There are many different approaches that can be taken to marketing, but one which you may come across time and time again is the AIDA model. But just what is it and how could it ultimately prove to be relevant to your operations and marketing efforts? Here we take a look at the key basics related to the issue and why you should consider making use of it.

What is the AIDA model in marketing?

The AIDA model is a kind of structure that explains the journey that a consumer or client goes through on their way to purchasing a product or service. By embracing AIDA marketing, an organization can essentially consider how they should interact with consumers at different points so that they ultimately guide them to the key moment when they take the plunge and agree to a transaction.

While the idea of applying such strategic thinking to the issue of marketing might sound fairly modern, the AIDA model has actually been around for a very long time. It is widely believed that the AIDA formula was created by a US advertising trailblazer known as Elias St Elmo Lewis around the turn of the 20th century. However, the fact that it is still talked about so much today is perhaps a testament to the concept’s impact and just how effective the model has proven to be.

The way that businesses promote products and services to consumers and other organizations may have changed massively in the last century, but it could be argued that many of the same, fundamental principles are still very much applicable.

What does AIDA stand for?
What AIDA stands for

AIDA stands for:

  1. Attention
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

So, under the terms of the model, these are seen as the four key steps that consumers take on their way to buying a product. But what does each element mean and how might they apply to your business? Here we break it down and examine these core ingredients individually.


Encouraging someone to buy a product or service will be pretty tough if they do not know anything about it. So, with that in mind, your first move when using AIDA marketing must be to attract the attention of potential clients and customers.
People need to be aware of what you are selling and at least know on a basic level that it exists. In some other AIDA marketing materials, you might see this step referred to as awareness but, either way, the same principle applies.


Next up, you need to develop and mold that initial awareness of a product or service into something a little more substantial. How? By giving the consumer a little bit more information about what you are providing and the ways it could benefit them.

Developing this level of interest is a crucial stepping stone. Once you have a consumer’s attention, you need to make use of it and explain why they require your offering.


Following that, it is time to try and transform that interest into a genuine desire for a product or service. This is where the idea of what you are selling almost becomes emotive – consumers genuinely need to believe their lives could be better by embracing what you have.
Again, getting this element right could be a vital step towards converting a potential lead into a real customer, so it is vital to take absolute care on the issue.


Last but certainly not least in the AIDA formula is Action. This is the point where all of your initial hard work pays off and leads to a tangible action from your potential customer or client.

For example, they might pick up the phone or drop you a message to discuss the idea of a trial of your services or, alternatively, they may just buy that product or service that you have been promoting to them all along.

The AIDA model in action

When you consider each stage of the AIDA model in its own right, it is clear to see why it is one of the most simple and effective strategies used by businesses in a range of different industries.

However, while the information above may have already got you thinking about how you could adopt the model into your working practices, we thought it might be useful to provide a couple of examples on how the AIDA formula has been used in real-life situations. So, without further ado, here are a couple of notable examples you might benefit from examining.


Starbucks has grown to become one of the biggest coffee chains on the planet, and they certainly have an eye-catching style when it comes to marketing.

In a blog post included within her electronic portfolio, Emma J Christensen examined how the brand’s website can be viewed as an AIDA model example. She explained how, at the time of writing, the Starbucks homepage featured a large image of a new drink to capture attention, while it then generated interest by providing more information on other initiatives like its rewards scheme. She added that a game that offered the chance to earn more drinks also helped to build desire, with all of the above combining to encourage action.

Starbucks AIDA


Another huge global brand, Apple has come up with some striking marketing in recent years. In a blog for Jotform, Vitaly Friedman looked at how the AIDA model can be applied to the company’s marketing around the iPad.

He explains how strong imagery helps to attract the attention of consumers, with Apple then developing an interest through what it chooses to present on the devices. For example, the use of The New York Times homepage shows it is a device for quickly and easily accessing news. Desire is then developed when Apple reveals how you can easily access email or manage photos on the device, with this perhaps showing the versatility of the iPad and how it can ultimately be used in many parts of a person’s life. Finally, all of this again combines to encourage the action of buying the device.

Discover how the AIDA model could work for you

We are delighted that so many customers are benefitting from our service, and we would love to help them make use of the information they gather in the most effective way.
The AIDA model is a classic marketing concept that has endured for a huge number of years. We hope this article has provided you with a basic understanding of the concept and how you could use it within your own projects.

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