Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) has recently become a hot topic in the field of marketing. It is the moment when a customer hops onto their laptop, smartphone, or tablet to search for a product or service that fits their needs. It’s before the First Moment of Truth, when a customer sees your product on shelf in a store. At the ZMOT a customer is actively seeking out information in search, watching videos, reading reviews and asking their network for information. As marketers we need to make sure that we have a plan to win the customer over at this stage.
Customers are at the point where they already know what they will purchase before they enter a store, call a supplier or in our case select a marketing agency.
Why is the Zero Moment of Truth Important?
ZMOT is becoming more relevant than ever before, especially when it comes to searching online. According to a Google/Shopper Sciences study, searching online is at the same level as or even eclipsing friends and family as a source used in the purchase process, which is a first. We know the source of the study may be a little biased, but it’s still interesting.
This is all great, but how can you compete and win in the Zero Moment of Truth era? In his book Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, Jim Lecinski says 80% of the success can be attributed to just showing up. What does he mean by that? The basics are that the customer journey is not a neat little pathway from awareness to purchase anymore. Consumers don’t first see a commercial, research online, sign-up for an email newsletter, get a direct mail piece and go in-store. A customer’s journey has become more complicated than that. Some customers are actually now doing their research in-store, comparison shopping online and eventually buying from Amazon. It’s called showrooming. Just ask Best Buy how it’s hurting their business.
So the key is to be everywhere the customer is actively searching for you. Having a killer website, using SEO, pay-per-click, videos, reviews, and social media will increase the chances of your customer finding you online when they are seeking out your product or service.
With that said, here are a few simple ways you can enhance your brand’s ability to “show up” when people are seeking out a solution, service, or product.
Make sure you can be found on multiple devices
If your website isn’t responsive you may be in trouble. Consumers are searching for your product on multiple devices, especially at the Zero Moment of Truth phase. They can be hopping from laptop to smartphone to tablet to TV. Make sure you are everywhere and your brand is consistent across these platforms.
Use Pay-Per-Click and SEO, focusing on non-vanity keywords
Many businesses make the mistake of assuming customers are “directly” searching for their products. Let’s take the example of a company that manufactures baseball bats. They may try to run pay-per-click ads focused on keywords like “baseball bat” or “baseball”. Instead they should focus on solving the problem of their customers with a phrase like “how to hit a baseball further” or “off-season baseball training” or “baseball swing mechanics”. It’s at these moments that a customer may actually look for a solution like a baseball bat to help solve their problem.
Generate social signals
If you’ve got a great product with little to no reviews, you are missing a huge opportunity to generate business. Ask customers for reviews and testimonials whenever you can. This is an excellent way to show up in more search results. Make sure your business is on Google+. It gives your customers an opportunity to +1 your products. Generate recommendations on LinkedIn and Facebook. Do whatever you can to generate positive social cues and share them with the world.
These are just a few ways you can get started at winning the Zero Moment of Truth. Remember that this is an ongoing process of optimization and refinement. To keep winning you need to keep working, which is why it is so much fun!