The Zero Moment of Truth
These days, with the advent of the Internet and social media, consumers have access to endless amounts of information. As a result, a shift has occurred in the mental model of marketing: the ZMOT has arrived.
What exactly is the ZMOT? Well, it’s a component of the traditional mental model of marketing:
Stimulus->First Moment of Truth->Second Moment of Truth
According to the traditional model, the stimulus, such as a catalog or direct mail piece, is intended to get the prospect to the First Moment of Truth (FMOT). The FMOT is the first contact beyond the stimulus, such as a call to customer service. Finally, during the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT), the customer experiences the service by making a purchase.
In the new model, the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is introduced. During this step, prospects conduct online research to determine whether they are interested in taking the next step:
Stimulus-> Zero Moment of Truth->FMOT->SMOT
The ZMOT is an ever-growing cycle and takes place at many online outlets. From Facebook page discussions to customer reviews on Yelp, people no longer need to go to their inner circle for questions regarding products or services they are considering purchasing. What are they doing instead? They are using the Google Search Bar.
So how do you win at ZMOT?
Follow these easy steps:
- Put someone in charge. Not a team, but one person to ensure order and thoughtful execution of ZMOT.
- Utilize the Google search box to find your zero moment. When you type in your company name, notice how Google autocompletes your search. These searches are being made by people upon viewing your stimulus. Also, search “best” and then your company category to see how widely recognized your company is.
- Answer the questions people are asking about your company. Google Analytics and AdWords are useful for tracking these questions.
- Optimize for ZMOT by making your website mobile friendly.
- Be quick. While the stimulus can be controlled, the reaction may not. Make sure you capture and answer all questions that are posed, whether they are positive or negative.
- Don’t forget video. Buyers love to see your product in action.
- Jump in. Think about ZMOT and how it can give you a competitive advantage.
This article was synthesized from research by Jim Lecinski, Google’s Managing Director of US Sales & Service.