ADKAR: How To Turn Browsers Into Buyers

Robert Gillespie
2 min readJun 14, 2022


Today I want to share a powerful marketing framework with you called ADKAR.

It’s an acronym for the five stages your audience needs to go through for a change (a purchase🤞 ) to be successful: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.

The thinking behind ADKAR is that “Organisational change requires individual change.” So it’s often used when large-scale changes need to take place across organisations with multiple personas.

From a marketing perspective, however, I like to use ADKAR to help me think strategically about how I am going to market and create content for different personas who are at different stages along the buyer’s journey. How do I move them forward?

Unfortunately, a lot of beginner marketers don’t think strategically about content creation and user journeys — which leads to confused prospects who don’t buy from you.

The five building blocks of the ADKAR Model:

These 5 steps are sequential.

Step 1: Awareness of the need for change

The first building block is to raise “awareness of the need for change”. It’s about why this change is necessary. It’s about highlighting the opportunities that are available and why the change has to happen now. It’s not about your product at this stage.

Step 2: Desire to participate and support the change

More and more awareness does not result in desire. You have to talk to the motivators that create desire: It could be the likelihood of gain or achievement or the desire to be part of something different. You want your prospect to say to themselves “I want to be part of this change.”

Step 3: Knowledge on how to change

Once your prospects have the awareness and desire to change, we need to arm them with the knowledge to make that change possible. This is where our product or service comes in. The first is knowledge on how to change, and the second is knowledge on how to perform effectively in the future state so what skills and behaviours are needed to support the change.

Step 4: Ability to implement desired skills and behaviours

Ability is where an individual is now applying the knowledge on how to change and is achieving results. I look at this as where a buyer has now purchased something from you and is actively using it to help them transform. It could also be a free piece of content — like a lead magnet — where they have been armed with the knowledge on how to make a change.

Step 5: Reinforcement to sustain the change

Reinforcement is a key component of a buyer’s sustained change. As marketers or solopreneurs, we need to create content that continues to support their decision to buy from you and transform. As new trends, tech or information becomes available we can educate our buyers on how to implement this into their new life. It’s also a great way to continue engaging with your customers, which can give them the confidence to go deeper with you on your Ascension funnel.

Read this post and more on my Typeshare Social Blog



Robert Gillespie

I write about Digital Entrepreneurship, Marketing and @Notionhq | Currently Vice President of Marketing @JPMorgan Chase | UK Entrepreneur of The Year final