Kotler's 5 A's of a Customer Path (Journey) in the Connected Era

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Shubhi Kotiya
CxO / Board, Germany

Kotler's 5 A's of a Customer Path (Journey) in the Connected Era

In the past, the customer journey used to be described using following 4 A's:
  • AWARE (Attention),
  • ATTITUDE (Interest, Desire),
  • ACT (Action),
  • ACT AGAIN (Satisfaction)
These 4 A's should be rewritten including a fifth 'A' in the connected era. A typical customer journey ("Customer Path") in the connected era is now: Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act and Advocate:
  • AWARE: Gateway to the journey. At this stage, the customer has a long list of brands to filter from. Brand awareness by advertising, past experiences and word of mouth helps customers to process the information. Past experience and advertising efforts of the brand facilitates a better recall.
  • APPEAL: The customer in this stage becomes attracted to only a few brands, depending on the wow factors a brand presents and brands with a stronger appeal.
  • ASK: The curiosity that a brand created in the appeal stage leads to questions. In this stage, customers research the brand for more information. They seek information from family, friends, media, online product reviews or directly from the brands. This stage is the intersection of online and offline media and customers use all the possible channels to gather information.
  • ACT: If customers are convinced in the Ask stage they will enter the Act stage. This stage today is not limited to the physical purchase of product or services but also the overall during- and after- purchase experience brands provide to make customer's purchase decision memorable.
  • ADVOCATE: With multiple experiences satisfied, customers slowly turn into loyal customers. And they finally enter the Advocate stage where they actively or passively advocate the brand to other buyers.
The stages in the five A's are not always straightforward and are sometimes even spiral. A customer might sometimes skip one step and enter directly into another.

⇒ Do you think Kotler's 5 A's Model captures the essence of the stages of a customer path in the digital age?
Sources:
Philip Kotler, Hermavan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiawan, (2017). "Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital", pp. 62-66.

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