Perhaps A should stand for alpha male when it comes to the unrelenting hold that awareness has over us, the dominance it exhibits over our attention, and more important, our investment in awareness-led initiatives relative to the other three components. A could also stand for Advertising, because it is predominantly this—or, more specifically, paid media—that is deployed in order to deliver on an arbitrary awareness objective.
I’m still not quite sure where it is written that telling and selling1 should eclipse all other steps in marketing acquisition to the point of dwarfing them in the process. To this day, there are still way too many companies that invest way too much money in efforts that have nothing more than a singular goal: create awareness. Don’t take my word for it—take the test yourselves. Divide your marketing dollars into the following four buckets:
Budget Breakdown Against A.I.D.A.
Investment DollarsPercentage of Total
Awareness (e.g. advertising)$%
Interest (e.g. search)$%
Desire (e.g. promotions)$%
Action (e.g. e-commerce, POS, in-store)$%
I wonder if it’s nothing more than desperation—or perhaps I should say resignation—that motivates otherwise smart people to set a bar so unbelievably low that their entire success or failure hinges on a binary state of being aware or unaware. To be sure, if people don’t know about you, your products, their benefits, and what makes them different and/or better than competing products, the odds are much lower ...

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