How Useful is the AIDA Model for Marketing?

“MAAAA!!!” screamed Bulbul, “Look what Duldul has done!” Maya wondered what this kid has done and rushed to where the kids were. Duldul, the toddler, had a bottle of juice spilled in front of him. “How did this happen?” Maya asked. “I wanted him to drink the juice and pushed the bottle to his mouth but Duldul pushed it away and it broke.” Maya shook her head in exasperation and began cleaning it up. Lesson: Toddlers do not like anything pushed at them. Do adults?

Take the same toddler. Dangle a toy, a keychain, or some other trinket in front of his face and then hide it. Do it a couple of times. The third time the kid is going to lunge at it to grab it or most often grabs it and does not let go. Try to snatch it back, you get a godawful scream! Sound familiar? Lesson: Toddlers love getting curious and love immediate action to fulfil their desire! Don’t adults?

The essence of AIDA — attention, interest, desire, and action — is a model of life! Not just in marketing but this model is by far the most used model to deal with human beings by other human beings. Kangaroos do not sell us Coke or Apple, do they?

The AIDA model is based on curiosity and desire, the two very strong human emotion and mindset that has propelled the civilization toward what it is today since the days of hunter-gatherer!

The very best examples of AIDA models are the automobile companies. Do people buy bikes and cars for utilitarian compulsion or as aspirations? Cars, bikes, even bicycles, houses, flats, adventure travel, you name it, all have inherent AIDA model inbuilt in them. In fact, human civilization cannot exist or move without AIDA.

So what then is this AIDA that is being talked about in the marketing circles? Purportedly, this AIDA model was developed by an American businessman, E. St. Elmo Lewis, way back in 1898. Aaha! More than 100 years ago! The purpose was to optimize sales calls, specifically the interaction between seller and buyer concerning the product. His AIDA model can be perceived as an important legacy, because the formula is still used more than 100 years after its first appearance, for example in digital marketing.

1. Attract attention:

The product must attract the consumer’s attention. This is done via the advertising materials. It is a type of “eyecatcher.”

2. Maintain interest:

In the first phase, the attention of the potential customer is piqued; their interest in the product or service should be aroused.

3. Create desire:

If interest in the product is aroused, it is the seller’s task to persuade the customer that they want to own this product. In the best-case scenario, the advertisement or the product itself creates the desire to purchase.

4. Take action:

As soon as the desire to buy is aroused, this must be transferred into an action, that is, the purchase.

Nowadays, the AIDA formula is frequently supplemented with an “S” for “satisfaction” because the product has to ultimately satisfy the consumer. Customer satisfaction does not lie solely with the advertising but rather with the product itself.

Progenies of AIDA

The DAGMAR model appeared in 1961 as a descendant of the AIDA model. The DAGMAR model focuses more clearly on the communicative approach of advertising. The abbreviation “Dagmar” is taken from the title of the book “Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results” published by Russell H. Colley. However, it is now over 50 years old!

So are there new models developed based on the AIDA? A few are given below for information purpose only:

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

With the advent of social media, marketers have understood that business is no longer a relationship purely between the buyer and the company. Social media has extended it much beyond than just achieving the different goals of AIDA through information added by other customers directly to customers via social networks and communities.