Models of Communication

Models of Communication

Various models of communication are shown in the Figure below:

Aida Model

One of the earliest models of communication and advertising effectiveness measurement revolves around what communication goals the marketers set for an advertising program. This is known as AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action) Model. It proposes that the advertising effect is the consumer response to which a potential customer is induced due to an advertising program.

The hierarchy of effects can be explained as per Figure 14.3 in which the customer passes through stages of attention, interest, desire, and action.

AIDA Theory highlights the importance of attracting the attention of prospects and creating interest through advertising messages. The desire to obtain advertised goods/services may be generated to various degrees among different prospects due to consistent exposure to advertising.

The final stage of action or buying occurs as a result of customers passing through one stage to the other. The act of purchase is influenced by many other moderating factors, like product quality, perceived brand image, and distribution and logistics facilities of the company

Levidge and Steiner Model

Levidge and Steiner’s second theory proposed AKLPCP (Awareness, Knowledge, Liking, Preference, Conviction, and Purchase) Model. They give higher importance to cognitive evaluations before the purchase. With an increase in competition and enhancement in the discerning abilities of potential buyers and users, information is likely to play a greater role.

The persuasive power of advertising in itself is a function of the information content. This model also takes into account the prevailing degree of competition. Competition can arise between two brands or between substitute products in two dissimilar categories. The stage of liking (after the stage of awareness and knowledge) refers to the ability of advertising in creating a choice through its creativity and theme.

Preference for the brand is the combined effect of product characteristics and their relevance in satisfying the need of the target audience through creative advertising.

Hierarchy of Effects Model

Hierarchy-of-effects model developed by Lavidge and Steiner are the best known. This model helps in setting advertising objectives and provides a basis for measuring results. This model also suggests that advertising produces its effects by moving the consumer through a series of steps in a sequence from initial awareness to the ultimate purchase of a product or service.

This sequential order indicates the basic premise that advertising effects are elicited over a period of time and that advertising may not precipitate the desired effects immediately because a series of effects must occur before the consumer possibly moves to the next stage in the hierarchy.

The following are the effects of communication:

  • Create awareness among 90% of the target audience – Use repetitive ads in newspapers/magazines.

  • Create interest in the brand among 70% of the target audience – Communicate information about the benefit of the brand such as “The cream is non-sticky and causes no harm to the skin”.

  • Create positive feelings about the brand to at least 40% of the target audience and create a preference for at least 25% of the target audience – Create favorable attitudes by supplying them with samples conveying more information, carrying out the promotional program,s, etc.

  • Get a trial among 20% of the target audience – Issue coupons and discounts to make trial purchases, and use advertisements to achieve this.

  • Continue reinforcement of advertising and more promotion to get at least 5% of customers who repurchase.

Innovation-adoption Model

According to Everett M. Rogers, this model evolved from work on the diffusion of innovations. The model depicts various sequential steps and stages that a consumer moves through in adopting a new product or service. Marketers face the challenge of creating awareness and interest in the product or service among the target audience and evaluating it favorably.

The best way to persuade consumers to evaluate a brand is by inducing product trials or sometimes product-in-use demonstrations. This can lead to product adoption as a result of consumer satisfaction or rejection if the consumer is not satisfied.

Information Processing Model

William McGuire developed this model, which assumes that the advertising audience is information processors and problem solvers. The first three stages in the model, presentation, attention, and comprehension are similar to awareness and knowledge, and yielding means the same as liking. Up to this point, there is a similarity between Lavidge and Steiner’s model.

The next stage, retention is unique to this model and is not present in any other model. Retention refers to the ability of the consumer to accept and store in memory the relevant information about the product or service.

Retention of information is important because most advertising is designed to motivate and precipitate action not just immediately, and the retained information is used at a later time to make a purchase decision.

Implications for Managers

Any stage in the response hierarchy may serve to establish advertising objectives and the effects can be measured. The targeted audience may be at any stage in the hierarchy and the advertiser’s tasks may be different in each stage.

Popular and mature brands of the company may require only reminder advertising to reinforce consumers’ favorable perceptions. Every day, there are ads for products such as Coke, Pepsi, brands of toilet soaps, detergents, and many other products, which are in the mature category and enjoy popularity among consumers.

If the advertising research reveals that a significant number of target audiences have a low level of awareness about the brand and its benefits, then the task of advertising is to increase awareness of the brand, its attributes, and the resulting benefits.

All four models presented in Figure 14.2, depict that in each case the starting stage is cognitive, leading to the affective stage and finally to the conative or behavioral stage. This progression shows the following sequence:

These hierarchy-of-effects models are sometimes referred to as standard learning models. The consumer is considered as an active participant and gathers information through active learning. This type of learning is usually more relevant when the consumer is highly involved in the purchase situation and perceives much differentiation among competing brands.

Advertising for these types of products or services usually is detailed and attempts to furnish a great deal of meaningful information to the target audience.

The research in the last two decades has shown that this high involvement sequence may not hold true in the case of different product categories. Some convenience products that are consumed daily and purchased routinely do not require the high involvement of consumers.

  • Tapan K Panda, Marketing Management, Excel Books.

  • Schramm Wilbur, How Communication Works, in the Process and Effects of Mass Communication, Ed. Wilbur Schramm and Donald F. Roberts, 1971.

  • Burke Raymond R. and Thomas K. Srull, “Competitive Interference and Consumer memory for Advertising”, Journal of Consumer Research, June 15, 1988.

  • Strong E. K., The Psychology of Selling, McGraw-Hill, 1925.

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