- The AIDA model is one of the basic but crucial models used to develop effective advertising and marketing campaigns
- Different ways in which brands like CRED, Apple, Netflix, Adidas, and Nykaa have used the AIDA model
- In the era of digital marketing, the AIDA model is still relevant but is modified to suit digital tools and techniques.
Many a time we find an advertisement that influences us to search for the product. Often, we are attracted to the deals and discounts flashing on the app or a website. These well-thought-out Advertising and marketing strategies by the brands and are based on the famous yet simple AIDA model. AIDA stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. It illustrates the journey of a customer from getting to know the brand, product, or service to the time of purchasing or subscribing to the service. It was developed by an American Businessman named Elias St. Elmo Lewis. Every marketing strategist has a version of the AIDA model as it is an important blueprint that helps develop effective communication with the customers. (To know more about different strategies used by marketers, visit here)
The concept in the AIDA model is that it is essentially a purchase funnel. The customers at every stage trickle down. At the awareness or attention stage, there are a greater number of customers. By the time the action stage comes, there are very few numbers of customers who end up consuming the product or service. There is also the possibility of consumers jumping from one stage to the other and sometimes skipping stages. Example: A consumer can directly go from the Attention stage to the Action Stage of the AIDA model.
Advertising and marketing strategies by brand more or less follow the AIDA model but may have different versions or additional steps. One theory also adds in Retention after the Action step as activities that lead to retention of the customer have great value in this competitive world where brand switching is rampant. There are a lot of variations of the AIDA model as many marketers feel that the AIDA model is simple but they do believe that it forms a base for marketing communication and advertising strategies.
Stages of the AIDA Model:
The awareness stage is the most underrated stage of the AIDA model. This is the stage where the brand creates awareness and attracts the attention of its potential customers. It is the first interaction between the brand and the customer. The existence of a brand does not mean that the customers will know about it. The brands have to ensure they are making themselves visible to the customers. For this, they may take the help of traditional techniques like print advertisements or Tv, Radio advertisements. In today’s day and age involving social media handles like Instagram and Twitter is also crucial to create awareness. For example, many customers were unaware of CRED. CRED was founded in 2018 but people started recognizing it in 2021 when they made small advertisements with icons from the 90s. The most famous one was the one with Rahul Dravid and his famous ad “Indiranagar ka Gunda”.
After the awareness stage, comes the interest stage. Here communication is the key. It is extremely important that the message from the brand about their products and services is crisp and to the point. It should be formed in such a way that the consumer should be eager to start their research about this product. The message should encompass all that conveys to the consumer that their needs will be fulfilled and how the brand plans to fulfill them. For example: In all the advertisements shown by CRED they had a very simple message- “Download CRED and get a reward for paying your bills.” They spoke about their product and conveyed that rewards will be given if you pay your credit card bills. This simple message created a buzz and ensured that consumers went on to read about CRED and what all the app offered.
After the Awareness creation and Interest generation comes the desire stage. This is the stage when brands have to be very careful. Here the brand should take the opportunity to highlight the benefits or the Unique selling proposition of the product or service. What is that the brand is offering which is unique to them? For Example, CRED offers cred coins that can be used to earn rewards and cashback. They also use the tagline- “It pays to be good.” This creates the desire to download the app as the customers are now understanding how exactly CRED will benefit them and what they will get here which they will not get anywhere else.
Now the final stage where the customer buys the product or subscribes to the service has come. The customer has a positive idea about the brand and is convinced that the brand will benefit them and solve their problem. In the case of CRED, the customer is convinced that they will benefit from paying their credit cards bills on time if they do it through CRED. This is when they will download the app or register themselves. In general terms, brands may offer discounts or early bird offers to customers to expedite or confirm the buying process.
Brands that have used the AIDA model successfully:
a) When introducing the iPhone, Apple made use of the AIDA model with successful results.
- They announced that they will be launching something new, a product no one had seen before. This developed the awareness for the new product and expectations from Apple.
- Then Steve Jobs took the stage to create Interest. He explained what the product was and what are its salient features. This developed the interest among the customers.
- The desire stage was created when Steve Jobs explained to the customers how it would solve the problems they have with existing phones. Some problems or difficulties were that people wanted phones with no stylus, phones that ignored unintended touches, phones that were more accurate.
- The action part was strengthened when Jobs showed and used the phone on stage. This showed the customers that it was real and would actually benefit them. This also set iPhone apart from its competitors.
b) During the introduction of the Apple Watch, a similar approach was taken up by Apple.
- By this time the brand Apple was well established. They needed to just create curiosity about their new product. They simply put out an ad which said: “the watch is coming”. Without giving any details about the product they created intrigue among the customers about what the new launch could be. The buzz was created about if Apple was talking about a watch or something else.
- Interest in the apple watch was created when Tim Cook presented the apple watch with iPhone 6. The features and their varying band and body styles were explained to the customers.
- The Desire to purchase the product came with the focus of promotion of the watch shifting towards fitness. Along with the fitness features it was providing, the watch also had features where customers could talk and text through it. They explained how the watch would benefit them in monitoring their health and be multi-functional at the same time.
- The Action part is where Apple’s brand image comes into the picture as the brand very often uses the pre-booking method after the launch of the product to ensure a boost in sales.
When Netflix came to India, the biggest problem they faced was that Indians already had access to free and continuous content on various platforms with the majority of houses having cable connections. Netflix had to appeal to a new market and convince them to take up Netflix. This is how they used the AIDA model:
- To create awareness Netflix went the traditional way of outdoor advertising by placing huge posters of shows like Narcos, Friends, etc. They also had a few original shows under their banner like Sacred Games which they promoted.
- Interest was created by focusing on the youth population of India. Customers would see the 1 monthly free trial on their website which would create curiosity about other shows that were being featured on Netflix.
- After experiencing Netflix for a month, the desire to continue with Netflix would become stronger with the original documentaries, shows, multiple original web series, a large Hollywood and Bollywood movie collection, features like support for any device, personalized recommendations based on watching habits of viewers, high-resolution videos and much more.
- The action step would be achieved when Netflix offered multiple plans for subscriptions depending upon the pocket of the customer. The customer at this point is hooked to all that is being offered and converting the customer here becomes easier.
Being one of the most famous and established brands does not mean that they do not follow the AIDA model. In innovative ways, Adidas also uses the model in its marketing and advertising strategies.
- The main motive here is to show people how “cool” it is to own Adidas. To create awareness about their new product, they collaborate with famous people, especially with top-ranked athletes. The fan following of these athletes combined with the brand name Adidas is enough to create buzz around the new product and direct them to their website.
- To create interest, the website has words, phrases that are equally curiosity generating. Simple phrases like “see possibilities” to check new products work wonders as it connects the audience to the brand even more deeply. The brand also uses headings like “save up to 50%” and ” new” to attracts the customer’s interest.
- The celebrities and behind-the-scenes photos of the launch event are some things that keep the curiosity going. The exclusivity that the brand showcases is what the customer desires.
- Making a sale then becomes simpler for Adidas because of the superior quality and features of the product combined with the promotion of the idea “to be like your idols, Adidas is the right choice”.
The AIDA model in the Digital Era:
In the digital era, marketers have a lot more touchpoints with the customers. And in today’s day and age, the attention span of the customer has reduced drastically. With the availability of advertisement-free OTT content, skippable ads it is difficult to capture the customer’s attention. Here are some ways in which the advertising and marketing campaigns use the AIDA model in the digital medium:
- Attention: To create awareness and seek attention, techniques like Search engine optimization, Search engine marketing, paid advertisements, social media optimization, and more such tools are used. For example Nykaa an e-commerce website is known to use SEO to ensure it is the top search for keywords related to beauty and cosmetics.
- Interest: In a brick-and-mortar situation, generating interest is simpler after awareness is created. But to generate interest in digital marketing it is important that the customer is gaining something from it. To generate interest, the content being provided should be authentic. At this stage the customer is not aware of what the product is or how it will benefit them, so the more questions that are answered, the more knowledge about the product is shared, the more likely it is that the customer will click on the ad and visit the brand’s website. Nykaa does a lot of collaborations with beauty influencers who create content around products available on the Nykaa website/app. The influencers provide information about hair care and skin care and also curate lists that help customers relate to the problem and find the solution at the same time.
- Desire: In digital marketing, there are a lot more times that the customer leaves the website without making any purchase. To fuel desire, the content provided should be so engaging that the customer understands how it will solve their problem. The other way is when the customer sees the product on every platform they visit. They searched the product on a search engine and get pop-ups about it on every other social media website. This inevitably creates retention for the brand and the product. Nykaa products will pop up on Instagram, Facebook, games and their ads will be displayed more often on YouTube as well.
- Action: In the digital era, the end goal is still to earn revenue but the mode of earning may be different. Here the end goal could be subscribing to the YouTube channel or subscribing to the newsletter. Here the action is completed with CTA which is Call to action. The call to action can be a button that indicates “Buy Now” or it could be in the form of a mail in your inbox that reminds you of the products you left in your cart. On the Nykaa app, more than often the app will send notifications like “Your Cart misses you” to ensure the customer completes the action of “buying”.
AIDA Model is an effective model for advertising and marketing campaigns. It helps brands understand the psyche of the consumers while they make purchase decisions and helps brands develop their campaigns in accordance with the customer’s purchase behaviour. While developing campaigns marketers should follow the create awareness, interest, desire, and action model or a variation of this model to ensure successful conversion of the customer to the consumer.