Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is a completely new term to me. Upon first hearing it, I first thought that it sounded like the newest primetime TV drama. However, after reading about the marketing phenomenon, I realized I was actually a poster-child for ZMOT. I am that person you try to maneuver around in the grocery store, as stand with phone in hand.
I just spent $5 on a single drink at Starbucks, but now I frantically scan my Kroger app to find the cheapest toothpaste possible- millennials are weird like that. You say, “Excuse me” for the third or fourth time and I finally look up in bewilderment as you give me that look of disapproval. You assume I am just caught up in my social media profile or trying to take a good selfie, but no; I am actually trying to make a very informed purchased decision.
ZMOT is the research that takes place over the Internet before customers make a purchase decision. It happens before the marketer even gets a chance to make an impression on the customer. ZMOT can occur anywhere and at anytime, as long as you have a connection to Google, social media, etc. It may be asking Siri to search for 5 Star hotels in your area, or doing a Twitter search to see what people are saying about the latest movie release. Social media marketers must learn how to wrangle in consumers who are taking part in ZMOT, because the consumer is already ahead of the game.
Marketers should focus on getting their trusted consumers who already know and love the product, to start talking about it on the Internet. Reviews, blog posts, and social media mentions boost search engine results for both B2C and B2B businesses. This generated buzz acts as a virtual billboard; just waiting to pop up once a prospective consumer hits the “search” button. Usually, the search engine can suggest a product before the user even finishes typing.
ZMOT is a never-ending cycle and must be thought about throughout the entire purchase cycle. Once a customer buys a product and uses it, they are entering the second and third moments of truth. They then go online and leave a review or endorse it on their social media profiles, thus creating a potential ZMOT for a brand new customer. This is why it’s important for marketers have dedicated social media teams that are constantly monitoring online activity and engaging with customers online. Browsing the very same content that the customers use will give marketers an idea of their company is being perceived and how effective they are in a ZMOT scenario.