You are a marketing manager working for a trusted brand. With a given budget, you are expected to develop a holistic marketing communications plan for your company and its range of products and services. You looked at your key initiatives and thrusts, and have decided on the anchor products and key brand messages to be promoted. You hired a marketing & Communications agency and implemented an innovative and creative campaign. There’s a lot of eyeballs and talk-about factor for your campaign. However, you find it difficult to justify the return of investment, and whether your efforts have contributed to the success of the bottom line.
Your boss asked about the likes coming from the influencers’ posts and questioned about the sales coming from this channel.
You are at a loss of words, unsure how to reply to your top management's queries.
A lot of business owners and management team failed to understand that consumers go through a AIDA flow when it comes to the consumer decision making process. Similar to the 5 Step consumer decision making process ( Need Recognition, Information Search, Evaluation of Criteria, Purchase, Post Purchase), AIDA is an acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.
The AIDA model is widely used in marketing and advertising to describe the steps or stages that occur from the time a consumer first becomes aware of a product or brand through to when the consumer trials a product or makes a purchase decision.
In essence, the AIDA model proposes that advertising messages need to accomplish a number of tasks in order to move the consumer through a series of sequential steps from brand awareness to purchase.
Attention – The consumer becomes aware of a category, product or brand ( usually through advertising)
Interest – The consumer becomes interested by learning about brand benefits and how the brand fits with their lifestyle.
Desire – The consumer develops a favourable disposition towards the brand.
Action – The consumer forms a purchase intention, shops around, engages in trial or makes a purchase.
If you are working on a new brand, product category or product or services, your advertising activities simply revolve around gaining attention. People start to recognise your new brand, logo, brand imageries with not much interest and desire. They simply become aware of your brand. So it is difficult to assume that consumers will proceed on to the action stage immediately within a short period of time. This is why it is wrong to assume that sales will come in immediately after an IG post by a popular influencer, jingles are heard on national radio stations, or eyeballs registered from a gigantic billboard in a prominent outdoor site.
It is wishful thinking to assume that advertising results in immediate responses from our audience. More often than not, consumers must be exposed to a brand messages at least 3 times to register the information and will take a lot of more affective and emotional engagement with the brand to have interests and desire. Similar to making close friends, we are interested in their lives after spending time and effort in knowing one another better. It takes a while to build trust, relationship and goodwill.
Desire is the philosopher’s stone of brands. If companies can create true desirability for their brands, customers will not only be loyal, they will also act as brand champions. Brand desire is a powerful motivating force that outstrips needs and wants and sometimes encourages people to go to surprising lengths to buy an object or experience. Some of the big brands like Apple, Samsung, Starbucks, Coke, Nike possess strong brand desirability.
Once you have passed the interest and desire stage, you have a group of customers with a strong purchase intention. This is a good sign as the chance of buying is extremely high at this stage. In the case of online shops, this would ultimately be the shopping cart process, in which a customer is lead to a conversion. The customer can be encouraged to buy the product with a call-to-action. In a shop front environment, be sure to ensure that the touch points and customer service are handled well, so the entire purchase experience can be seamless and smooth.
So, the next time when you are questioned on results; be sure to bring up the AIDA concept. Every campaign has its own objectives. If brand awareness is the key focus, then the outcomes will mostly be increasing brand awareness and category understanding. People are aware of the products or services, however, that does not mean they will be interested to buy yet. Only when a strong interest and desire have been cultivated among your target audience, then a purchase action is possible. Often, the whole process could take as short as a month, to as long as 5-6 months, or even a year, depending on other factors.