and easy to read, with interesting subheadings and illustrations. Focus on what is most relevant for your target market in relation to your product or service, and on conveying only the most important message you want to communicate to consumers.

A good example of this is Wendy’s “Where’s the beef?” ad campaign that focused on the fact that Wendy’s hamburgers contained more beef than their competitors’ hamburgers.

Third Step: Desire

The second and third steps of the AIDA model go together. As you are hopefully building interest in a product or service, it is important that you help customers realize why they “need” this product or service.

Think about how the content in infomercials is presented – they aim to provide interesting information on the product, along with the benefits of buying it – benefits that ideally make consumers want the product more and more. Infomercials do this extremely well by showing the product being used in several creative situations. Convey to the audience the value of the product or service, and why they need it in their life.

Fourth Step: Action

The last step of the AIDA model is getting your consumer to initiate action. The advertisement should end with a call to action –  a statement that is designed to get an immediate response from the consumer. For example, Netflix uses persuasive text to convince the consumer to try their free trial. Netflix communicates how convenient their product is and highlights its value, then urges consumers to sign up for a free trial.

Good advertising should elicit a sense of urgency that motivates consumers to take action RIGHT NOW. One commonly used method for achieving this goal is making limited-time offers (such as free shipping).

New Developments in the AIDA Model

Many criticize the AIDA model for being too simplistic. For example, the AIDA model does not take into consideration different possible points of sale. Marketing will be very different for a customer visiting an online store than it is for a customer looking to purchase a new car at a dealership. Therefore, there are many variations of the AIDA model such as the:

  • AIDCAS (Action, Interest, Desire, Confidence, Action, Satisfaction) model
  • REAN (Reach, Engage, Activate, and Nurture) model
  • NAITDASE (Need, Attention, and Interest; Trust, Design, and Action; Satisfaction and Evaluation) model

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