AIDMA is outdated? Explanation along with utilization cases and benefits of basic ideas



  • “What is AIDMA?”

    “I want to use AIDMA, but is it already outdated?”

    Do you have such questions?

    ‘AIDMA’ is one of the purchase behavior models that represents the process from customers becoming aware of a product to making a purchase.

    If you’re involved in marketing, you may have heard of it at least once.

    Although AIDMA is considered outdated these days, it is still an effective means to develop appropriate marketing strategies tailored to customer purchasing behavior.

    So, this time, I would like to explain the basic ideas of AIDMA along with examples and benefits.

    “I want to analyze my company’s marketing activities using the purchase behavior model.”

    “I want to create an appropriate marketing strategy based on the customer’s psychological state.”

    If you’re thinking along these lines, let’s deepen your understanding of AIDMA with this article.

    What is a Purchase Behavior Model?

    To understand AIDMA, you first need to understand what a purchase behavior model is.

    A purchase behavior model is a model that conceptualizes the process from customers recognizing a product or service to making a purchase.

    Now, think for a moment about when you decided to purchase a smartphone.

    Before making a purchase, did you come across various information, experience changes in your feelings, or take some actions?

    For example,

    • Seeing an advertisement and thinking, “This smartphone looks good.”
    • Reading the detailed page of a product found through a search and thinking, “This is useful! I want it.”
    • Directly touching the product in a store and deciding to purchase it.

    These are examples of the psychological changes and actions we go through before making a purchase, modeled in the purchase behavior model.

    In addition to AIDMA, there are many other models such as AISAS, SIPS, RsEsPs that explain purchase behavior.

    What is AIDMA?

    AIDMA is one of the customer purchase behavior models.

    AIDMA was proposed by American author Samuel Roland Hall in the 1920s.

    Since then, it has been used in marketing for about 100 years.

    In the AIDMA model, there are five phases from the customer becoming aware of a product or service to making a purchase:

    The 5 Phases of AIDMA

    1. Attention
    2. Interest
    3. Desire
    4. Memory
    5. Action

    Take the initials of these five words, and you get ‘AIDMA,’ right?

    Now, let’s take a closer look at these five phases.

    1. Attention

    Attention is the phase where customers become aware of the existence of a product.

    No matter how great a product is, if customers are not aware of its existence, they won’t make a purchase.

    Customers need to be aware of the product before they can start considering it.

    Therefore, companies need to first attract the attention of customers and make them aware of the product.

    Measures to increase awareness include, for example,

    • TV commercials
    • Newspaper advertisements
    • Video ads

    • Customer’s psychological state change: Unaware → “I see this ad a lot lately. There’s such a product.”
    • Company’s goal: Increase awareness
    • Methods: TV commercials, newspaper ads, banner ads, video ads, SEO measures, etc.

    2. Interest

    Interest is the phase where customers show interest in a product or service.

    Even if customers become aware of a product through advertising, if they don’t develop interest, it won’t lead to a purchase.

    During this phase, companies should provide useful information about the product or service.

    For customers already aware of the product, companies need to convey the attractiveness of their product, nurturing customer interest and evaluation.

    Methods include, for example,

    • Insert flyers
    • Blog articles about the industry or product

    • Customer’s psychological state change: Aware but not interested → “This product might be good.”
    • Company’s goal: Improve evaluation of the product or service
    • Methods: Insert flyers, blog articles about the industry or product, etc.

    3. Desire

    Desire is the phase where customers develop a desire to have the product.

    By reaching this desire phase, the goal of ‘purchase’ is significantly closer.

    So, when do customers think, “I want this product”?

    It is when they strongly feel the benefits or necessity of the product.

    Therefore, companies need customers to actually use the product and think, “I need this product.”

    Methods to stimulate customer needs include, for example,

    • Providing samples
    • Conducting free trials

    • Customer’s psychological state change: Interested, but not willing to pay the cost to have it → “This is good! I want it!”
    • Company’s goal: Stimulate needs
    • Methods: Providing samples, conducting free trials, etc.

    4. Memory

    Memory is the phase where customers recall the product they desired.

    Even if customers desire a product, they may not immediately make a purchase.

    They may postpone the purchase, thinking “I’ll buy it next time because I don’t have time,” or they may forget it after considering it.

    For such customers, companies need to implement measures to help them remember the product.

    For example,

    • Email newsletters
    • Direct mail
    • Retargeting ads

    These are methods to evoke the memory of customers.

    By continuously following up with customers through such measures, the likelihood of making a purchase is increased.


    • Customer’s psychological state change: Thought of wanting it but didn’t purchase → “This product is still good! Should I buy it?”
    • Company’s goal: Evoke memory
    • Methods: Email newsletters, direct mail, retargeting ads, etc.

    5. Action

    Action is the phase where customers actually purchase the product or service.

    For customers who have decided to make a purchase, the last approach that companies should take is to provide opportunities for purchase.

    At the moment when a customer decides to buy, companies need to ensure that the product is easily available so that the purchase can be completed.

    If there are many hurdles before making a purchase, customers who have come all the way to the last phase may also leave, so it’s recommended to prepare various purchase routes such as

    • In-store
    • Online
    • Online shopping

    • Customer’s psychological state change: No opportunity to buy, indecisive → “Let’s buy!”
    • Company’s goal: Provide opportunities
    • Methods: In-store, online, online shopping, etc.

    Is AIDMA Outdated?

    Recently, there is a widespread opinion even on the internet that “AIDMA is already outdated,” right?

    Is AIDMA really outdated? In conclusion, AIDMA is indeed quite an old model as a purchase behavior model.

    This is because it has been around for almost 100 years since it was proposed.

    With the advent of the internet, there have been changes in customer purchasing behavior, that’s true.

    However, saying that AIDMA is no longer usable is a big mistake.

    The reason is that AIDMA captures the essence of customer purchasing behavior.

    One of the relatively recently introduced purchase behavior models is AISAS.

    Although AISAS assumes internet users as customers, it is based on AIDMA.

    In other words, the fundamental aspect of customer purchasing behavior has not changed even now.

    Moreover, there are still cases where AIDMA excels and is actively used in marketing.

    For products that require repeated consideration from awareness to purchase, like housing or automobiles, and for products purchased in stores, AIDMA is particularly effective.

    For these reasons, AIDMA is still usable, and it’s a model that marketers should at least be familiar with.

    Benefits of Utilizing AIDMA

    Benefits of AIDMA

    • Enables marketing activities tailored to customer psychological states
    • Facilitates evaluation of the company’s weaknesses

    Benefit 1: Enables marketing activities tailored to customer psychological states

    One significant benefit of utilizing AIDMA is the ability to conduct marketing activities tailored to customer psychological states.

    Customer psychological states vary significantly in each phase of the purchasing process.

    In other words, the information that companies should provide changes depending on which phase the customer is in.

    For example, sending the URL of the purchase page to customers who have no knowledge of the product would not be effective, right?

    By utilizing AIDMA, you can prevent such marketing activities that ignore the psychological states of customers.

    This is because you can visualize which phase of customer psychological states your marketing efforts are targeting.

    If you can provide appropriate information based on customer psychological states, it will lead to convincing marketing, and customers will purchase willingly.

    Benefit 2: Facilitates evaluation of the company’s weaknesses

    As mentioned earlier, the use of AIDMA clarifies the position of the company’s marketing efforts.

    As a result, it becomes easier to evaluate weaknesses, such as at which stage customers are not being transitioned to the next step.

    Let’s consider a company that provides a music streaming service through an app.

    Imagine that banner ads introducing the app are getting a lot of clicks (indicating interest), but sign-ups for trials or services are extremely low.

    In this case, there is a high possibility that customers are not feeling the necessity of the service, right?

    Therefore, by improving the approach to the ‘Desire’ phase, it may be possible to increase sign-ups for trials or services.

    By applying AIDMA to your company’s marketing activities, you might gain some marketing insights.

    Feel free to use the AIDMA template below for planning and analyzing your marketing strategies.

    [Summary] AIDMA is Still Useful! Understand Customer Purchasing Behavior for Effective Marketing

    AIDMA represents customer purchasing behavior in five phases.

    By utilizing AIDMA, the relationship between customer purchasing behavior and marketing strategies becomes clear.

    As a result, it becomes possible to conduct appropriate marketing activities tailored to customer psychological states.

    Although AIDMA is sometimes considered outdated these days, it is still an effective model.

    This is because AIDMA captures the essence of customer purchasing behavior, and there are cases where it excels.

    Understand customer purchasing behavior with AIDMA and carry out more effective marketing activities.

    Feel free to make use of AIDMA in your strategies.