Kelly Kirkham explains what ZMOT is and why it matters for your business…
Over the years marketing trends will come and go, but one technique is back and making a difference in the way consumers shop.
The Zero Moment of Truth was introduced in 2011 by Jim Lecinski, a Google executive, as a way to improve our understanding of the way customers see a product. It was a development on the concepts of Jan Carlzon, who wrote about the first and second moments of truth in book in 1986.
ZMOT represents the time a customer spends after deciding to purchase something, but before completing the actual purchase.
Hypothetically, you decide that your kids need a swimming pool. You’re sick of hearing about how hot it is every day and decide that finally your children have won. You are now facing a dilemma. Which swimming pool do you buy? Above ground? Below ground? 4 foot? 6 foot? There are quite a few decisions to be made.
Lecinski has defined the next step you take as the Zero Moment of Truth. We all know that if we have a question that we don’t know the answer to we’ll inevitably ‘Google it’ to educate ourselves. What consumers find within that search is the key to the exact product they purchase.
Now let’s look at this same situation, but now you’re a retailer of amazing, low priced, high quality swimming pools. When a parent searches for swimming pools you, of course, would like them to find your swimming pools as the obvious purchase in his Zero Moment of Truth.
Now you may ask, “How do I do this?” Well….. That is a huge question. Entire books have been written about how to make the ZMOT bell toll in your favor. Although much has been written, the idea really isn’t quite as complicated as it seems. By changing your perspective to a customer’s point of view you can take very simple and easy steps (that any small business can easily perform) in order to cash in on the Zero Moment of Truth.
In this digital age customers have an immense amount of resources available to them when purchasing any product. If you type ‘buy water’ into a search browser you will receive over 498,000,000 results in less than a second. In less than a second, choosing a basic and essential life source becomes an incomprehensible task.
The lesson we learn from this simple search (besides not to go into the fiercely competitive water business) is that every purchase is a choice with thousands of instantly available answers. This must be recognized in order to actively compete in the digital world. Consumers now rule how business is done an, in order to actively compete, businesses have to adapt.
Once upon a time, there was one store in a town- maybe even two. Patrons of these stores were at liberty to pay what the stores demanded for products and services. This business model is unfortunately extinct. When there are half a billion ways to buy water, businesses can no longer depend on convenience as a way to earn sales. Companies have to adapt and put the consumer first.
So, where is the opportunity? The answer is ‘everywhere’. According to Jim Lecinski, the potential to win sales in the Zero Moment of Truth has grown exponentially.
“In the span of a single month, Google answers over 100 billion searches, according to internal data. So, in the few minutes it takes you to read this, there will be over 7.5 million searches on Google. Each of these searches presents a new opportunity to reach consumers when they’re most engaged.”
Statistics show that 70 percent of Americans look at product reviews online before actually making a purchase. Not only are the majority of American shoppers researching purchases, but they’re using 10 or more different sources of information before choosing a product. Keeping these statistics in mind, it’s crucial to know exactly what different sources are saying about your product as well as your business as a whole.
This is not to say that you can win them all. Every business in the world has that one bad review that haunts them. After all it was Aristotle who said, “There is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”
Needless to say, don’t ‘do nothing’. There are ways to monitor a business’s public appearance. Here are some simple steps any business can take to zero-in on the Zero Moment.
1. Google it
In the same way a consumer can Google your product or business, you can Google yourself. Check out exactly what someone would see when searching for a number of different keywords.
2. Be responsive
Net Promoter Scores are a great way to see exactly what your clients are thinking after coming into contact with your business. Most consumers are eager to tell you how they feel and the experience creates an amazing opportunity to respond effectively to any bad responses.
Social media is now the place for business. If you have yet to create an interactive experience across all forms of social media, now is the time. 37 percent of shoppers are now using social sources in their shopping habits
4. Optimize it
We know, SEO sounds really scary and even more expensive, but this really isn’t true. Every website can use simple tactics to optimize their site when searched. For more information on how to easily optimize your brand in a search engine read this.
5.Talk about it
If your company absolutely rocks a sale, tell the world! Customers love hearing about other successful purchases. This small reassurance alone can push a Zero Moment to a First Moment. Provide a platform for success stories, whether it is a blog, website, or Twitter account. Tell the world how great you are and don’t forget to showcase those who helped you get there.
For more information on how to create an engaging platform for your Zero Moments of Truth check out the Midphase Website Builder page.
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