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Harness the power of desire

Let’s just take one of those rules, a rule that seems perfectly reasonable and irrefutable. AIDA is the acronym for the supposed sequence of events through which a customer goes before making a purchase, standing for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action.

Many believe this model to be now obsolete, preferring NewAIDA, Navigating the customer through to the response you ideally want them to make.

In either case, attracting attention is presumed to depend on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which basically states that some needs take precedence over others.

Put simply, a cold, hungry man is going to respond in a completely different way to a man who is bored and seeking entertainment.

The higher up this hierarchy your product can be placed, the theory goes, the more chance you have of attracting attention.

All this is fine when taken as a guide to a consumer’s possible thought process. Problems arise, however, when it is erroneously utilised as a ‘rule’, a set of mandatory steps that have to be taken to create effective marketing.

This tick-box mentality invariably leads to promotions along the lines of ‘SEX – now we’ve got your attention, you’ll be in interested in our new…’ and so on.

This may seem an unfair and extreme example, yet it simply highlights the failings of most renditions of AIDA.

They assume readers, as if in a hypnotic trance, will stay the course while taken through the next stages of the process until they desire the product.

Strange, isn’t it, that desire for your product is second to last on AIDA’s list? Yet what are readers responding to when they see the word ‘sex’ but desire?

Desire itself is both attention-grabbing and interesting. Maybe not sexy but if your product wasn’t desirable, no one would be buying it.

So instead of asking for rules, ask yourself this – how can I put that desirability across in the most powerful way possible?

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‘Shouldn’t everyone believe in your product as much as you do’”