Evolution of AIDA – building on the foundation of marketing

evolution of AIDADiscussion about changes in marketing is bubbling allover the web. LinkedIn -groups, Twitter, SlideShare… are full of opinions about best tricks in today’s marketing environment.  As we all know, the playground has evolved. However, I don’t think much has really changed in human behavior towards marketing and the foundations are the same. People are still influenced by marketing and other people. They like to get acceptance and showoff their newest stuff – and identify with brands. However, the amplification of WORD OF MOUTH in social media has created a SOME WOM and the voice of an individual is now stronger than ever before. So the basic rules of marketing still apply, but now there is an added dimension – and this makes the game different for marketers.

I went back to basics and started looking at the old AIDA marketing concept. Now, we are speaking of a model, that was developed between late 1800 to early 1900 by marketing professionals of that age. (see history on Wikipedia) AIDA concept by  E. St. Elmo Lewis describes stages of human behavior towards marketing. Fifth sage (S) satisfaction was added to the concept in early 1900.

A – Attention

I – Interest

D – Desire

A – Action

S – Satisfaction

Today’s AIDAS looks a bit different. SHARING of opinions and content in social media is now a common way to interact with other people. As said, sharing has two dimensions:

  1. SHARING  interesting content to people trough social media.
  2. SHARING opinions of products, services and brands through social media.

New AIDAS has a fluid form, where SHARING (+S) can appear after any stage of the concept. If sharing would happen after every stage of this concept, it would look like AS-IS-DS-AS-SS.

So, how should marketers react to this change?

1. Produce content that people are willing to share with each other. On B2B side  it is usually clever content that people can use in their work or get good ideas to do something better. It is usually not about your company and your products, but more or less knowing your industry and giving general advice. This kind of content is usually shared willingly through professional networks. On the B2C side it is usually “fun” content. As a recent example from Coca Cola: they printed names of people in their bottle labels and people got crazy. These pictures are all around Instagram and Facebook See: List of all found Coke bottle names.

2. As opinions of people are now amplified through social media, it is clear that companies have to think what kind of experiences they give to them. The importance of customer experience management grows significantly every day. SOME WOM can make your company a winner or loser.  However, customer experience management is not only a responsibility of a marketing, it has to be embedded in to the soul of your company.

I worked on a infographic to explain  the evolution of AIDA. I did this for fun and to try out, what I can do with infographics. Bare with me, I am not a graphical designer.

I am happy to get your comments on this post. What do you think? Does AIDA look like this in today’s marketing environment?


  1. Saija Laaksonen says:

    Hi, really good thinking. I agree with many of the things. Couple of thoughts were also risen by your text. It is really true that customers for example in your events want to know and hopefully gladly share thoughts and ideas of the best cases from their business area. But i would also think that they would also want and need the best tips and advices and possibly help on how to make these practises possible with the products that you are selling. Ideas are also good but they need to be glued together with the concrete actions, how they can make the ideas alive. In many of the events that i´ve been, you get really good stories and wow feelings about the cases, but after that you start to think how to go forward. I need help and concrete ideas what i can do with the products to make this happen. That is actually the best package that you can get.

    And then about the social media, recommendations and the role of the marketing…I believe that you can never control all the stories in the social media. There will always be somebody who has experienced not so good interaction with the company. It can be because of the personal differences, and those are really hard to change. In these cases the most important thing for the company is how you deal with the situation when somebody is not pleased (ex reclamations). But the main point is, it is never only the role of the marketing, or sales or IT. The company that in my mind is successful is the one that realizes that all of these units in the company have to work together to be able to achieve a really good customer experience. Sales, communications and marketing have to support and plan actions together so that they will speak the same language. Only this way the right stories are told for the customers and they will get what is promised to them. The customer experience is not only the situation when the customer buys something, the satisfaction comes from the activities done after the deal: how the customer support works, what is communicated to the customers, what is done with the invoicing etc. HR is also part of this entity because without recruiting right people to the wright spots and training the people to do their work as good as possible the whole picture will not work.

    Good customer experience comes from the customer-centric thinking: we will not see our product as the main point, we see the need of the customer as one, and how we act after making the deal with the customers. We need more co-operation between the different units and also more value given for the people and actions done after the deal is done.

    1. btoblife says:

      Thank you Saija for your thoughts – very good points. I totally agree that you can not control, what people talk about your company.
      But you can focus on listening and providing feedback channels to your customers.

      1. Saija Laaksonen says:

        Yes you are again correct. The channels are really important, giving the feedback has to be done easy for the customers. And then when you also add the reacting and responding to the feedback to the process, you are on your way to better customer service. Communicating what has been done or what cant be done to the customer who has left feedback gives them a feeling that somebody really cares and they really are involved in the processes of making the things bought better from their point of view.

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