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AIDA marketing model

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

The AIDA marketing model is a marketing, advertising and sales approach methodology designed to provide insight into the customer's mind and represent the steps needed to cultivate leads and generate sales.

The AIDA model was introduced by businessman Elias St. Elmo Lewis in the late 19th century. As an acronym, AIDA breaks down into the steps required for successful marketing: Attention, Interest, Desire (or, in some variations, Decision) and Action. The AIDA marketing model is a cornerstone of modern marketing, to the extent that missing one step is thought to almost guarantee an unsuccessful result.

The four stages of AIDA include:

Attention - To make customers aware of offerings, a marketer needs to catch their attention and notice or take in visual media. Various approaches are implemented to get the attention of potential customers, like the placement of an ad in an unusual but noticeable place. Personalized messages, like those used in one-to-one marketing, are harder to ignore than generic proposals. Shock value advertising, such as the use of graphic images, also garners attention by provoking sharp emotional reactions.

Interest – Customer interest must be piqued and held long enough to gain information about the product. One approach to maintaining interest is presenting concise and well-paced information, delivered by an interesting character, voice actor or mascot.

Desire (or Decision) –  Desire is often built up by selling on a product's features, showing superiority over similar products and demonstrating versatility. Essentially, this is the presentation of a product or service's value proposition, the compelling benefits that induce a consumer to select this particular offering, leading to the decision to purchase.

Action – If the customer has come this far, there is interest. The final step is closing the sale and convincing the customer to act on interest, which may involve overcoming objections and making a call to action (CTA). In the CTA, a product may start at a higher price that will be lowered, often to a third of the original. Products might be offered two-for-one and/or with free shipping. Improving the perceived value can motivate the undecided customer. However, if the other steps are performed well, the customer should be left with a lasting positive impression of the product even if they choose not to purchase.

This was last updated in October 2017

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