Updated: Jun 19
Human behavior is highly predictable, and marketers have been implementing frameworks and techniques based applied psychology to help businesses grow their brand recognition, market share and revenues.
One of the most robust of these frameworks is known as the AIDA framework, an acronym which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. The framework highlights the four key actions a brand has to take to attract a person and get them to perform an action the brand finds desirable.
Although the framework was birthed in the advertising industry, it has proven to be incredibly valuable in all forms of sales and marketing as well. In this article, we will explore how the AIDA framework can help you yield better results in your next field marketing campaign.
What is the AIDA framework?
The foundations of the AIDA framework are commonly attributed to Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an advertising and sales industry leader. He wrote an article in 1968 describing three principles he had found useful in producing reliable results. In the article, he wrote,
“The mission of an advertisement is to attract a reader so that he will look at the advertisement and start to read it; then to interest him, so that he will continue to read it; then to convince him, so that when he has read it he will believe it. If an advertisement contains these three qualities of success, it is a successful advertisement”.
The AIDA framework describes the four stages a consumer goes through as they decide to purchase a product or service. It is primarily used to help brands design messaging that appeals to who are at each of these stages and plan how they intend to deliver the messaging.
AIDA is generally considered to be a hierarchy-of-effects model, which is to say it is a linear process and a consumer must complete one step before proceeding to the next, and cannot skip any steps. A customer cannot purchase a product (Action) that they do not know exists (Attention) or want (Desire). It is thus imperative that a brand creates marketing campaigns that take the consumer through all four stages of the framework.
Carrying your prospective and existing consumers through this framework will help them develop an increased awareness of your brand, preference for it and loyalty towards it. When carried out effectively, the framework will help the consumer form positive emotional associations with your brand. Here is how field marketing can achieve that:
Stage 1: Grab their Attention
This stage of the framework is all about making sure your prospective customers know you exist. Cutting through the market noise and standing out makes the consumer notice your brand. This is a natural result of carrying out activities that generate brand awareness.
Field marketing campaigns, such as brand activations and events, give brands a unique level of access to consumer attention. In other marketing and advertising channels, brands have to compete for attention with other brands, content the consumer is more interested in or activities that are more demanding of their attention. Field marketing offers immersion and also gives the consumer the freedom to willingly give their attention to your brand, which makes them more receptive to your messaging.
Stage 2: Create and Keep their Interest
When you have their attention, it is immediately essential to get them interested in your brand, products or services. Critical information about your brand, product or service needs to be communicated to the consumer in a compelling but concise manner. During this stage, your brand needs to tell the consumer why they should continue to give you their attention.
Other marketing channels, while useful in their own right, require a far more significant investment in effort to generate the same degree of interest that field marketing does. Events and brand activations present the consumer with a novel experience that relays all the critical information creatively and with context. In some cases, such as brand activations or product showcases, the consumer can have an interactive experience with the brand, stimulating more areas of their brain that would otherwise not be stimulated if the consumer were passively viewing a billboard or TV advertisement.
Stage 3: Capture their Desire
During this stage, the consumer transitions from merely finding your brand interesting to actually wanting your products and services. The brand needs to take the features and benefits, and contextualise them for the consumer, helping them discover how the product or service could solve a specific pain point for them or provide pleasure. The consumer should be able to visualise the product or service in their lives and feel how much better everything would be with the products in their lives.
Desire is a function of familiarity, which field marketing is particularly suited to facilitating. Consumers have the opportunity to interact more intimately with brands and their offerings during field marketing campaigns. The presence of brand ambassadors or field marketing agents humanises the brand and allows consumers to get more natural and use-case specific answers to their questions about the product.
Most importantly, consumers can spend time interacting with and being immersed in the brand experience, thus developing a level of familiarity with the brand that is not attainable on other channels.
Step 4: Inspire Action
The final step of the AIDA framework involves triggering an action that the brand wants from the consumer. This could be purchasing a product, or signing an information sheet, making them a valuable lead that the sales team can then follow up on later. The first three steps are all about building a relationship with the consumer so that when the request to perform an action is made, the consumer will experience little to no friction. Having created desire, the logical conclusion is to allow the consumer to act on that desire.
This action needs to be requested explicitly, with clear and concise language that communicates the action to be performed and the subsequent outcome. Field marketing provides the level of intimacy that makes consumers feel comfortable taking performing the desired action in the moment. Interacting with an effective sales team that is knowledgeable, polite and interesting increases the likelihood that the consumer will perform the requested action since human beings have a propensity to reciprocate positive emotions.
The AIDA framework is a robust methodology for guiding a consumer from gaining awareness of your brand to making a purchase. It is beneficial when used in field marketing campaigns and can help increase lead generation and conversion rates. Using the framework in your campaign planning allows you to leverage a tried and tested way of consistently having positive engagements with your audience and turning them into paying customers.
If you need to roll out a field marketing campaign and need the right expertise to help you bring your vision to fruition, get in touch with us. We would love to have a chat with you about helping your brand grow even more extraordinary.