Explaining the zero moment of truth

Our buying habits have completely changed in the last decade, thanks to the endless amount of research we can do on the Internet. In the midst of reaching for our phones, tablets, or laptops every time we want to buy something, a new term was coined—the Zero Moment of Truth.

First, a bit of history. You may have heard the phrase “Moment of Truth” before. In 2005, a Proctor & Gamble executive coined the terms “First Moment of Truth” and “Second Moment of Truth” to describe when a shopper first interacts with a product online or in person and when he or she uses or experiences the product shortly after it, respectively. (Later, the “Third Moment of Truth” was coined to describe when a customer provides feedback about a product and becomes an advocate for a brand.)

But as shopping habits began to change, more buying journeys started with a search. For example, if you’re searching for new CRM software, you might begin by searching “CRM system for mid-sized business.” The results include solutions you’ve heard of and some you haven’t. You may quickly browse organic results and paid ads on the page before clicking on a result.

This is the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). It’s the discovery phase of shopping, where you may search for a product and consult buyer’s guides and reviews before making a selection.

And it’s also the reason that so many businesses are focusing on digital transformation.

To reach customers in today’s buying environment, you have to meet them at the ZMOT to capture their attention and direct them to what you’re selling. This means developing a digital strategy that includes a strong focus on organic and paid search, social outreach, and content development—all tactics that can help a business be found when users begin searching for a solution or a problem.

Now, if you can’t be found, you don’t exist. And the ZMOT proves that.

To reach customers at the ZMOT, you should:

  • Ensure your website is optimized for search. SEO is not just a buzzword or something your IT team is concerned with. Ensuring you can be found through online searches provides a direct line to your customers and prospects.
  • Develop a consistent, high-quality, audience-focused content program that will improve your SEO and provide relevant and interesting content that prospective buyers seek throughout their path to purchase.
  • Create a comprehensive distribution strategy, including email, social, and paid advertising, to help your content reach your targeted audience.
  • Establish a social presence to connect with engaged customers and prospects. Provide them with new content and customer service to help customers along their journey.

By ensuring you’ll “be there” when a prospective customer searches for a solution, you’re influencing their ZMOT and increasing your brand awareness.

Contact us at 215.441.4600 or Email if you have questions or would like to discuss how this topic may impact your business.


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