What’s Your Zero Moment of Truth?

I think anyone who’s future depends upon the internet or some form of it must read Winning The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). And it’s really easy to get your hands on because you can download it for free here:

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth by Jim Lecinski

So what’s it about?  Traditionally, people purchase a product following some form of this pattern:

1.  Stimulus to purchase (awareness of a product or service)

2.  Going to the store/business to purchase (Comparing to other products on the shelf)

3.  After purchase experience (Did the product live up to what is claimed to do?)

Traditionally this is how we buy.  The majority of marketing dollars were spent (and still are) on awareness of the product, establishing a stimulus to create an urgency to buy.  The Zero Moment of Truth is that moment after awareness but before purchase.  We now have the power to look up whatever it is you are selling and compare it to what others are selling.  Consciously or not, we do much more research before we buy than one would think.

The best brands consistently win two moments of truth.  The first moment occurs at the store shelf, when a consumer decides whether to buy one brand or another.  The second occurs at home, when she uses the brand – and is delighted, or isn’t.

Lecinski talks about the first and second moments of truth as well but the focus is on the ZMOT.  The first moment of truth (FMOT) coming after the ZMOT, the moment in the store looking at the shelf for cough medicine and making a decision of which to purchase.  At this time a lot is going on in your conscious mind and even more in your sub-conscious (and probably worthy of it’s own book). The second moment of truth (SMOT) is the after purchase experience.  After establishing an outstanding ZMOT, companies have the most to gain by focusing on their SMOT  (this is where word-of-mouth is king). And as you can see in the picture below, people talking about their SMOT publicly online now becomes part of the ZMOT for others.

Here are some of the best quotes in the book.

Would it surprise you to know that a full 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase?  Or that 79% of consumers now say they use a smartphone to help with shopping?  Or that 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them.

As search becomes easier (smart phone) and more effectively efficient (Google), we do it more.

The data revealed that the average shopper used 10.4 sources of information to make a decision in 2011, up from 5.3 sources in 2010.

The future reality of communications.

We’re entering an era of reciprocity.  We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives.  The consumer is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that.  To put it another way:  How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?

More than 1% of my searches are for recipes.

Recipes make up 1% of all searches on Google.

Three questions to ask before you put all your products on your website:

Audiences are asking three things about your product: Will it save me money?  Will it save me time? Will it improve my life?

Do people rate your product or business yet?  They will eventually.  What would you score?

Most reviews are good.  “We’ve found that the worldwide average for product reviews is a 4.3 out of 5.0,” says Brett Hurt.  His company provides  customer conversation services to corporations ranging from Wal-mart to Johnson & Johnson.  According to Brett, 80% of all reviews online are four to five stars.

Website analytic data will continue to increase in value.  As focus group testing will become less and less effective.

A focus group is artificial.  People are paid to be there.  They know that there are agency people behind the glass watching them,” he says.  “The only thing that’s pure and authentic in terms of what’s actually happening in the marketplace is how people talk to each other.”

When I go to a presentation at, say, a Hilton Hotel, I tell the audience this:  “There are more reviews online for Bounce Dryer Bar than there are for the hotel we’re sitting in right now.”  It always startles people, and it’s always true.

It makes sense that a lot of our searches are local, I think that percentage will increase over time.

You might be surprised to hear that 20% of searches across all Google properties are local.  That’s not all: that number doubles to an amazing 40% for mobile searches.

Some great questions to ask when developing your online strategy.

When you start typing your product name into a search engine, but before you finish, what search terms fill in automatically below?  Does your website or your message appear on the top third of the first results page of those searches?  How does your brand appear on the key ratings and review sites for your category?  If someone searches for key phrases from your TV ads, what do they see?

A great breakdown of how a multinational corporation treats the different types of media, including social.

The days of controlling the message are absolutely over.  At best you’ll be invited in and you’ll get to co-create and participate with consumers.”  So says Wendy Clark.  She knows a little about the topic: she’s senior vice president for integrated marketing communications and capabilities for the Coca-Cola Company.  As Wendy notes, you have to adjust your content for all three traditional parts of the conversation: paid, owned and earned.  And she adds a fourth: shared.  Paid is the advertising and media you drive and pay for yourself.  Owned is the assets your company controls that you can use to promote and reinforce your brand.  In Coke’s case, they have their packaging (a mere 1.7 billion servings daily) and a fleet of delivery trucks that can be used as communications media.  Shared is areas you may not control directly but where your brand can be featured and promoted. like at the point of sale and, in Coke’s case, in McDonald’s restaurants.  Earned takes us back to the ratings and reviews and social media we were talking about earlier:  Are people inspired to talk about your product?  And if so, what are they saying? 

What kind of videos are you making?

Brand consumers are usually looking for two kinds of videos: Product showcases and demos How-tos and expert advice.

The growth rate is astounding.

Lorraine Twohill, Google’s global CMO, shares these telling numbers: Ten years ago, less than 2% of the population was online.  Now that number is over 25% globally, and close to 100% in many countries.  Two-thirds of the world’s population has mobile phone.  By 2020, 5 billion people will be on the web – and 10 billion people will have mobile phones.

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