ZMOT | What You Need to Know

Thursday, September 01, 2016

"Google it."

It's become a verb. When you don't know something, your instinct isn't to drive over to the closest library and flip through books. It's to "Google It." You pull out the closest technological device, most likely your smartphone, open up your browser, start typing and the information comes pouring in. Millions of links, photos, videos, tweets, blog name it, it's most likely there. But the important question is, when people don't know something about you, your product or your company, are your links, photos, videos, tweets, and blog posts the first things they see?

With the marketing world constantly changing and evolving, it's important to keep up and know the latest, greatest strategies for effective marketing. One such strategy I stumbled upon in my Digital Marketing class last Thursday was Google's Zero Moment of Truth, or ZMOT.

Let's start with a little bit of history.

Back in 2005, Procter & Gamble did a study where they found that brands that were consistently succeeding were doing so by flourishing in two moments of truth. The first moment of truth (FMOT) is when the consumer goes to the store and decides which brand they want. The second moment of truth (SMOT) happens when the customer gets home, uses that brand and either likes it or doesn't. These two moments of truth are vital and Google soon discovered that there is a moment before the FMOT and the SMOT called, yes, you guessed it -- the zero moment of truth (ZMOT).

Let's break it down now. Examples are nice right? Visuals are cool too.
SOURCE (pg. 17)

Step 1) Stimulus
You're scrolling through Facebook, distracting yourself for a little bit, when you see a promoted ad for a new laptop and you get super excited. This is the stimulus.

Step 2) Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
You open up a new tab and start researching the brand of laptop. You look at the different styles of laptops, read the reviews, check out the competitor brand's laptops, ask your friends on Facebook for their opinions, and watch a bunch of unboxing videos on YouTube. You're already ready to make a decision, even before you go to purchase.

Step 3) First Moment of Truth (FMOT) aka Shelf
You go to a BestBuy and see the same laptop brand on display. It's got great visuals, you've done your research and you purchase it. You had already made up your mind during ZMOT, but making the purchase became your FMOT.

Step 4) Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) aka Experience
You go home, unbox it (just like in the videos), and it turns out to be just as great as you expected. The experience you had with the brand became your SMOT.

But why does this make ZMOT important? It helps drive decisions.

From Jim Lecinski's "ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth," I learned that Google conducted a study through Shopper Sciences where they tried to find where about 5,000 shoppers across 12 categories were influenced to move from undecided to decided. They found that in 2011 the average shopper used 10.4 sources of information to make a decision, which is double the amount of sources from 2010 (5.3 sources). These sources range from TV commercials and magazine ads to recommendations from friends and family to websites. You can learn more about this study here, starting on page 17.

When doing their research, people generally want to know three things, according to Lecinski:
  • Will it save me money?
  • Will it save me time?
  • Will it improve my life?
We've all been in the shoes of the shopper at one point in our lives but sometimes we get lost in the profession and we forget that. How can we as marketers bring value to the customers? One way is to connect with them during that precious ZMOT.

Have you heard of ZMOT before? If so, what do you think are some advantages/disadvantages of ZMOT? If not, do you think there's anything to gain from utilizing ZMOT?

x Manpreet

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