Category Archives: The Zero Moment of Truth

The Zero Moment of Truth

How the Web Has Changed Markets:  The Zero Moment of Truth

Marketers have traditionally thought of three “moments” in the marketing experience:

  1. The “stimulus,” where the prospect is presented some information, such as through advertising, that arouses interest in purchasing
  2. The “first moment,” where the prospect selects the product from the shelf or the store, and
  3. The “second moment,” when the product is taken home and is used
Today the Web has introduced a fourth “moment,” between the stimulus and first moment, called the “zero moment of truth” by Google and others.  The zero moment is the prospect’s search for information between the stimulus and the first moment.  That search may take place with friends, on social sites such as Facebook, on the Web by adding the term “reviews” to the product name and searching.  Of course, there’s always radio, television and print advertising that can provide relevant information. 
Recent research shows that the average shopper uses 10.4 sources of information to make a purchase decision today!  That’s an increase of almost 100% over one year ago. 

What Does This Mean?

Previous advertising, sometimes called Interruption Advertising, interrupted a prospect’s reading or radio listening or television watching to present a sales proposition.  The hope was that someone would pay attention to these interruptions and come to the store.

Today we must realize that these other 10.7 sources of information are going to be consulted, and we need to put ourselves into those sources as much as we can.  We need to be on Facebook and have a lot of fans.  We need to pay attention to those Yelp ratings.  We need to be reading blogs about our business areas and make sure that we are reflected there.

And the devices are changing as well.  A mobile device, a laptop or tablet or even a telephone is increasingly a zero moment device!  If you’ve seen people in stores scanning product codes with their phones to get information–and competitive prices–are bringing the mobile zero moment into the store.

There is a new challenge here, and also a new opportunity.  There’s the opportunity for us to travel with our customers through their entire product evaluation journey and provide them helpful information all along that journey.

What do we do about negative information that inevitably gets out there?  The balanced reader who is using a lot of sources of information won’t be scared off by just one item, particularly if we have joined that dialogue constructively. 

The Bottom Line

Marketing has changed.  Today we must understand what’s happening during the zero moment.  We  can’t just have a single Web site or even a few Web sites.  We must consider all the sources of information that our customers use, and be sure that we are represented constructively in all those places.

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