What is DAGMAR?

DAGMAR (define advertising objectives for measured advertising results) is a marketing model used to establish clear objectives for an advertising campaign and measure its success. The DAGMAR model was introduced by Russell Colley in a 1961 report to the Association of National Advertisers and was developed in 1995 in a book by Solomon Dutka.

Key points to remember

  • The DAGMAR model defines the four stages of an effective advertising campaign as raising awareness, understanding, conviction and action.
  • The model emphasizes defining the market segment that the campaign seeks to reach.
  • The model also requires an assessment of the success of the campaign against a pre-established benchmark.

Understanding DAGMAR

The DAGMAR approach advocates a marketing campaign that guides the consumer through four phases: awareness, understanding, conviction and action. This route has become known by its acronym of ACCA formula. The four stages of the campaign are:

  • Educate consumers about the brand
  • Better understanding of the product and its benefits
  • Convince consumers that they need the product
  • Persuading consumers to buy it

The DAGMAR method has two objectives. The first is to develop a communication task that accomplishes these specific ACCA steps. The second is to ensure that the success of these goals can be measured against a benchmark.

The DAGMAR method emphasizes that advertising is about communication.

Colley believes that effective advertising seeks to communicate rather than to sell. He specified four basic requirements to assess the effectiveness of an advertising campaign:

  • Be concrete and measurable
  • Define the target audience or market
  • Identify the reference and the expected degree of change
  • Specify a period during which to reach the objective

Special considerations for DAGMAR

The target market is the subset of consumers who are most likely to buy the product. The target market can be narrow or wide. They may be women in general or young single, professional women living in urban areas.

Identifying a target market can include demographic, geographic and psychographic segmentation. Target markets can be separated into primary and secondary groups. Primary markets are at the center of a campaign and, hopefully, the first customers to buy and use the new product. Secondary markets are the largest population that can buy the product once the brand is established.

After identifying the target market, the company establishes the message it wishes to communicate in its advertising campaign.

DAGMAR reference and calendar

The DAGMAR method requires marketers to establish a benchmark in order to measure the success of a campaign. Companies today rarely offer to sell a product to everyone. They target a specific market share or a substantial share of a market segment.

The cosmetic industry offers a clear example. There are consumer products available in pharmacies and high-end products, some produced by the same companies, which are only sold in department stores. There are branded products, packaged and promoted only for teens and others for mature women.

A company presenting a new product targets one or more of these market segments, but not all of them at the same time. In any case, setting a benchmark for product success helps advertisers define the market and create an effective campaign to reach it.

The deadline attempts to set a reasonable deadline for judging the success or failure of the introduction of a new product.

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