Back in 1896, the American Elmer Levinson came up with the AIDA model. He used this selling model for his advertising agency in Philadelphia. And thanks to this it has gained great popularity. Among his clients were leaders from various industries. And Elmer Levinson hardly suspected that the AIDA model would remain relevant more than a hundred years later. She is still looked to for inspiration by copywriters, agencies, marketers, and managers around the world. In this article, you will learn what AIDA is marketing and how to increase sales with it. Get ready, there will be a lot of information.
What is AIDA
The AIDA model is a sales technique that has stood the test of time and millions of advertising campaigns. It is able to effectively influence the consumer, turning the audience into buyers and regular customers. The classic AIDA formula consists of 4 sales stages, where:
It is in these four planes that this model works. If you depict it in the form of a diagram, then you get a sales funnel in the form of an inverted triangle.
Often this technique is found as AIDA (S), where S (Satisfaction) is satisfaction. In fact, this is an update to the classic model, designed to provide a loyal customer base. Accordingly, work is underway here to create word of mouth, so beloved by entrepreneurs. You don’t have to pay for advice to friends and acquaintances. Accordingly, for this stage, the task is to create a sense of satisfaction from the purchase.
There is also the abbreviation AID (M) A, where M (motivation) is the motivation to buy. Usually, at this stage of sales, a motivator trigger is placed, which unwittingly makes the consumer decide to buy.
How the AIDA model works
The principle of operation of this technique is extremely simple: to capture the attention of a potential buyer, to interest him in a commercial proposal, to form a desire to complete a deal and urge to do it.
Thus, the AIDA model is based on human psychology. At all stages of sales, marketers skillfully place sales triggers and use cognitive biases. This is to stimulate the audience to go down as low as possible in the sales funnel. Accordingly, 4 stages are 4 tasks:
- A (attention) – make a potential buyer pay attention to your ad;
- I (interest) – to interest the consumer with a unique selling proposition;
- D (desire) – to form a desire to own a product;
- A (action) – push to the desired action, or rather, to make a purchase.
The AIDA model in marketing is aimed at buying through the psychological patterns of a person, but not based on the needs of consumers. Therefore, advertising by AIDA motivates for targeted action through positive emotions. It is important to ensure that the potential customer feels like the owner of the product after meeting him. According to the AIDA formula, only after getting to know the product does the buyer want to get in touch with the seller.
After presenting himself as the owner of some good even for a moment, a person seeks to acquire it. And he will do it, because now this benefit is absent, and you are just giving the opportunity to purchase a product or service. Then the “warmed up” user finds a contact, pays for the product, and receives satisfaction from the purchase.
Follow a strict sequence. Ignoring or neglecting one stage of the sale harms the integrity of the technique.
AIDA sales are effective only if the model works for the target audience. Therefore, such advertising is preceded by a thorough formation of a portrait of the target audience. Targeted advertising to help.
AIDA: pros and cons
The indisputable advantages of the AIDA model are traditionally considered:
- Versatility and simplicity in all areas of marketing – even a novice marketer is able to build sales based on a formula;
- Gives results in a short time – relevant for the FMCG segment ;
- It is easy to track the effectiveness of each stage of sales – for this, it is enough to determine the key metrics and KPIs at each stage;
- Opens up the scope for advertising creativity: each stage is a different task. For example, to attract attention, creatives are created that boggle the imagination. And the call to action includes not only end-of-life sales but also the multiplication of lead generation. The combination of all kinds of triggers and slogans allows you to experiment, and therefore constantly develop in the right direction;
- The results speak volumes about what works well in the marketing strategy and where there are areas for growth.
As you know, not everything is perfect, and here AIDA is no exception. The AIDA technique has several disadvantages:
- More than a century of AIDA aging is great. But over time, even proven methods become outdated and ineffective;
- The AIDA model is not suitable for those companies that sell expensive goods or are intended for a narrow circle of people.
Where is the AIDA model used?
If your company needs to increase conversions, sales volumes, or generate demand, then refer to the AIDA formula. AIDA advertising is relevant in the following marketing segments and tools:
- direct sales with a short decision-making cycle – for example, in the retail sector ;
- in sales through a call center;
- copywriting – this strategy essentially looks like a ready-made plan for an ad or other material;
- network marketing;
- in the advertising industry, creatives, directors, and screenwriters create promotional materials just using this sales technique.
AIDA formula in advertising
Now let’s look at how the AIDA model works in practice. As mentioned above, it is important to follow a strict sequence. It all starts with attracting attention.
So, the first stage A is attention. It is not so easy to attract the attention of a user or a bystander today. The reason is the abundance of information. Every day, hundreds, if not thousands of advertisements are dumped on a person. There is even a point of view that all companies and media resources are fighting not for traffic and the number of transactions, but for consumers’ time.
If there is attention, there will be leads, deals, and conversions. No attention – no traffic and sessions, and therefore no sales. The ubiquitous “banner blindness” is also affected here. This refers to the type of user behavior due to which users do not notice advertisements or similar blocks. This suggests that the audience tends to ignore the ad content.
Therefore, advertising agencies and companies are faced with the daunting task of getting attention. However, there are many ways for marketers and entrepreneurs to conquer audience time and, therefore, generate sales:
- A defiant headline – make a bold statement, use pretty numbers, and ask a weird or funny question. A person subconsciously looks for an answer to any question. Remember that it has to work for the target audience. It is important that the headline evokes emotion in the consumer;
- A spectacular and colorful picture is a simple and proven way to attract attention;
- Unusual shape, animation, non-standard color scheme distinguish your advertisement favorably against the rest;
- Advertising in an unexpected place – on the ceiling, escalator, hot air balloon, car, underfoot – in general, wherever the target audience does not expect to see the ad;
- Sometimes sounds, unusual POS materials, and even smells are used.
Warming up interest
Congratulations, you managed to capture a few minutes of a busy user, now it’s up to his next step. After attracting attention, the advertising model of AIDA begins to heat up interest.
Interest in AIDA sales is what follows attention. Accordingly, for a copywriter in an advertising article, these are paragraphs after the headline, and for a landing page, the screens below. Marketers agree that the following methods are best for heating interest:
- targeting audience problems and solving with the help of the promoted product;
- a description of the benefits of the product or service;
- focus on differences from competitors.
The stage of interest subconsciously forms the desire to purchase a product, and it is necessary to strengthen it.
Try to make the prospect feel like the owner of the product. This will help:
- Demonstration of a product or service in action;
- The creation of a limit on the number of goods and the timing of the promotion is a strong psychological trigger;
- Motivation with options and benefits at no cost – it can be free shipping or trial version, discount or related product as a gift;
- Additional description of the advantages – listing of guarantees, interesting facts about the company in the form of “20 years on the market” or “More than 10,000 clients have trusted us”. This clears up most of the objections.
Push to buy
So, the potential client is “ripe” and mentally ready to buy. The easiest thing left is to call to action. The appeal must be clearly articulated. Be sure to indicate what the consumer needs to do in order to purchase the product: order a trial batch, place an online order, subscribe to the newsletter, and so on.
AIDA Sales Technique
And here you need to go over all the stages of the AIDA advertising model again. And this is where the versatility of the AIDA formula comes into play because many triggers and motivators can be placed at all stages of the sale.
And if above we reviewed the methods for each stage, now we will focus on the methods and techniques of sales for each link of AIDA.
- Attention. Creative and unusual ads aren’t the only way to get attention. Also, the technique with the announcement of discounts and promotions, for example, generous discounts or special offers, works well. It has been proven time and again to drive sales;
- Interest. As a rule, the second stage of AIDA sales tells about the company or the promoted product. They also place blocks from the category “Why should you buy it right now and not regret it”;
- Desire. Here, the AIDA technique assumes that the marketer will again point out the customer’s real problems and point out a solution. Make the customer aware of the changes in life after purchasing the product. Use positive emotions;
- Action. At the final stage of sales, a call is placed to perform the targeted action. It is this stage that accumulates previous efforts and turns the user into a client.
How to apply the AIDA model
You need to apply the AIDA model step by step. First, decide on your target audience. Then, as you create your promotional materials, answer a series of questions for each stage of your AIDA sales:
- How can you draw attention to a product in your industry?
- How do others do it?
- What will it take to create creatives?
- Form of communication: will it be a selling text, a separate landing page, outdoor, display, or contextual advertising leading to the landing page?
- How is your product/service different from others?
- What changes will happen if the consumer makes a purchase?
- What values does the company transmit and which of them should be reflected in an advertising campaign? How does this help in promoting the product?
- How will the consumer feel when they receive the product?
- What problems and topical unresolved issues does the client have and how will the company help in solving them?
- Where should you place triggers and sales scripts at each stage?
- How will a customer make a purchase? What does he need for the targeted action?
Use this knowledge to improve your marketing strategy. The AIDA technique is still relevant due to its efficiency and ease of use. AIDA sales are not aimed at identifying needs but are designed to work with a ready-made target audience. Remember, it is designed to persuade you to make a purchase. Do not violate the integrity of this sales technique and increase your sales.