What is 'DAGMAR'

Created in 1961 by Russell Colley, Defining Advertising Goals for Measured Advertising Results (DAGMAR), is a marketing tool for measuring the results of an advertising campaign. DAGMAR seeks to guide consumers through four phases, also known as the ACCA advertising formula. ACCA is an acronym for awareness, comprehension, conviction, and action. It also sets specific and measurable objectives to determine the overall success of the campaign.


The DAGMAR method stood on two core principles. The first is to develop a communication task to accomplish goals. The second is to establish objectives with measurable results for the communication task.  The goals of communication tasks are to generate awareness of the brand, increase consumer comprehension about the product and its benefits, convince consumers that the product offering is of use to them, and finally to persuade the customer to take action and purchase the product.  Following the communication task is the job of defining measurable objectives.

History of DAGMAR

Russell Colley first proposed the DAGMAR model in a 1961 report to the Association of National Advertisers. Colley proposed that effective advertising seeks to communicate rather than sell. Advertisers determine whether their communications influence a consumer's decision-making process by determining whether the consumer had enough knowledge and understanding of a product and its benefits from clear and specific objectives.  According to Colley, there are four requirements of reliable objectives. 

  • Be concrete and measurable.
  • Have a well-defined target audience or market.
  • Identify the benchmark and the degree of change from this starting point.
  • Specify a period during which to accomplish the objective.

The Target Market 

The group of potential customers or clients is the target market. These customers have the highest likelihood of purchasing the product. The identification process includes demographic, geographic, and psychographic segmentation. The targeted market may be narrow or broad depending on marketing initiatives and sales goals. Target markets can be separated into primary and secondary groups.  Primary markets are members of the target audience, to which marketing efforts are primarily focused. Secondary markets are the target audience members that marketing efforts will address after the primary market is reached.

After identifying the target market, the company establishes objectives for advertising, and then the objectives for communications. Identification comes from answering questions about why you are communicating and how you are communicating. Once the objectives are known, advertisers measure the effectiveness of the advertising or promotional campaign.

DAGMAR Benchmark and Time Frame

Understanding the current position or benchmark enables advertisers to establish goals and select campaigns that will yield the best results.  The objectives should state how much change is desirable. Creating a benchmark is essential in adequately measuring advertising's effectiveness.  Measurement against the benchmark will show the progress at any point in the campaign. 

Setting a time frame ensures accurate evaluation of results.  The time frame should be reasonable, such as six months or one year, to prevent skewed results from static marketing.  The time frame identifies whether the campaign objective is accomplished and becomes the point of comparison to the benchmark.

  1. Advertising Costs

    Advertising costs are a category in financial accounting that ...
  2. Banner Advertising

    Banner advertising refers to the use of a rectangular graphic ...
  3. Mobile Advertising

    Mobile advertising is type of advertising that appears on mobile ...
  4. Hierarchy-of-Effects Theory

    The hierarchy-of-effects theory is a model of how advertising ...
  5. Native Advertising

    Native advertising is promotional text designed to blend in with ...
  6. The Advertising Club of New York

    The Advertising Club of New York is an organization that focuses ...
Related Articles
  1. Small Business

    How is Programmatic Advertising Changing Media?

    Understand what programmatic advertising is as well as the technology that drives it. Learn about the top four ways programmatic advertising is changing media.
  2. Small Business

    Trends In The Digital Advertising Industry

    The rapidly expanding digital advertising industry is leading a shift towards content and demanding forced innovation.
  3. Small Business

    Advertising From TV To Internet: An Industry History

    Changes in television consumption habits have forced advertising to target audiences through new means, namely Internet advertising.
  4. Small Business

    7 Companies With Big Advertising Budgets

    Here's what the corporations with some of the biggest advertising budgets in the U.S. spend their money on.
  5. Investing

    Amazon Earned $2.5B From Digital Ads: WPP Chief

    This is the latest estimate for what could become an increasingly important part of Amazon's business.
  6. Small Business

    P&G Finds Targeted Ads Not Worth It (PG, FB)

    Proctor & Gamble Co has stated that it plans to scale back on targeted advertising on Facebook Inc., citing its limited effectiveness.
  7. Investing

    Twitter's Self-Service Ad Platform Improving Global Engagement (TWTR)

    Find out how small- and medium-sized businesses around the world use Twitter to gain new business. Twitter now offers its advertising platform in 200 countries.
  8. Small Business

    Digital Advertising Is The Future, But Why? (ZNGA, GOOG)

    Digital advertising has outgrown the internet.
  9. Insights

    Facebook Advertisers Increase to 4 Million (FB, GOOG)

    The number of advertisers on Facebook has increased by 25% to 4 million in the last five months.
  10. Insights

    Facebook, Google Dominate as Mobile Ad Spending Hits Record High

    The two tech giants reportedly captured over three-quarters of advertising spend in 2016, in what was a record year for digital marketing campaigns.
  1. How important is advertising revenue in the Internet sector?

    Learn about the importance of advertising revenue in the Internet industry. Find out how much Internet firms rely on advertising ... Read Answer >>
  2. How do Internet companies profit if they give away their services for free?

    Learn how companies in the Internet sector make a profit when service, content and user applications are offered at no cost ... Read Answer >>
  3. Can I make money advertising on my car, or is it a scam?

    Are car wrap advertising companies legitimate? Some companies are scams, but some car wrap companies offer legitimate ways ... Read Answer >>
  4. What are key operating activities in a company?

    Find out the things that make up a company's operating activities, including examples of some the key operating activities ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center