AIDA is a marketing model that helps identify the stages a customer goes through during the process of buying a product or service.

What Is the AIDA Model?

AIDA is a marketing model that helps identify the stages a customer goes through during the process of buying an item or service. Marketers using AIDA can break down the customer journey and focus on each stage with a tailored marketing strategy and approach. Although the marketing and advertising world has evolved since AIDA was first introduced, it has stood the test of time and remains an effective model for marketing and advertising professionals. 

What Is AIDA?

AIDA Stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Each component reflects a different stage in the customer’s journey.

Attention: The first interaction between a customer and a brand presents an opportunity to gain attention. You are introducing people to your product or service; think of ways to stand out and make an impact.

Interest: Once you have the attention of an interested potential customer, you should maintain their interest. This is the point where you share your unique selling point. What pain points does your product solve? How is it different? Why should people buy it?

Desire: Once the potential customer is very interested in your product or service, you have to invoke their desire to buy. At this stage, do whatever you can to make the customer feel they can’t do without your product. For instance, you can run campaigns that associate the product with better well-being or improved lifestyle, depending on what you’re selling.

Action: Finally, it is time to make people take action. This is your opportunity to close the deal, and you should make it a straightforward process. The aim should be to let people purchase as quickly as they can. 

AIDA in Marketing

AIDA acts more like a point of reference in marketing. You can consider it a checklist that you’ll need to follow to ensure that your business is on the right track for conversions.

How to Attract Attention?

For the Attention stage, your focus should be to increase brand awareness. For this purpose, you can create eye-catching content through a digital PR campaign, outreach, or billboard advertising. The goal here is to stand out in the eyes of a potential customer. 

How to Maintain Interest?

You can promote the specific qualities of your product or service to maintain interest. For example, you can talk about the features it has and the solutions it provides. List down the key elements that set your product or service apart and make it stand out in the target market. Be it product descriptions, blog posts, guides, or social media posts; the content should gain and maintain interest. 

How to Evoke Desire?

Desire plays a big role in how you craft a content plan. By maintaining interest, you know your customer wants the product, but the Desire stage is where you prove that they need it. You can spark this element with the tone of voice and content copy. Understand that your target audience is important for every stage of your AIDA plan and especially at this stage. Creating an emotional connection with the buyer is the best way to spark their desire to buy. 

How to Encourage Action?

In the final stage of the method, you should encourage people to take action as soon as possible. There is no guarantee of sale until you succeed in selling the product. A long and complicated checkout process can make the customer frustrated and leave the checkout. You should add CTAs that focus on creating urgency and even offer a deal that saves people money if they buy immediately. CTAs like ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Go to Checkout’ are great examples of action.  

AIDA - Glossary 1

Drawbacks of AIDA

Like any marketing model, AIDA isn’t perfect. If you’re going to use this model for your business, make sure to consider its shortcomings. AIDA:

Doesn't Consider Nonlinear Buying Journeys

AIDA does a good job of explaining a linear buying process that leads to a purchase decision. However, all purchase decisions are not linear. A potential buyer might be very interested in your product or service but ultimately choose another solution, returning to the original one only if their needs were not met. Moreover, someone may also wish to have a solution before they are aware of it and go ahead with the purchase (they experienced Desire and Action before Attention and Interest).

Is Limited to First-Time Purchases

AIDA is limited to first-time purchases. Some companies try to align with marketing funnels like AIDA, but it is a mistake. Funnels put customers as output when they should be situated in the center of a growth strategy. It is easier to sell to or retain an existing customer than to acquire a new customer. Moreover, making customers happy can earn you testimonials, referrals, and more attention as a brand. AIDA does not consider this, which is why other models work for a holistic business strategy. 

Doesn't Help When You Focus on One Stage

When you use a sales funnel for one particular aspect of your business rather than a wholesome strategy, you can be tempted to pick one element of AIDA and use it for one campaign. For example, you can think: This post will receive attention from people and only focus on getting attention. In reality, a blog post should attract awareness, create interest, and make people take action before leaving your website.

 In short, marketing should walk a customer through multiple levels of AIDA and then prompt the user to purchase or at least put an item on a wish list.

Can Be Overly Simple

AIDA is very effective in conceptualizing the purchase journey of a customer when they experience different marketing collateral. However, AIDA might also be too simplistic in creating the stages of a buying process. Today’s buyers have more time and information at their disposal to take action if they want to buy something.