What is AIDA?
AIDA is an acronym that is used as a mnemonic for the four stages of the sales process (advertising psychology):
According to Abbreviationfinder, AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action and is a model that is used in marketing to describe the advertising effect . The AIDA model, also known as the AIDA principle or formula, was designed by Elmo Lewis, an American businessman, in 1898. In the following, the definitions of the individual levels of the AIDA principle, the possible uses and the criticism of the model are shown.
What does attention mean?
In the first step, a company wants to attract the potential customer’s attention. This is often achieved by means of an eye catcher. An eye-catcher can be anything that attracts the eye: a photo or something in a shop window, a poster with eye-catching lettering, a landing page with a cheeky slogan, a colored graphic – there are various options.
What does interest mean?
If you have attracted someone’s attention, the next step is to arouse interest in the product or service. This can be done through further statements and explanations by a seller personally or through advertising material . In the case of the latter, companies can work with flyers, photos or videos. It is important that the customer receives additional information or a message that they can remember.
What does Desire mean?
But interest alone is not enough to make a purchase. The potential customer must develop a desire to purchase the product or service. In order to evoke the customer’s wish, it is worthwhile to show the advantages of the product in a compact manner, for example with a few bullet points. A special focus can also be placed on the quality or price of the product. Emotionality is also possible – for example, you can show the customer how the product helps him to gain recognition or status or simply that it is a pleasure.
What does action mean?
The AIDA model is only complete when the customer has been convinced and is now actively taking action. This action can be buying an item in a store or clicking the order button on a website . It is crucial that this step leads to a conversion. In this phase, companies often convince online customers by means of retargeting. Retargeting, also known as remarketing, comes into play, for example, when the prospect visits the website one day informs the company about a product but does not make a purchase The company can then display targeted ads to such potential customers – with attractive advertising slogans or special offers – that induce them to click again. Often only after such retargeting does a conversion actually follow.
AIDA model – an example
Now that all levels of the AIDA model are known, the principle can be applied in practice. Let’s take a pair of sneakers as a product, which are now being advertised so that they will be sold in large numbers.
You walk to your platform at the train station and there are several posters on the platform by the benches. One of the posters catches your eye: A dark background with a neon-glowing sneaker, above it a large lettering. A cool contrast that makes you focus on the poster for a moment before your train pulls in and you board.
The next evening you spend some time on YouTube as usual. Before you can watch the next video, there is a commercial – the sneaker from the poster. In a few seconds it is shown that the sneaker is waterproof and ideal for jogging. At the end of the – unfortunately not skippable – advertisement follows the same lettering as on the poster. You might even remember it now.
When you are at the laptop a few days later, a display wraps you around your finger. Your favorite soccer player is promoting the shoe. In addition, the information appears that you will still benefit from a discount until the end of the month – and so you click on the ad.
With just two more clicks you have entered your shoe size and added the sneakers to your shopping cart. The mouse pointer hangs over the “Order now” button for a short second , but you know that you want the shoes. One last click and voila – this is how the AIDA model convinced you to buy a product.
Where can I also use AIDA?
The AIDA principle was originally developed for classic advertising. But the way products are marketed has changed. The AIDA model can also be used for social media advertising strategies – which posts have to be placed where in order to arouse the interest of the users and which call to actions ultimately lead them to act? Or the AIDA principle is also used in PR. Thus, measures and messages planned and their effects are analyzed according to the four steps of the model.
The extensions of the AIDA model
The AIDA model has also been further developed over time in order to cover as many steps of the sales process as possible.
There is the AIDAS model, which shows satisfaction as the last step. This means customer satisfaction , which the customer will hopefully feel after purchasing the product. The aim here is to find out whether the buyer’s need has been met and whether he might even buy another product from the same brand or from the same company.
The ADICAS model has gone one step further. The C stands for conviction, i.e. convincing the customer. This step is located between desire and action and wants to mean that the customer should be informed about the advantages of the product so that his purchase decision is positively influenced.
Advantages and disadvantages of AIDA
Despite its popularity, the AIDA model is not flawless. The AIDA formula suffers from the fact that it is strictly linear. The sales process is seldom a step-by-step process, and not every action, such as a poster or commercial, results in what the model might suggest. In addition, various channels are available to customers – online as well as offline – and so no clear separation of the individual levels is possible.
With the advent of social media, it is now possible to target customers by age group, region or interests. This development is not taken into account in the AIDA model. There is no distinction whatsoever between the target groups, as is customary in practice, if not absolutely necessary.
However, with its clearly presented process, AIDA is often used in marketing . Not least for creating a customer journey for a product or service, AIDA provides important clues that are logged in more detail in the customer journey .
The AIDA model is still used today to illustrate the sales process and to plan measures . AIDA is clear and contributes to a fundamental understanding of the sales process by simply showing the most important steps.