Monday, 15 July 2013

Is The AIDA Framework Still Relevant For Online Marketing?

The acronym AIDA is used to describe an age old marketing framework, developed in the late 19th century and pioneered by several experts in the early 20th century. The acronym itself first appeared in 1921 and has since been used to describe this traditional method of promotion and advertising.

The framework developed throughout the first half of the 20th century although marketing companies and consultants largely stuck to the four point process. The most significant development was the development of the funnel diagram, used to illustrate that there become fewer potential customers each step along through the framework.

For those new to marketing, AIDA describes how a promotion or advertisement should:

Grab the Attention of the potential customer

Raise Interest in the potential customer by demonstrating the product or services benefits

Persuade the potential customer that they Desire the product or service

Inform and lead the customer towards taking Action and purchasing the product or service.

Whilst the framework is traditional and in no way pioneering, many online marketing companies still practise the Attention, Interest, Desire and Action process. On the other hand, there are a number of newer frameworks (such as REAN, developed by a digital marketing agency in 2006) that focus far more on developing customer relationships; something AIDA simply does not do.

Is AIDA still relevant? Can this century old framework be applied to online marketing?

1. Attention

Grabbing the attention of potential clients has never been as challenging, particularly as we are bombarded with advertisements and promotions online every day. Some experts believe we actually encounter over 500 adverts every single day, many of which are online, meaning there is incredible competition.

Online, tools such as search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing can help attract potential client attention although it is certainly no easy task.

2. Interest

We live in a world where many people believe themselves immune to advertising. Fortunately for those in the marketing business, the majority of these people are misguided. Whilst it is true that it is becoming far harder to persuade potential clients that a product or service will truly benefit them, there are always new, ingenious ways company marketing experts drum up to do so.

In the online world this is often done through social media by engaging customers and potential customers in real debate. Websites must be carefully designed to direct potential customers to exactly the right page, providing exactly the right amount of information to keep them hooked on your product or service.

3. Desire

There are a number of tools companies use online to encourage potential clients into desiring a product or service. Blogging, customer interaction and social media debate can offer potential clients the information they require to be convinced that a product will benefit them. Moreover, companies encourage happy clients to share their experiences on social media sites such as Facebook or Pinterest, encouraging desire amongst their social networks.

4. Action

Websites must be informative, attractive but also very simple to navigate through. An easy to use website is instrumental in the success of any online company and is the focal point of the final step in the AIDA framework.

A potential client is far more likely to purchase from your company if the website leads them efficiently towards the checkout page without bombarding them with unnecessary questions and adverts.

So to conclude, it appears that whilst dated, the AIDA framework can (and does) still have its uses in the online marketing world. Whilst newer frameworks focus on important marketing strategies such as retaining and developing customer relationships, AIDA provides the foundations upon which a company can build a successful online operation.

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