The Consumer Buying Process

I watched a very touching ad just the other day. It was a Samsung India Service ad with more than 200 million views on Youtube. Watch the video to find out why Adweek hailed it as the most watched ad in 2017. So what does the video have to do with the consumer buying process? Youtube might be a different medium, but all ads have one critical mission to accomplish – emotionally connect with the target market.

With millions of dollars spent on advertising per month, you need to up your game to get noticed by your target market.

Try watching a TV commercial. What is that one ‘wow factor’ that makes a commercial riveting? Let’s use the AIDA strategy for example. You might be scratching your head wondering what AIDA is, well it stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. A commonly used model in digital marketing.

Whether in print, television or Internet, your ad has a more powerful impact if it captures your consumer’s interest. Let’s dig deeper into the AIDA model hierarchy.

AIDA Model in Consumer Buying Process

A-Attention

This is a crucial step, and the first few seconds are important. Okay, so you might be thinking, “If I have a great product, then I should instantly attract the consumers’ attention, right?”

Unfortunately, not quite.

No matter the product, you will still need to design an ad to attract consumer attention or the so-called creative disruption, otherwise they will never have the opportunity to discover how great your product is. How do you get consumers to notice you?

Use a real-life situation. What has recently caught your attention? A girl with blue hair? A crystal-studded car? Or maybe, a rainbow glitter pizza? These are the things that you don’t get to see every day. An unusual sight. These things have shock value and, at times, they intensify your feelings. They let your consumers know that your product or service exists.

I- Interest

Ah, the hardest part of marketing your product or service. Sure, you captured their attention, but if your pitch is not interesting enough, they still won’t check it out. How do you poke your consumer’s interest? Something that many companies resort to is giving them something they can’t resist like discounts or freebies. Free or discounted items attract consumers.

But you can also add a catchy tagline that will entice consumers to try your product: BIGGER, BETTER or TASTIER!

D- Desire

Now that you have made your product interesting to your consumers, the next step is to keep them hooked. This is the step where you create a desire or want. Notice how infomercials present their products? They don’t highlight the features. They focus on the benefits. Why benefits and not features? People are more likely to purchase your product if it will make their lives easier. Simply answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” and you will persuade your target market into buying your product.

A- Action

Now, the fourth and final step! ACTION. All the efforts you put in will be useless if you don’t motivate consumers to take action…not later, not tomorrow but RIGHT NOW. A sense of urgency compels consumers into buying your product immediately. The powerful call-to-action like Limited Offers, Available Until Supplies Last or Try It Free drives consumers to take immediate action.

Now comes the product cycle…

The Life Cycle Of A Product

Whether you’re running a small or large business, it’s important to know the stages of your product lifecycle. Yes, your product may have a so-called natural life, but it shouldn’t pass away so soon before it could gain traction. The good news is, despite the decline, there’s still a chance that your product life can be extended. Let’s first examine what these product lifecycles are.

Market Introduction

This is the first stage of the cycle. It’s very promising and everyone in the marketing team is excited about how the sales will turn out. It’s expected that during this stage, there will be a low sales growth rate. Don’t panic! It’s normal since you’ve just launched your product and consumers may not be completely aware of its existence. This is also the stage when most businesses incur losses because users don’t know the product’s true potential. Again, don’t panic. With your advertising campaigns using various types of media, users will soon be aware of your product.

Speaking of advertising campaigns, the market introduction stage is a great opportunity to put your creativity to the test. Always make sure you are investing the time and creativity to go the extra mile to beat the competition. Tradeshows are often the best venues for prompting customers to try your product. It might also be beneficial to give away promotional items. Use this stage to your advantage. If your product proves to be in demand or effective, you can create a monopoly to emerge a victor among your competition.

Growth

The growth is the stage when you’re already increasing brand awareness, thanks to your advertising campaigns. Your product gains acceptance from the industry, consumers, and the general public. This is a sign that all of your marketing efforts are taking shape. With the acceptance of your products comes better sales, growth and most importantly- profits. You’ll notice that demands start to rise, expanding initial distribution.

Your advertising campaigns are not enough because you need to take them to the next level to acquire more customers. Aside from getting new customers, you also have repeat purchases from initial buyers. (Make sure you maximize your CLV, as mentioned here) As mentioned earlier, you develop a monopoly by beating out any competitors. If you’ve created a monopoly, it will continue to exist in the growth stage. Because of this marketing strategy, you’ll need to maintain sales growth by maximizing your CLV and working on the efficiency of your marketing.

The growth stage is crucial. In fact, it’s considered the best time to introduce to your customers whatever product features or innovations you plan to add. These product upgrades create a positive product image, which is a contributing factor to eliminating your competitors who attempt to improve their product, introduce their product as a substitute, or copy your features.

Maturity

While your product has already gained widespread acceptance, the maturity stage causes your sales to slow down once it reaches its peak. This is the stage with the longest life cycle. Like the growth stage, maturity leads to another brainstorming session with your sales and marketing team to prevent product decline. It’s a stage where you need to introduce new features to customers and improve on the original design.

Competitors are becoming fiercer and fiercer and most of them are already advanced and established. You may notice that sales growth continues in the early part of the maturity stage. But, this doesn’t mean you should sit back and relax. Your product has reached its peak, but will ultimately decline.

Decline

It’s the last stage of the lifecycle of a product. This is when profits fall and production stops. New products dominate the market and staying innovative seems like a challenge. You find it difficult to maintain your sales level because consumers have also changed their tastes. It’s could be because of new technologies that rendered your product obsolete. One blunt example is Blockbuster vs Netflix.

How To Use These Product Life Cycles In Creating A Marketing Strategy

Now that you have an idea about the lifecycle of a product, the next stage is to formulate a marketing strategy that will enable your product to stay relevant in the market. During the introduction stage, you should not pressure yourself to generate immediate profit. Use this stage as an opportunity to create awareness. Of course, you need to establish the product quality level as well. Obtain intellectual property protection and aim your promotion at early adopters and innovators. You might also want to consider selective distribution until consumers completely accept your product.  

The growth stage is where you gain an opportunity to research on building brand preference. Make sure you maintain product quality and introduce support services and add features. With little competition and increasing product demand, it’s imperative that you maintain your pricing if not increase it due to high demand. If distribution in the introduction stage was selective, the growth stage allows you to add more distribution channels to cater to demands. Your advertising campaign is not only aimed at a selected few but rather a broader audience.

The maturity stage means that you need to double down on improving your marketing strategy and product offerings. If you want to maximize your profit, you need to enhance your product features, making sure you don’t have similar offerings as your competitors. This stage has a different approach to promotion because it’s more focused on product differentiation.

All businesses dread the decline stage. As more innovative products continue to dominate the market, there is a need to implement some new value-adds. When there’s a decline in sales, your option is to reduce costs and continue to offer the same product, discontinue the product, or improve and re-position the product.

The consumer buying process and the product cycle go hand in hand. Understanding the behavior of consumers will enable you to never stop innovating and the fact that your product can either have short or long life cycle will even motivate you to always wear that thinking cap.

Now that you have an idea of what AIDA is, I have some homework for you! Remember the Samsung ad I told you about earlier? Take some time to watch it. Find out what makes the ad captivating to its target audience. It’s a good starting point for creating an ad that will make your audience say “YES”.

One more thing, two heads are better than one when it comes to designing an effective product offering. Why not have someone who already understands the consumer buying process and how to leverage it for success?

Give us a call at Next-Gen Business Solutions and explore our full range of services. We don’t just make promises, we deliver!

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