Any business can place an ad out there to be seen. However, what differentiates good from great advertising practices is truly understanding the advertising and selling process. For instance, a consumer does not always see a product for the very first time and immediately go out and buy it. The consumer passes through a purchase decision process consisting of three steps: cognitive (learn), affective (feel), and behavioral (do). In other words, a popular model used to explain this process is the AIDA model.
So what does the AIDA model mean?
Before you can generate an action (purchase), above all your target must be aware of your product or service, be interested in it, and have a desire to purchase. Let’s take a look at each step in the AIDA model.
If your target is unaware of your offering then then how are they going to buy it? Therefore, your marketing messages should aim to generate as much awareness and attention as possible. If you’re providing a completely new product or service never seen by your target, you will need to develop awareness for a whole new set of consumer needs and wants. In other words, this may require multiple exposures to your ads for it to become effective. Therefore, a good rule of thumb for this is the 3 Exposure Hypothesis, which addresses the minimum number of times your target needs to see an ad for it to become effective. According to this, exposures will result in the following responses:
- Initial exposure: Generates the “What is this?” response.
- Second exposure: Generates the “Why is this significant?” response.
- Third exposure: Reinforces the information already learned.
To move a consumer from the Attention/Awareness stage to the Interest stage, your ads must use persuasive communication. In addition, some offerings may require you to inform them specifically of what it can do for them, and how it fulfills their needs and wants. Therefore, begin to think about possible promotions to stimulate extra interest in your offerings. In addition, choose something you think fits well with your product that best incentivizes consumers to purchase. Some options include:
What’s the difference between interest and desire you may ask? During the Interest stage a consumer sees a need for a product or service. After that, in the Desire stage they have moved past a need and began to really want it. For instance, promotions with strong, persuasive communication will feed into this desire. Also, during this stage begin to incorporate additional sales and marketing tactics such as direct marketing. In other words, tailor your messaging to influence your target. You want them to feel as if they can’t live without your offering.
We’re finally here! The action (purchase) itself. In addition, using salespeople and some type of sales promotion will help to initiate this purchase. These salespeople are often considered the final stimulant to the purchase. In conclusion, consistently moving consumers through the process to this stage will help you effectively introduce new offerings.