What is 'DAGMAR'

DAGMAR is a marketing approach used to measure the results of an advertising campaign. DAGMAR is an acronym that stands for defining advertising goals for measured advertising results. DAGMAR seeks to guide consumers through five phases of regarding the product – unaware, aware, comprehension, conviction and action – while also setting specific, measurable objectives to determine the overall success of the campaign.


The DAGMAR method understands that potential customers are all initially unaware of the product's existence and focuses on leading consumers smoothly through the audience's cycle. The ultimate goal is that the customer purchases the product. The company must identify the target market for the product to make this method effective.

Target Market Identification

The target market is the group of potential customers that has the highest likelihood of purchasing the product. Considerations can include identifying the target market's gender, age and geographic location. Additional thought may be given to the ideal consumer's profession, economic class or technological preference. It is possible to drill down further or leave the target market broad based on the company's goals for the product.

Purchase Cycle

After identifying the target market, the company can develop a strategy for marketing the product using each step in the cycle as a guideline to define specific objectives at each point. The awareness step requires the company to make the product known to the target consumers, while comprehension focuses on ensuring that the consumers understand how the product could function within their lives. Conviction requires consumers to become convinced of their need for the product. The final goal of action involves motivating the consumer into actually completing the purchase.

History of DAGMAR

Russell Colley first proposed the DAGMAR approach in a 1961 report to the Association of National Advertisers. Colley proposed that the real goal of advertising was to communicate, not to sell specifically. By determining whether the consumer had enough knowledge about a product and its benefits from clear, specific objectives within an advertisement, advertisers could tell if their selling points made a difference in the consumer's decision-making process.

Understanding Marketing Plans

A business can take a variety of marketing plan approaches in regards to its product offerings. The purpose is to provide concrete direction as to how to direct marketing efforts and funds. This can help a business maintain an appropriate budget while keeping the target market in mind for all associated efforts.

Regardless of the approach, marketing plans can consider a variety of sources including print, email, media and digital advertising. Aside from the DAGMAR model, other approaches a business may select include the AIDA model, the Ehrenberg model or the DRIP model.