The AIDA Model

Examples and Tips for using AIDA in the real world

The AIDA model is perhaps the best known marketing model amongst non-marketers of all the classic marketing models we featured in our recent post and poll. The vote showed many marketers find it useful too, perhaps since we apply it daily whether consciously or subconsciously when we're thinking how to make our marketing communications effective.


What is the AIDA model?

The AIDA Model identifies cognitive stages an individual goes through during the buying process for a product or service. It's a purchasing funnel where buyers go to and fro at each stage, to support them in making the final purchase.

It's no longer a relationship purely between the buyer and the company, since social media has extended it to achieving the different goals of AIDA via information added by other customers via social networks and communities.

What does AIDA stand for?

  • Awareness: creating brand awareness or affiliation with your product or service.
  • Interest: generating interest in the benefits of your product or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further.
  • Desire: for your product or service through an 'emotional connection', showing your brand personality. Move the consumer from 'liking' it to 'wanting it'.
  • Action: CTA - Move the buyer to interacting with your company and taking the next step ie. downloading a brochure, making the phone call, joining your newsletter, or engaging in live chat etc.
  • Retention: We all know that this is key to up sell, cross-sell, referrals, Advocacy and the list goes on.. as companies are also focussing on LTV.

The additional "R" is sometimes added by some Marketers to show the importance of ongoing relationship building to give the AIDAR model.

How to use the AIDA model

So how can this be applied to marketing planning? It could be referred to as a communications model rather than a decision-making model, as it's identifying to companies, how and when to communicate during each of the stages as consumers will be using different platforms, engaging at different touchpoints and requiring different information throughout the stages from various sources.

So using this to help plan your tailored and targeted communication campaign may be a start.

Ask yourself some key questions throughout the stages:

  • Awareness: How do we make buyers aware of our products or services? What is our outreach strategy? What is our brand awareness campaign? Which tools or platforms do we use? What should the messages be?
  • Interest: How will we gain their interest? What is our content strategy? Social proof available to back up our reputation? How do we make this information available and where ? ie. on website, via videos, customer ratings,
  • Desire: What makes our product or service desirable? How do we interact personally to make an emotional connection? Online chat? Immediate response to Twitter feed? Share tips and advice?
  • Action: What are the call to actions and where do we place them? Is it easy for consumers to connect and where would they expect to find it? Think about which marketing channel/platform you are using and how to engage ie. across emails, website, landing pages, inbound phone calls etc.
  • Retention: What is the proposition to retain loyalty? At what stage do we encourage this on-line and off-line, and how?

An example of the AIDA model

Here is a case study from our Marketing Models Guide showing how an award-winning hairdressing company, Francesco Group used the model to launch their new salon.


  • 1. Awareness: Ran a PR campaign four months prior to launch, promoting award, stylists, qualifications etc. and was reinforced through a DM campaign to targeted customer groups.
  • 2. Interest:  Executed a direct mail campaign to offer a free consultation or hair cut and finish. They used research to support that this would work, as females are loyal if the offer is compelling.
  • 3. Desire: Close to the opening of the new salon, they ran exclusive local launch events which was advertised through local press and social media. This created a local buzz for 'people wanting an invite' and excited to see the new salon.
  • 4. Action: Clear CTAS were positioned on the Facebook site (call to reserve), the website (call to book) and local advertising (call in to receive discount or the offer.

The case study didn't highlight Retention, though there are many ways to increase loyalty around sign up to mailing lists or social platforms which offer news about offers and events, discounts on product ranges, discounts according to frequency of visit,  etc.

The Original Reference Source

Some say that AIDA model which has been used for over three centuries. More details on the AIDA model history are available on Wikipedia.

Lewis, E. St. Elmo. (1899) Side Talks about Advertising. The Western Druggist. (21 February). p. 66. Lewis, E. St. Elmo.

(1903) Advertising Department. The Book-Keeper. (15 February).

p. 124. Lewis, E. St. Elmo. (1908) Financial Advertising, Indianapolis: Levey Bros. & Company.

Share your thoughts

  • arslan commented on September 1, 2015

    Its Attention First 1 is

  • Daniel David commented on July 19, 2015

    Excellent piece

  • Cheily8ag commented on December 16, 2013

    Great post! Now I’m trying to apply this model to a new business start-up to help new companies create a solid business plan 😀

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments

Need help with your Digital Marketing?

Get more from your digital marketing with in-company or remote training and consultancy from Smart Insights

Get FREE marketing planning templates

Start your Digital Marketing Plan today with our free Basic membership.

  • FREE fast start guides to review your approach
  • FREE digital marketing plan templates
  • FREE alerts on the latest developments