AIDA model

The AIDA model was first used in 1925 in the book Theories of Selling by E.K. Strong, but remains to this day to be still super topical.

AIDA is an abbreviation that stands for:

  • Attention
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

The AIDA model is about the consumer's decision-making process before he or she purchases a product or service.

AIDA model example

The first A from the AIDA model

The first A from the AIDA model stands for Attention. If the consumer does not know that the product exists, it will never be purchased. It is therefore important that a company announces the existence of the product. This will usually be done through mass communication such as advertising on TV, Radio, Print etc.

The I from the AIDA model

The I from the AIDA model stands for Interest. The first interest has been aroused. The potential buyer becomes aware that the product or service may be useful.

The D from the AIDA model

The D from the AIDA model stands for Desire. The consumer becomes aware of the benefits of the product and wants to buy it. At this moment, decisions have to be made. There is a good chance that the potential buyer will choose your product or that of a competitor. The consumer will focus on prices and the different characteristics of the product.

The second A from the AIDA model

The second A from the AIDA model stands for Action. The consumer has made the decision to buy the product. Now the provider must ensure that the product is also available quickly. Things that can ensure that the Action also results in buying your product are, for example, In-store advertising, direct sales, or simply the most prominent shelf space in the supermarket.

In marketing, methods that ensure that direct sales are encouraged are called 'below the line marketing'.

AIDA model and the power of repetition

What the AIDA model mainly demonstrates is that the power of advertising is repetition. It is an illusion to assume that a consumer will immediately buy the product after an advertisement. Mass communication can achieve branding, but by confronting the consumer with your product at different times and places you have a greater chance that he or she will actually make a purchase. The last A of Action is a very important one. By also making the product available (the P of Place in the Marketing Mix) you ensure that the consumer actually buys your product. Personal sales can also give that boost.

... ...

AIDA in various situations

The AIDA model can be applied to every buying process. Of course, it is very different per product how the AIDA model works in practice. You have cheap products where impulse buying is a major part of sales. For example, think of a chocolate bar or a pack of chewing gum. With more expensive products such as a car or house, the process takes much longer.


AIDA is a model. Just like every model, it is a simplification of reality. After all, it is not the case that every buying process actually happens as the model explains. For example, if you are hungry, you start looking for a sandwich. Hunger is a need (Desire). Then you see, for example, the sign of a sandwich shop (Attention). The store doesn't look too shabby (Interest), so you decide to go inside, where the prices on the menu are also reasonable and you order the sandwich (Action).

AIDAS model

The AIDA model is almost a century old. Although the way people think of course has not changed, a number of useful additions to the AIDA model have been devised. We find the S of Satisfaction the most interesting addition. Many purchases are repeat purchases. By working on customer satisfaction you persuade the customer to purchase your product or service again.

AIDA and expensive keywords

If a consumer becomes interested in a product, for example, because his old one has broken down, people nowadays often search online. Through a search engine the consumer comes to a comparison site or store. The consumer buys the product at the store he perceives the most trusted and offers the best price, or goes to a regular store after the orientation and buys the product. At Google, advertisers have the option to purchase keywords (the results at the top or on the right).

What does this have to do with the AIDA model? What is important to realize is that it is only at the end (with desire and action) that the consumer is immediately prepared to actually buy the product. We take an electric toothbrush as an example. The keyword buy toothbrush is more expensive at Google than just the generic keyword toothbrush. After all, if someone only searches for a toothbrush, he or she may simply be looking for a picture for work and is not interested in buying a toothbrush at all.

If you hold the AIDA model against this, it is actually logical that, for example, the keyword toothbrush comparison is more expensive than the generic keyword (toothbrush), but cheaper than buy toothbrush because that customer is further down the purchasing process.

AIDA model example of sales funnel

Sellers use the AIDA model to indicate in which phase of a sales process a potential customer is.

  • The A of AIDA is indicated for cold prospects where the first contact has just been made.
  • You can see the I of AIDA as prospects. There is contact, and the first interest has been aroused.
  • You can see the D of AIDA as warm prospects.
  • You can see the last A of AIDA as hot prospects. The customer wants to buy.
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Rick De Vlieger Rick De Vlieger
02-06-2013 6 mins read
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