The 5As Customer Framework is a Marketing Funnel or Purchase Funnel model to help analyse, understand, and then influence what happens to consumers on their journey as they transition from brand and Solution ignorance to hopefully customers and then rabid fans who advocate the Solution.
Although there are challenges and limitations when categorising a continuum, such as where our conceptual ‘journey stages’ overlap and can coexist, there is still value in creating models to help us understand the complexities involved.
In the 5As Customer Framework, each ‘A’ is a journey stage represented by Aware, Appeal, Ask, Act, and Advocate.
Aware – this is the entry point for the consumer. Consumers become Aware of your brand and your Solution (and those of other vendors), through a variety of means such as traditional advertising, social media, seeing your Solutions in the wild, recall from previous use or exposure, and word-of-mouth advocacy.
Appeal – Having become Aware of certain brands and their Solutions, consumers then make a shortlist of those that Appeal to them.
Ask – If consumer’s needs and curiosity are strong enough, they will actively seek out more information about appealing Solutions by Asking. Consumers ask in a number of ways, such as seeking out product reviews either online or offline, calling vendors and their salespeople, and by asking friends, family, and acquaintances.
Act – If consumers are convinced by the information that they have gathered in the Ask stage, they may Act and purchase the Solution and in so doing become customers.
Advocate – If the customer’s experience with the brand and its Solution has been positive, customers may become very loyal to the brand and Advocate on its behalf. Loyal customers have also been known to defend brands when they have come under unwarranted criticism.
A point to note is that customers need not traverse through each stage, some may take shortcuts depending on their starting, social, and environmental contexts. Further, some advocates may not purchase at all, as evidenced by non-purchasing Tesla fans.
The value of the 5As Customer Framework is that having established the validity of the model, we can then analyse to see what customers are doing or not doing within each stage, as well as analysing why customers drop out of the journey during or between stages. Armed with such information, we can then aim to improve our brands, Solutions, and marketing.
Adapted from Marketing 4.0, Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, Iwan Setiawan.