Use the AIDA model for small business marketing
AIDA Marketing is about understanding and following the AIDA model.
- Repeat Purchases
- Keep Growing
- Slash Costs
AIDA stands for:
- Attention - Attract the customer's attention
- Interest - Demonstrate advantages and benefits
- Desire - Show that you can solve the customer's problem
- Action - Get the customer to take action (buy)
Words of Wisdom
The very first law in advertising is to avoid the concrete promise and cultivate the delightfully vague.- Bill Cosby
You have to stand out. Grab the attention of your customer.
How do you do that? Be different. You can't stand out if you look like everyone else.
To create interest in your product or service, you must demonstrate its advantages and benefits. A feature is an attribute of a product. A benefit is how that attribute can help your customer.
For great examples of creating interest, study catalogs from clothing companies like LL Bean. They have this mastered.
Closely related to interest is desire. Move from discussing benefits to specifically how those benefits will help that customer.
Finally, your customer takes action. Usually this is buying your product or service, but it can be something else. The action is whatever you want it to be. For a non-profit organization, the action might be to make a donation. For the American Red Cross, it might be giving blood.
AIDA Marketing Example
Let's use a local restaurant for this example.
First, you have to get attention. How? You can do this any number of ways, which is covered throughout this web site. In this example, the restaurant advertises online and offline, and uses coupons to generate an invitation to try out its food.
Next is interest. What are your benefits? Cheap, delicious food served with blinding speed.
Desire is the third step. It's lunch time. You're hungry. We have cheap, delicious food served with blinding speed. We can solve your lunch time problems.
Finally, if you've done the first three steps well, you get action. You sell some food to your customer.
AIDA Model - Extended
AIDA Marketing has been around for a long time. The idea is that a customer goes through these four independent stages before making a purchase.
Later, the model was extended to add either a C or an S on the end for Conviction or Satisfaction. Either way, the idea is the same - get repeat purchases from this customer.
AIDA Marketing and You
The AIDA marketing model presents these four stages as being independent. I believe it is better to think of them as a package. Why?
If you think of them as separate stages, you might spend money on advertising that doesn't perform. Your advertising can put all the AIDA stages into a single advertisement. That's a lot better than just making sure people know your business exists!
For example, consider a business card for a hypothetical business named "Al's Pizza". Al will put his name and contact information on the card - but what else?
He can just put his company name on his card: "Al's Pizza". (sound of crickets chirping)
Applying the AIDA marketing model, his card could instead say:
Hot, mouth-watering New York style pizza
When you think of pizza -fuhgedabout it! Come to Al's!
These extra two lines of text create more interest and potentially desire. Will Al bring business in by just handing out his business card? Probably not - but people are more likely to hang onto this card than the boring one. Could this card be better? Sure - I spent about 15 seconds thinking up those extra two lines. What could you do with a solid 5 minutes of thought?
The idea is to accelerate through the stages of AIDA to get to the Action. Keep that idea in mind with whatever marketing materials you create. A little bit of thought before you spend your money can bring you a much greater return on your investment.