by Ray Larson
“Decision makers need to factor into their present decisions the ‘future’ has already happened.” Peter Drucker
What is ZMOT? As a business owner why do you need to care?
ZMOT stands for the “zero moment of truth.” Google developed this acronym at the conclusion of a landmark study of the buyer habits in this new information “age of plenty.”
Decades ago CPG torchbearers Proctor & Gamble anointed the moment consumers entered a grocery store and beheld the wonders that lie on the shelves before them as the magical “first moment of truth.” Brand awareness built through persuasive advertising in the form of television, print, billboards and other offline messaging heavily influenced the buyer’s imminent purchase decision.
Google’s 2011 research heralded the dawn of an era of an empowered consumer, no longer tethered to the yoke of loud, interruptive, persuasive messaging.
In case you were sleeping the past ten years or so the future “has happened.” Your customer has made their decision to buy long before they enter your store or website. They’ve researched their pending decision on line, from a cell phone, tablet, laptop, or maybe even a desktop. Many times they know more about your product or service, warts and all, than your highly paid sales team. That first moment of truth when the magic happens? It’s been trumped, preceded, subordinated, and replaced by that moment when the consumer begins their research. This is now the moment when the magic happens, this zero moment of truth.
Here at Vende Digital you’ll hear us repeatedly refer to “ZMOT.” We educate our business owner clients on ZMOT. We equip them with the strategy and tactics to win the business of this empowered consumer.
Here are three essential ideas you need to understand about ZMOT to win.
- Show up. If your firm, product, or service doesn’t show up early in the research process, you’ve already lost. Woody Allen once quipped, “Eighty percent of life is showing up.” He was off by 10%. That same Google study revealed that 70% of all purchases in the United States start with an online search. So you need to show up, online and in search.
- Collect reviews, even bad ones. Social media platforms and then review aggregators transformed the way consumers share information about their favorite product, services and brands. Don’t be afraid of them. Negative reviews lend an aura of authenticity to the 5 star rants of your brand ambassadors. Of course if you have a lot of negative feedback, you may have bigger problems.
- Target future buyers. These are your cheapest source of traffic to your website. Future buyers are also the most numerous. They are not ready to buy, only thinking of it at this stage. Future buyers have little or no brand affinity. They seek a subject authority and a company with a good reputation so that they can trust them to fulfill their needs.
If your product remains invisible to a future buyer the odds are you’ve lost them to a competitor. If you have no reviews posted about your firm (or only 5 star reviews) and your competitors do, your future buyer’s doubts about whether or not you can be trusted are left unresolved.
To summarize: make showing up in search, early, a priority, allow your future buyers to see what their peers think of your brand, and target future buyers, those that are thinking of buying later, not now.
If you want to discuss how your firm can target clients at their ZMOT, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll give a you a free no BS website analysis then consult with you about the results. Free of charge.