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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

Do You AIDAR?

 
Last week, the Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) tribe used a SWOT analysis to determine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing their business today. This week, Lucy explains how AIDAR demonstrates each step of the sales/marketing process. Remember, fire = print.

“Planning for product development success isn’t difficult,” Lucy said, “as long as our marketing program is designed with the AIDAR buying cycle in mind.”

“What is AIDAR and why is it so important?” Org asked.

“Understanding FEI’s position on the AIDAR curve can help us make good business decisions and take appropriate actions,” Lucy explained. “AIDAR is an acronym for the five buying stages: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action and Reorder.”

“Good marketers develop product strategies according to the AIDAR curve,” Lucy continued. “Successful marketing programs take products on a journey from ignorance to purchase, passing through each of the five AIDAR steps in the mind of the target market.”

Lucy wrote AIDAR on the board in block letters:

“A is for awareness,” she reiterated. “The first step of our marketing efforts is to create awareness among as many potential buyers or key business influencers as possible.”

“In the awareness stage, it’s important to choose marketing vehicles that offer high rates of exposure and low costs per impression,” Lucy continued. “In this early stage of the buying cycle, widespread messaging, increased name recognition and a foundation for more targeted efforts are our goals.

“I’m with you so far,” Org said.

“I is for interest. Market awareness of our product should be followed by actions to generate market interest. Buyers need to be comfortable with FEI’s selling proposition before considering a purchase,” Lucy pointed out.

“And how do we make them comfortable?” A curious Org asked.

“We establish ourselves as a bastion of knowledge, value and caring,” Lucy answered. “We position FEI as the problem-solving fire company. Over time, FEI will become synonymous with ‘quality fire services’ in the minds of potential buyers.”

“Once FEI has achieved interest with the right buyers, it’s time for the rubber to meet the road,” Lucy added. “Creating desire is the next step. This involves communicating the benefits of FEI’s products and services to key business influencers. Customers and business influencers want to know: ‘What’s in it for me?’ They want to know that our Fire products and services help solve their specific business problems.”

“What’s the next step?” Numo asked.

“Action!” Lucy cried like a movie director. “Here’s the fun part—in which we get the buyers’ signature. The shortest path to a completed sale involves removing fear from the potential buyer. In the fire business, buyers live in constant fear of production delays due to getting ‘burned’ by an absent runner. If we can credibly claim FEI as the safe choice—which we can—then we’ll remove this fear and win the business.”

“In the action stage, our targeted marketing efforts will be squarely focused on removing fear and any other potential sales objections from the prospect’s mind,” Lucy continued. “Case studies, testimonials and guarantees will support our selling efforts. We can’t wait for quoting opportunities to convert themselves into orders. We must develop a combined sales and marketing strategy that moves prospects toward buying decisions.”

“What’s the R stand for again?” Org asked.

Reorder,” Lucy said. “The fifth and final stage of the buying cycle focuses on developing customer loyalty. We must attend to current customers in order to keep them satisfied; so many businesses overlook this simple principle. After all, the cost of selling to a repeat customer is much lower than selling to a new customer.”

“What now?” Zoot asked. “Is it time to make four hundred different brands of torches yet?”

“Marka and I will figure out the next step. Let’s meet back in three days,” Lucy suggested.

“Three days!” Zoot whined. “I can’t wait that long!”

Today’s FIRE! Point
Good marketers identify where their products lie on the AIDAR curve and develop strategies pertinent to their particular situation. Successful marketing programs of all kinds take products on a journey from ignorance to purchase, passing through each of the five AIDAR steps in the mind of the target market.

FIRE! in Action
Move prospects through the AIDAR curve by creating product benefits

Liberty Mutual has seen strong growth in the mature insurance business. How? By pitching “responsibility” rather than the low prices offered by many competitors.

Next week: Lucy explains the key difference between product features and benefits, and why this knowledge is critical during the marketing and sales process.

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