The Zero Moment of Truth Drives which Brands Make the Shopping List
February 21, 2012 § 2 Comments
If you haven’t read Winning the Zero Moment of Truth yet, I urge you to do so soon. This is a powerful eBook by Google’s Jim Lecinski who shares seven smart steps to help you WIN at ZMOT. ZMOT is that critical moment that occurs between stimulus and the first moment of truth (aka at the shelf). It happens when consumers grab a smartphone, tablet, laptop or other wired device and start learning about a product or service they’re interested in or thinking about buying.
According to Forrester, American households now spend as much time online as they do watching TV. Yet in 2010, only about 15% of media ad budget money was spent online. Online decision-making is skyrocketing, but online marketing budgets aren’t keeping pace. Therefore, according to Lecinsiki, “change your marketing mental mode to include ZMOT, and you’ll stand to gain a very big competitive advantage. Because you’ll reach those millions of shoppers who are making decisions before they enter the store.”
A recent study conducted by Shopper Sciences revealed that the average shopper used 10.4 sources of information to make a decision in 2011. This compared to just 5.3 sources one year earlier. And 84% of shoppers said that ZMOT shapes their decisions. This compared to 76% during stimulus and 77% during the first moment of truth making it even more important in moving consumers from undecided to decided.
And it’s not just stores and consumer packaged goods that are affected. “ZMOT is at work across all industries in B2C and B2B, and in areas like politics and education,” according to Lecinski. But, if you’re still not sure that ZMOT is important in your product category, then “grab your own laptop or smartphone now and go to your favorite search engine. Enter your company’s name or the name of your company’s flagship product and add the word ’reviews.’ Then do a new search and try putting the word ‘best” with your product category. What do you see on the page? “I’m betting you see ratings and opinion sites, online stores, coupons, images, demonstration videos.. and competitor sites” Lecinski states.
Then he asks three more potentially painful questions: “Are you happy with what you see? Based on what you see, will somebody buy your product? Can they even find your product?”
To win, you must be present at the zero moment of truth when your potential customers first begin thinking about buying. It happens online – typically starting with a search on Google, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube or any other search tool or engine. It happens in real-time - 24-hours a day and is happening more and more frequently on the go (i.e., according to Google, its mobile searches doubled last year!). And the conversation is multi-way: marketers, friends, strangers, websites and experts all have their say and compete for attention.
Bottom line: As marketers, the choice is ours. We can either choose to ignore the zero moment of truth or we can jump in, join the conversation and use Lecinski’s seven-step formula to win.