How can you use the 4As framework to effectively measure advertising effectiveness?

The 4As framework is a tool used to measure the effectiveness of advertising and understand how well an ad performs. It stands for Awareness, Attitudes, Action, and Allegiance. Here’s how you can use each aspect to measure advertising effectiveness:

  1. Awareness: This measures how well the advertising campaign has succeeded in making the target audience aware of the product or brand. You can assess awareness through surveys, web traffic analytics, and social media monitoring to see if there’s been an increase in mentions or searches for your brand.
  2. Attitudes: This assesses the target audience’s feelings, beliefs, and perceptions towards the brand or product as a result of the advertising. You can measure attitudes through sentiment analysis on social media, focus groups, and surveys that ask about perceptions, brand associations, and intent to purchase.
  3. Action: This measures the behavior of the target audience following the advertising campaign, primarily focusing on whether the advertisement prompted any purchase or engagement behavior. Metrics here include sales data, website conversions, coupon redemptions, and any other measurable customer actions that can be directly tied to the campaign.
  4. Allegiance: This measures the long-term relationship and loyalty of customers to the brand. It’s about understanding whether the advertisement has contributed to building a lasting bond with the audience. Customer retention rates, repeat purchase behavior, and customer lifetime value are key metrics to assess allegiance.

From my experience,  the key to measuring advertising effectiveness with the 4A framework or similar (AIDA, STDC) lies in the KPIs you choose.

Awareness – since your target audience is at the top of the funnel, you often cannot evaluate your activities based on ROAS. CPM (cost per thousand views), CTR (click-through rate), or reach are more relevant metrics. In this stage, you want as many people engaging with your brand as possible for the lowest possible price.

Attitudes – most relevant metrics at this stage are website analytics metrics:
Page depth or funnel analysis for quantitative analysis
On-page surveys for qualitative analysis
Your goal should be to push as many website visitors toward conversion as possible. Also, data about returning visitors and remarketing campaigns help determine your users’ attitudes.

Action – here we go: conversions. Here the KPIs should be CAC (customer acquisition cost) and ROAS (return on ad spend). But remember to look for a bigger picture. Don’t evaluate your campaigns only in the ad accounts (Google, Meta, TikTok, etc.); look for overall data. Use MER (marketing efficiency ratio) as your key metric. Don’t rely on more than just Google Analytics, but also compare with data from your CMS (e.g., Shopify).

Allegiance – the key is to distinguish your new and returning customers. When you have this data (ideally from CRM), you can build up reports defining aMER (acquisition MER) or nCAC (new CAC).

For an effective measurement, you should establish clear benchmarks and goals for each of these areas before the campaign begins. This way, you can compare pre- and post-campaign data to see how the advertising has moved the needle in each of the 4As. Additionally, it’s important to use a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to get a holistic view of the campaign’s effectiveness.

Gabriel Jurčo

After five years at 6clickz, Gabi developed into an e-commerce consultant, in charge of international e-shops with 6+ markets and 8-digit turnover.