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The Zero Moment of Truth

(Note: This article is a sidebar within the article, The new customer.)

What is the Zero Moment of Truth?

The simplest way of looking at it is a fourth step in the traditional three-step marketing process. Traditionally, purchasing has been a linear decision:

1. Stimulus – Something, typically an advertisement or word of mouth, stimulates a potential buyer to find out more about a product.

2. First Moment of Truth – This is when the buyer sees the product for the first time, such as the boat on a showroom floor.

3. Second Moment of Truth – The buyer experiences the product when they take it home, leading to hopefully good word of mouth and the stimulus for the next buyer.

ZMOT, though, adds a fourth step – the Zero Moment of Truth. This step comes between the stimulus and the First Moment of Truth. It’s the name Google uses to define the action of grabbing your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other mobile device to learn more about a product or service you’re thinking about trying or buying.

The biggest difference is that retailers have now lost control of that process. The Zero Moment of Truth is when potential buyers now can see what everyone who has ever posted anything about your dealership, your service or the boats you sell. Before, marketing was about interruption; now it’s about being part of the conversation. Before, the seller drove the process; now word-of-mouth drives the process.

These are some of the most common ZMOT activities shoppers reported in a Google survey:

• Searched online, used search engine
• Spoke with friends/family about the product or service
• Comparison-shopped products online
• Sought information from a product brand manufacturer website
• Read product reviews or endorsements online
• Sought information from a business website
• Read comments following an article or opinion piece online
• Became a friend, follower or “liked” a brand

(To learn more about ZMOT and how your company can make the most of these trends, you can download a free eBook from Google at www.zeromomentoftruth.com)


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