Back in the olden days, consumers would hear about a product on mass media and purchase it in a store. It was simple and easy.

Nowadays things are different.

In the world of Advertising 2.0, the purchase process is divided into 3 stages, and each one must be considered as a communication program is put together.

The Pre-purchase stage is the first phase.

At this point the consumer is thinking about a purchase. They are doing research, asking around, comparing, and price shopping.  While they will inform themselves through traditional media vehicles like TV and Print, they will also be doing so online and in-store.

The Purchase stage is the second phase.

This is the “first moment of truth” and it happens in the store or wherever the purchase is made.  The plan must take into account the store, the retailers website, price comparison websites, auction style websites, mobile commerce and location based commerce.

The Post Purchase stage is the last stage.

By this time the consumer has purchased and used the product and has an opinion that she wants to share. Here the Plan must take into account product review sites, retailer solicited reviews and social media. Given that consumers tend to believe other consumers more than they do the Marketer, this last phase is crucial. It can make or break the Brand.

When thinking about developing communication, take into account the three stages of Purchase and the two way nature of the conversation.

It is a different way of thinking and it will make all the difference in the results.

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