Marketing May 7, 2012 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,715 Reads share

Is It Time To Give Old Ideas A New Spin?

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They say that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ …

… course, the real questions is: ‘what was wrong with the old tricks in the first place?’

Do you ever get reminded of old ideas and instantly realize that with a modicum of dusting off or general tweaking that maybe you should revisit them?


I was recently rooting through some marketing books and reference material I hadn’t opened for nearly 20 years (looking for quotes I might use in a book I’m writing on public speaking); And I came across a training manual from the early 90s on advertising.

In opening it, I saw an acronym I had scribbled in big bold print and underlined with red ink; it was a well known copy-writing formula: AIDA.

Ring any bells for anyone? It did for me.

Just in case you don’t know, AIDA stands for:

  • A = Attention (Awareness)
  • I = Interest
  • D = Desire
  • A = Action

Related: Nine Ways To Market On A Shoestring – Without The Internet!

In Olden Days All Marketing Was Personal – Have We Gone Full Circle?

I had in my head that this formula had been spawned in the 70s or 80s, but was surprised to learn that it actually dated back to 1898 – when it was coined by an American advertising advocate, E. St. Elmo Lewis.

His copy writing principles captured the journey individuals took as a preface to making a decision to buy something as a consequence of advertising – some 100 years ago.

Of course, in his day (arguably outside of politics), there was no such thing as national communication campaigns – everything was about localised ‘bring to point’ marketing.

So what?

What we term traditional advertising (aka interruption marketing) has increasingly become less effective and more costly. And notwithstanding almost all of us scour online tools when thinking about potential purchase decisions…

…are we are returning to a point where we need to get local and personal again?

In a previous article, I spoke to what it takes to break through the clutter today – overcoming less effective advertising tools, diminishing attention spans and information overload.

I asked the question whether ‘it’s time to get back to more old fashioned methods, like public speaking and face to face communication to connect more effectively with your target audiences?’

And in thinking about Mr Lewis and his AIDA formula – it struck me that his model still has validity today if you add just one word: Credibility

Whether you’re communicating online or offline (or better still, integrating all your communication efforts for a multiplier effect) we still need

A = Attention

I = Interest

D= Desire

A= Action

But the underlying condition you must satisfy to pass through each step is trust. And make it personal.

Bolster great products and services with investments in personal brands, an increasingly important determinant of whether you and your company will earn the credibility you crave.

So thanks Mr. Lewis for the reminder – who says there isn’t life in the old dog yet?

Over to you. What marketing models (old or new) do you use to drive your business forward?

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Eamonn O'Brien

Eamonn O'Brien

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