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Door: Nasser Mohamud
How Marketing Is Transforming & Evolving

It is obvious that every business needs to deal with marketing!  Why?? Because it is the art of promoting and selling your products and services. Simply stated, Marketing relates to everything a business does to eventually place its products and services in the hands of the consumers. Marketing in general is based on several concepts and since the introduction of the internet everything has changed profoundly.

Traditional marketing has worked effectively over a long time span and it is still being used. So let’s look back at the basic old school traditional marketing tools that are still used today. 

Broadcast: Television and radio advertisements, on-screen movie theater advertisements.  
Newspapers, newsletters, brochures and magazines advertisements. 
: Phone calls and cold calling customers to provide info?
Direct mail: Flyers, brochures, letters, catalogs, postcards printed advertisements  

A famous marketing concept that is usually used with traditional marketing is the AIDA concept. This blog will mainly analyse this marketing concept and how it can be best used with the social media.

The AIDA concept is the most famous in marketing and is based on

-    Attention: Attracting client/customer's attention first.
-    Interest: Stoke their interest so the client/customer keeps engaged.
-    Desire: Creating a desire for what for the offering
-    Action: And finally client/customer take action and purchase

The whole idea behind this concept is that it is used to guide marketers to target a market effectively. When using the AIDA concept advertising is the core tool where the message is generally crafted to appeal to the masses and where the campaigns are engaged for a defined time period. Also advertising to the audience is most of the times a one-way message.

For example, car advertisements most often use the AIDA model to narrow the target market . They know that their advertisements must grab the attention of the consumers and so they use backgrounds, themes, colours that would appeal to the consumers. Next, they spark interest by showing the benefits of buying the car. Third, automotive marketers find what their consumers desire. Lastly, automotive marketers encourage consumers to take action by purchasing the product or service.

In the case of the Mini-Cooper, for instance, marketers imply that a small car can get the consumer to open spaces and to fun (attention + Interest). For Mini-Cooper drivers, it's the "fun" of driving, while for Prius consumers it may be the fuel economy or the environmentally friendliness. Only after evaluating consumer desires are marketers able to create effective campaigns.

Over time modifications known as the ABC model has been added to the AIDA concept. The steps include cognition (awareness or learning), affect (feeling, interest, or desire) and behavior (action). Political and public health campaigns for example are known to affect human cognition, emotional experience and behaviour.

With the introduction of the internet all these marketing models had to be modified to achieve their goals. When using the AIDA concept the messages are generally crafted to appeal to the masses. However, on social media the AIDA model also can be used on a micro level for example and on the level of individual posts and tweets.

Applying the AIDA conept on Facebook post by HubSpot, software marketing platform that helps companies attract visitors, one can say that the image may be enough to drive attention. Then looking at the image above one can say it inspires interest. And then "Of course you would!" part evokes the desire and finally action could be sparked by both "Find out how here" and "Double Your Lead Flow in 30 Days."

This social media formula could both drive engagements and actions by using the AIDA model. The AIDA concepts lets companies focus on specific goals in each of these stages.

By now it is clear that social media is replacing traditional media channels. Social Media is now the number-one channel for marketing spending by major organizations, according to the HubSpot “2012 State of Inbound Marketing” report. The traditional marketing channels such as print, display, outdoor, and television, have moved near the bottom of the list for channel investment.

According to the findings of MarketingTechBlog 2014 statistics the influence of social media on businesses continues to increase:

  • 46% of web users look toward Social Media when making a purchase

  • 8 out of 10 SMB (small and medium businesses) use Social Media to drive growth

  • 3 in 5 SMB say they’ve gained new customers by using Social Media

  • 67% of Twitter users are far more likely to buy from the brands they follow on Twitte

Every minute of every day:

  • Facebook users share 2.5 million pieces of content,

  • Email users send 204 million messages,

  • Apple users download 48 thousand apps,

  • Google receives 4 million search queries,

  • YouTube users upload 72 hours of new video,

  • Twitter users tweet 277 thousand times,

  • and Amazon makes $83,000 in online sales.


A research conducted by the worlds largest supply management association ISM revealed that for pharmaceutical customers, 80% of Internet consumers search online for health information and trusting peer-generated social Media content more than pharma company websites and their physicians. .

This shows that this development could be applied to any industry and its already happening in several industries including travel and healthcare. This means that more than 80% of consumers will search online for information related to an organization. Also this means that consumers would trust peer-generated content in Social Media communities more than information on an organization’s website or so-called experts in that field.

This illustrates that It’s no longer TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, direct mail, but more about websitesblogs, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc..

As mentioned earlier, the AIDA concept is usually linked to traditional marketing and the messages are aimed at larger public. However, AIDA also may be applied to social media strategy. And instead of companies focusing on specific goals in each of the AIDA stages,

the stages of process in social media can be naturally integrated and multiple goals can be achieved in each stage. This is based on Bishnu Gurung of the Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences research which shows the following:

  • In the first stage, companies create awareness of themselves by being present on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other popular networks. Considering those networks' potential to reach worldwide audiences, even small businesses can gain some (free) attention.
  • To shift to the other three stages, a company needs to optimize its content strategy based on the target audience's interests and characteristics. The interest generally is accomplished by encouraging users to take an active participation in the online community, where the company shares engaging industry-related content.

  • The desire, however, is aroused through regular communication and engagement as well as through posts that give information about the product or service.

  • Finally, the last stage involves posting direct invites with call-to-actions, such as "try our new product" or "subscribe to our newsletter."

According to to Bishnu Gurung of the Kemi such a segmentation of a social media marketing plan can be very efficient. Above all, AIDA helps in developing an actionable plan that lets companies focus on specific goals in each of these stages.

A great example of this is when Barack Obama faced Hillary Clinton in Democratic presidential campaign in the year 2008. Barack Obama was aware that competing financially with Hilary Clinton would be difficult knowing that he couldn’t afford the traditional marketing  campaigns such as TV and radio etc….. So as an alternative, he made new rules instead of following the old ones. He hired Chris Huges who is the co-founder of Facebook to be his internet strategist. He launched a social media campaign using Facebook, Twitter, website blogs, LinkedIn and YouTube. And as a result Barack obama won the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 even though he spent a lot less money than his opponent.

It is clear that old marketing concepts are going through a transformation as consumers spend more time on social media, mobiles, tablets and laptops. I believe a savvy marketer can re-adjust marketing concepts to fit its time and even build new ones  from the attributes of a satisfied customer. The challenge is for a marketer is to adapt and find ways to connect with customers through all these changes and ultimately integrate marketing theories and create new campaigns that work across social media.


Understanding Consumer Attitudes

Old School vs. New School Marketing

The New Way Must Replace the Old Way

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action: Using AIDA for Social Media