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Age-old marketing tools that need to change

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Anyone who is busy growing a business needs a keen awareness of how marketing techniques have changed in effectiveness over time. 

There are some that have worked for over a hundred years, but there are some that have needed drastic adjusting with the changes in our society – such as the advent of social media and increased globalisation.

One such technique is the AIDA formula used in the sales or marketing funnel. 

AIDA is a very old acronym and what it means is:

-    Attention: you need to grab your client/customer's attention first.
-    Interest: you then need to stoke their interest so the customer is kept engaged.
-    Desire: creating a desire for what it is you have to offer must then be created.
-    Action: and finally you must encourage them to take action and purchase from you (or whatever your call to action is).

The idea is that as you filter down through each of these stages, you reduce in numbers thus creating a funnel. This was first conceived and published over a hundred years ago, but the principles definitely still apply.

Over the last century, people have reworked this formula time and again. A great reformulation is the simplification to "CAB":

-    Cognition: creating awareness or learning.
-    Affect: generating a sense of feeling, interest or desire.
-    Behaviour: having a result where they take action or change behaviour.

There are numerous other re-workings that have been applied to more modern marketplaces. However, in the 21st century, it needs yet more adjustment. 

Historically, these acronyms were taught in such a way that each element requires equal focus.

Now we face a very different market, where advertising is quite literally everywhere. Your potentials are constantly assaulted by attention-demanding headlines and advertisements because they are constantly connected – through their phones, emails and televisions. 

Today's world is totally saturated with marketing, so while this model – or whatever reformulation you like – is still very much sound, the weighting of these elements needs to change. More than ever you have to put more of your focus on the "attention" part of this formula – you need to grab their attention, pull them in, and create some real awareness of your product. It is the first step, and in today's world, is by far the most difficult one to do well.

However, this is not about shouting louder. What you really need to do is make what you're offering clearer – and make it irresistible from step 1. 

This is why it's also really important to choose a niche and target it specifically so your marketing message is transparent and compelling.

From there, you can then go on to provide value, prove your worth, and generate the desire to purchase. 

The old saying goes, "Build it, and they will come." Unfortunately, many business owners with fantastic products just aren't seeing their businesses grow just by "building it".

If your sales are weak at the moment, then maybe your real focus shouldn't be on the value you're providing, but indeed, how well your message is getting across.


This article was contributed by The London Coaching Group, top business coaches who help businesses grow quickly and sustainably to the next desired level.

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