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  Know Your Buying Cycles  
Internet marketing is a powerful way to grow your business.  Your insight into your target market is a key component to succeeding online.  If you know the buying cycle of your target market you will be able to effectively market to them at all stages of it.

Beginning of Buying Cycle

Every industry will have buyers that start their buying cycle with some basic research about the products or services they are interested in.  By doing some keyword research you can identify these early-stage buyers and capture their attention before your competitors do.  Here are the types of search terms they will use:

•    Printer reviews
•    best DVD players
•    luxury sedan comparisons

The terms they use when searching will clearly identify the fact that they are in the information gathering process.  Provide them the information they want on your site and via e-mail so you can follow-up market to them.
Mid Stages of Buying Cycle.

As consumers progress in the buying cycle they will start narrowing their online searches.  For example they may use terms like:

•    Color laser printer
•    Sony DVD players
•    Lexus models

At this stage they have narrowed in on what they want but have not necessarily made a final selection.  This is an important stage in the buying cycle where you need to give consumers information that will push them towards purchasing.

Stages of Buying Cycle

This is the stage that most people focus on.  The final stage of the buying cycle is when a consumer is ready to buy.  The types of search terms at this point are:

•    Epson Stylus 900
•    Sony HD-9180
•    Lexus LS 450

The consumer identified what they want to buy and are now looking for where to buy it.  This is when they need to know why they should buy it from you.  You want to focus on service, price and reputation.

If you focus your Internet marketing efforts only on the end stages of the process you will lose the opportunity to capture the interest of and loyalty of potential customers in the early stages.  Take the time to give consumers at the earlier stages of the buying cycle the information they want and they will reward you with consumer confidence and loyalty.

All stages of the buying cycle should be part of your Internet marketing strategy.

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