AIDA sales funnel and the buyer’s journey to purchase

The AIDA Buyer’s Journey-StratoServe

Businesses tend to wonder  about the effectiveness of their advertising spend in terms of what they actually sold that could be attributed to advertising.To understand how advertising works its useful to look at the hierarchy of effects AIDA sales funnel  credited to Advertising Hall of Fame member Elias St. Elmo Louis in 1898. No that was not a typo and check out the history of this kind of thinking called Hierarchy of Effects in the article by Barry (1987).

Initially the AIDA model was used to understand the sales process and train sales people both for both B2B and B2C sales. Later advertising folks started using the concept to understand how advertising works and why the consumer journey to purchase takes time as the buyer moves down the sales funnel and the AIDA stages.

Today digital marketing and analytics make it possible to track the customer through the AIDA funnel. Check out the Google Insights research page where the four stages are called Awareness, Consideration, Intent and Decision. The data is collected from 36,000 Google Analytics accounts where the websites have e commerce and are able to track e-commerce transactions.

Here is a brief overview of the AIDA model :

  • Awareness is the early part of the funnel where the buyer must be made aware of what your brand offers. Unless you are a big brand like Coca Cola or IBM a lot of effort is needed to bring awareness to your target market. In digital marketing display ads and banners help to build awareness. Advertising your website on TV, is also very helpful.
  • Interest is the  enthusiasm you are able to generate in your buyer towards your offering. Here social media,paid search can help. It is that stage in retail stores that you are looking at some particular item with interest, and the salesperson comes by and says …”may I help you”?
  • Desire is the stage of active consideration. At this stage the prospective customer has decided to buy the item. Here email marketing, paid search is helpful. Today customers tend to comparison shop online, just because it is so easy to do so. 
  • Action happens when the customer actually buys from you. At this time the customer is visiting your website on their own through organic search or direct bookmark.

Why should businesses care about the AIDA model?

Because it helps you understand that advertising is an investment and not a cost. The investment is in brand building and your brand equity helps across the AIDA funnel in the buyer’s journey to purchase. About StratoServe.

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