The AIDA Model Explained: What Is It & How to Use It?

AIDA ModelThis is an in-depth guide to the AIDA Model.

In this guide you’re going to find out:

  • What is the AIDA model?
  • What are the AIDA model stages?
  • How to use AIDA in marketing effectively?
  • What are other AIDA model variants?
  • AIDA model examples.
  • And so much more.

So, let’s get right into it.

What Is the AIDA Model?

The AIDA model is one of the class models (known as the hierarchy of effects models or hierarchical models), that includes a series of steps or stages that consumers move through when they make purchase decisions.

The model was originally used to help explain how ads and marketing communications become engaging to prospects and how customers discern between brands to make an ultimate buying decision.

The AIDA model then describes the necessary number of tasks that are required to move a customer from the awareness stage to the very action that leads to a conversion.

What Does AIDA Stand for?

What Is AIDA

AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action describing the customer journey throughout the sales process. It is a marketing model that traces a customer’s journey from the initial contact to when they finally make a purchase.

AIDA is one of the most classic marketing models that analyze and measure the customer’s journey from ignorance to purchase.

It has been around since the late 19th century and it belongs to the ‘hierarchy of effects modelalso known as the ‘hierarchical models,’ which imply consumers move through a series of steps when making a purchasing decision.

Hierarchical models have dominated the advertising and marketing industry. But, the AIDA model is widely used.

This model is built on the assumption that every buyer passes cognitive (thinking processes) and affective (feelings or emotional steps), which eventually culminate in a behavioral outcome which is the actual purchase.

However, over the years, it has undergone different changes and modifications.

In some variants, Attention is replaced with Awareness and Desire with Decision.

What Is the Purpose of the AIDA Model?

The main purpose of the AIDA marketing model is that it helps to identify the main stages that the consumer has to go through during the buying process of a product or service.

This is also referred to as a purchase funnel or sales funnel where buyers go through each stage to make the final purchase.

Why Is AIDA Important?

The AIDA model shows how to lead people through a logical process that hooks them, gets them interested, makes them want it, then prompts actions to close the deal.

Going through these steps in order is one of the best ways to convince someone to buy a product, buy a service, or just take any other action.

Who Created the AIDA Model?

The AIDA model was developed in 1898 by E. St. Elmo Lewis in an attempt to explain how personal selling works.

In one of his advertising publications, Lewis suggested three principles to which an advertisement should adhere to for it to be considered a successful advertisement:

  • Attract attention
  • Maintain interest
  • Create desire
  • Later, he added a new phase called get action.

Here’s how E. St. Elmo Lewis explained these principles:

The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement.

However, AIDA use wasn’t solely confined to advertising.

Originally developed for structuring sales negotiations, Lewis’ formula was soon applied in all areas of marketing.

Even today, AIDA is one of the best-known models of advertising research.

The AIDA Model Stages

The AIDA marketing model has four stages: Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. These four stages show how to funnel consumers towards a purchase.

In simple words, it helps them to know the product, like the product, and finally – purchase the product.

Here’s how each stage of the AIDA model works:

  1. Attention – Attract the consumer’s attention to your product or service.
  2. Interest – Increase consumer interest in your product or service
  3. Desire – Make the consumer want your product or service.
  4. Action – Initiate an action for the consumer to buy your product or service.

Let’s look at each stage in more detail.

Stage #1: Attention

Attention Stage

The attention stage is the first phase of the buyer’s journey.

What Is Attention in AIDA?

Attention is the process of making potential customers aware of your business and the service or product your offer.

During the attention stage, it’s a common thing that prospective consumers have already identified a problem, they’re already trying to understand it, and are looking for possible solutions to solve it.

This is where your business should come.

In the attention stage, your main goal should be to get attention from the potential consumer to your products or services that would help them solve their problems.

Which Marketing Strategies Can Be Attributed to the Attention Stage?

To the attention stage can be attributed these marketing strategies:

  • TV commercials
  • SEO
  • PPC advertising
  • Video ads
  • Social media advertising
  • Word of mouth marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Affiliate marketing
  • And so much more…

Stage #2: Interest

Interest Stage

Once a lead has converted from the attention phase, they enter the interest stage.

What Is Interest in AIDA?

Interest is the process when a potential customer has already noticed your product or service, but there is still needed to generate interest in the benefits of your products or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further about it.

In the interest phase, he’s trying to learn more about the company, its products or services, and any other helpful information about it.

At this point, your main goal is to increase consumer interest levels in your product or service.

You can do this by creating a consistent brand voice and message that your target audience can relate to, and sharing it through various marketing channels.

Which Marketing Strategies Can Be Attributed to the Interest Stage?

Here are some of the marketing strategies that can be attributed to the interest stage:

  • Email Marketing
  • Chatbot marketing
  • Retargeting campaigns
  • Social Media accounts
  • Webinars
  • And so on

Stage #3: Desire

Desire Sage

The desire (in some cases it might be called decision) is the third stage of the sales funnel.

What Is Desire in AIDA?

Desire is when the consumer is already interested in your product or service and you’re trying to make them desire it, moving their mindset from “I like it” to “I want it.”

This phase aims to help the customer to decide whether to buy your product or service.

In this stage, the potential customers reach the point where they are persuaded to commit.

This is where they decide that they really want to be your customer.

Not only have you caught their attention and got them interested in your brand, but they’re also actually considering making a purchase.

At this point, your main goal should be to persuade a potential customer to want to own your product.

In some best-case scenarios, an advertisement alone can create the desire to purchase.

However, in most cases, they will need to get more information about your product. They’re going to be looking for how well your offer fits within their budget, their current business model, and what kind of outcomes they can expect.

This is also where they look for customer reviews and testimonials and look for affirmation for the decision they are about to make.

Which Marketing Strategies Can Be Attributed to the Desire Stage?

The desire (decision) stage can be attributed to these marketing strategies:

  • Testimonials
  • Pricing
  • Detailed presentation of product features
  • Pricing pages
  • Product comparison pages
  • Reviews
  • Live demos and tutorials
  • Free trials
  • And so on

Stage #4: Action

Action Stage

Action is the final of the buying process.

What Is Action in AIDA?

Action is the process when the prospect decides to take the action necessary to become a customer. The purchasing process should finally take place at this stage.

This phase usually occurs naturally if your prospects have been carried through the first three stages (Attention, Interest, and Desire) and responded to it appropriately.

After properly nurturing the prospect they should be ready to take action and buy your product or service.

It’s now time for the desire to translate into a purchase.

This is where you close the deal – and you want that to be a simple, straightforward process.

Which Marketing Strategies Can Be Attributed to the Action Stage?

  • Call-to-Action (CTA) buttons
  • Special offers
  • Follow-up email campaigns
  • And so on

AIDA Model in Marketing

AIDA formula guides marketers on how to reach and connect with their prospects, engage them, activate activities your potential customer is required to take, and finally nurture a customer into making a purchase.

This model is universal.

You can apply it to different businesses, including service-based ventures, in various industries.

This model can be used by:

  • Copywriters focusing on promotional takes that encourage readers to take immediate action.
  • Commercial developers and designers who want their ads to prompt a viewer to take advantage of the product promoted or order/enroll for a particular service.
  • Managers and salespeople who are are eager to interest their audience.
  • B2B entrepreneurs and marketers who are looking for long-term contracts and business relationships with clients.
  • And so on.

How to Effectively Use the AIDA Model in Marketing?

AIDA marketing model can be used for all types of digital marketing and offline advertising materials.

These include web pages, emails, paid advertisements, direct mail pieces, and even radio and TV ads.

The AIDA model works best when it’s viewed as a checklist to run through.

AIDA Modeal in Marketing

Here’s how to effectively use AIDA formula in your marketing campaigns:

  1. Attract attention. Make your potential consumer become aware of your brand or specific product.
  2. Generate interest. Engage consumers with your product by generating interest in the benefits of your product or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further.
  3. Make them desire it. After the consumer is interested in the product or service, then the goal is to make consumers desire it, moving their mindset from “I like it” to “I want it.”
  4. Initiate action. The main goal here is to initiate action and encourage the consumer to purchase the product or service.

When used correctly, the AIDA model can yield tremendous results in marketing campaigns to:

  • Boost sales
  • Establish long customer relationships
  • Increase number of leads
  • Build brand awareness

This video explains very well how the AIDA formula can be used in any of the marketing campaigns:

AIDA Model Pros & Cons

What Are the Advantages of the AIDA Model?

One of the main advantages of the AIDA model is that it helps to create a customer journey map.

By tracking each phase of the buying journey, you’ll be able to see which parts deliver strong returns and properly transition your potential consumers into the next phase.

This also tells you which parts tend to fail.

And by understanding which parts of buying journey are broken, you can prioritize and devote most of your resources to things that are likely to fix and eliminate the complicated areas.

What Are the Drawbacks of the AIDA Model?

One of the main drawbacks of the AIDA model is that the purchase decision process is not considered anymore after it ends.

Usually, all post-purchase effects such as satisfaction, dissatisfaction, customer ratings, and recommendations remain unaffected.

Normally, after a customer makes an initial purchase, it opens the door for a long-term business-consumer relationship. Meanwhile, the AIDA model doesn’t count this step.

Another criticism is that AIDA is a step-by-step model with sequential individual stages.

However, in practice, the sales process isn’t always linear, and some steps can be completed as one.

For example, attention and interest.

An ad can grab a buyer’s attention and arouse their interest at the same time.

In addition, the AIDA model has been around for over 120 years.

And some of the steps are not suitable for the modern sales world.

That’s why more approaches have been developed based on the AIDA formula.

These new approaches have extended the basic AIDA model by including additional phases into account.

Other AIDA Model Variants

In the years, many alternative AIDA models have evolved. Many attempts have been made to be more precise or include other components of the consumer’s path to purchase.

Some variants added a post-purchase stage to cater to customer retention. Others added new steps to accommodate the new interactive and digital media, such as social media.

Nevertheless, all variants include a stimulus that elicits a response through the cognitive-affective-behavioral process.

Below are some of the AIDA model variants:

  • Basic AIDA Model: Awareness → Interest → Desire → Action
  • Lavidge et al.’s Hierarchy of Effects: Awareness → Knowledge → Liking → Preference → Conviction → Purchase
  • DAGMAR Formula: Awareness → Comprehension → Conviction → Action
  • AIDAS Model: Attention → Interest → Desire → Action → Satisfaction
  • AISDALSLove model: Awareness → Interest → Search → Desire → Action → Like/dislike → Share → Love/Hate

The Hierarchy of Effects Model

The hierarchy of effects model, created by Lavidge and Steiner, is made up of a hierarchical sequence of different advertising effects and breaks the purchasing decision-making process into a total of six stages:

  • Awareness: advertising measures are aimed at making potential customers aware of the advertised products.
  • Knowledge: the awareness phase is followed by the knowledge phase where the products are better described.
  • Liking: interested parties should start to be keen on the advertised products.
  • Preference: the customer’s fondness results in a preference for certain products over others.
  • Conviction: The potential customer has made up their mind and wants to purchase the product.
  • Purchase: the final phase of the hierarchy of effects model includes the intended action: the purchase.

The DAGMAR Formula

Based on the AIDA model, the American advertising researcher Russell H. Colley published the so-called DAGMAR formula in 1961. The acronym stands for Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results.

According to DAGMAR, each purchase prospect goes through four steps:

  • Awareness: advertising must create awareness of the advertised brands and products.
  • Comprehension: advertising must provide the potential customer with an understanding of the features and the benefits of the advertised product or service.
  • Conviction: good advertising has a convincing effect by showing the customer the personal benefits and advantages compared to the alternatives.
  • Action: the end of the decision-making process is the step where the purchase is made.

These steps are also known as ACCA advertising formula. Developed for the measurement of advertising effectiveness it maps the states of mind that a consumer passes through.

The AIDAS Model

The AIDAS model adopts the four phases of the AIDA model and extends it with an extra phase – satisfaction.

This means that the model doesn’t stop once the purchase has been made.

After the purchase has been made, it continues so the company knows whether the customer is happy with their purchase or not.

The AIDAS model stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action
  • Satisfaction

The AISDALSLove Model

AISDALSLove is another hierarchy of effects model in advertising adapted from AIDA’s model. This concept of AISDALSLove model was introduced by Bambang Sukma Wijaya and it stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Search
  • Desire
  • Action
  • Like/dislike
  • Share
  • Love/hate

According to Wijaya’s advertising model, the search phase considers the fact that consumers are now more critically opposed to advertising promises. The internet provides consumers with a comprehensive research tool where they can review facts and compare offers.

The like/dislike phase takes the consumer’s experience into account after they have made their purchase.

Share is an independent stage that happens after the purchase. Because of the recent development of information technology, consumers have the power to perform radical actions that may cause an impact on the brand image of a product.

In addition, the AISDALSLove model assumes that advertising measures can also lead to long-term effects, which in turn lead to positive (love) or negative (hate) feelings towards products, brands, or companies. An aspect that takes center stage in the love/hate phase.

How Has AIDA Expanded?

Most current consumer path-to-purchase models, are actually expanded AIDA models, refining extra steps which we can now more properly identify and measure through digital media opportunities.

  • Attention expands into Reach and Awareness
  • Interest expands into Appreciation and Consideration
  • Desire becomes into Intent to buy
  • Action expands into Acquisition and Customer relationship

All of these models try to create a new and more modern module, but still, they are all bundled into the same old AIDA module.

Examples of the AIDA Model

AIDA Model for Coca Cola

The Coca-Cola company has been using the AIDA model for years.

Let’s take a look at how they implement the AIDA model in their marketing campaigns:

  • Attention: first they show a situation that has nothing to do with Coca-Cola (to attract your attention).
  • Interest: then they start telling a beautiful story that evokes good feelings (they interest you).
  • Desire: in the story, they associate desired values with Coca-Cola (friendship, happiness, family, etc.).
  • Action: they show people having fun and drinking Coca-Cola.

AIDA Model for Apple

Here’s how Apple used the AIDA model when they introduced their very first iPhone:

  • Attention: They announced that they will be launching something new, a product no one had seen before (they got attention)
  • Interest: 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.
  • Desire: The desire stage was created when Steve Jobs explained to the customers how it would solve the problems they have with existing phones.
  • Action: Finally, Steve Jobs showed some action – he used it, showing evidence that it was real.

AIDA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Does AIDA Stand for?

AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire, and action, describing the customer journey throughout the sales process.

This acronym describes a marketing funnel outlining the four steps a customer goes through from first noticing an item to making a purchase.

Is AIDA Still Relevant Today?

YES, AIDA is still relevant today. Because AIDA looks at the buying process not from the communications angle, but from the consumer’s point of view. And the consumers haven’t changed much. Their buying process has evolved, but the process itself has not.

Which Companies Uses the Aida Model?

The AIDA marketing model has been used famously by companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and Apple. These companies have strong, attention-grabbing commercial advertisements in all forms of media (print, tv, social, etc.) that create a desire for their product. And their AIDA strategy has proven to work on a global scale. However, this model can be easily adapted by any other business – no matter how big it is.


Scroll to Top