Getting into shoppers’ minds
Long ago, before the Internet, shoppers would encounter a new product for the first time on the shelf. The new product would either be physically picked up and evaluated (reading its contents perhaps) and then bought, or placed back on the shelf and ignored. This evaluation process only lasts a few moments, but the process was so critical that Procter & Gamble coined the term “first moment of truth” or FMOT: will you buy it or not?
With the adaptation of the Internet, however, the way we evaluate, research, and ultimately buy products has changed. Long before you reach those store shelves, you’ve often looked online for reviews and similar products.
Instead of the “first moment of truth,” we now have the “zero moment of truth.” This describes our new reality where marketers have to compete for your attention online before a purchase is made.
The web changed how we make decisions
Google has an extensive repository of data and research related to ZMOT. Their repository gives you an extensive overview of how ZMOT can influence potential customers and what you can do to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. One study suggests that you ensure information about your product is readily available. Consumers will be looking for reviews/testimonials, buyers guides, and case studies. They want reviews from your clients, not just directly from you.
They also suggest focusing on optimization of both desktop and mobile versions of your site. Most research done by consumers is done on a phone or other mobile device, so it stands to reason that your site should be optimized to give those consumers a great experience. A good way to check your SEO is to run a Google search for your brand and you’ll see what the consumer sees. If you are not happy with what you see, you may need to adjust.
Visual material is always a bonus
Think about the popularity of YouTube and Instagram, both highly visual platforms and both highly successful. Adding visuals, like product demonstrations or video testimonials can help bring that Zero Moment of Truth home.
Even if you’re completely happy with your site, SEO, and marketing strategy, the information about ZMOT can help you convert leads into regulars, give you a better idea of what the consumer is looking for, and generally give you a better idea of the instant gratification culture we’re now living in. Have you looked at Google’s ZMOT data? If so, what did you think?