Zero Moment of Truth

Why are you not able to sell? Part 2: Understanding Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

As I explained in my previous article, the traditional model of marketing is outmoded because it misses out on one stage in the process—Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). The best way to explain ZMOT to you is with a story…

One day, when I was watching the TV, I heard the beautiful voice of Hayley Westernra in a commercial promoting her latest album. That stirred my curiosity about her as that was the first time I heard of her name. The commercial was the stimulus that got me acquainted with Hayley Westernra’s work and performance.

If that was twenty years ago, before the dawn of the Internet age, I would pop in the nearest CD shop to look for her album. Chances are, once I got to look at the nice-looking packaging, I would buy it at the counter. That would be the First Moment of Truth at the Shelf. Once I reach home, I would play the CD and listen to her beautiful music. Once I become her fan, I would gladly pay a few hundred bucks to go to her concert and experience her voice with my own ears—that’s the Second Moment of Truth.

Today, the process is different. Before I bought Hayley Westernra’s album, I googled her name to find out as much about her as possible. I looked at her official website for starters and listened to some samples of her music. Then I headed to review websites to look at the reviews and endorsements of people who had bought her album. Then I checked out blogs that talked about her. Next, I asked my friends on Facebook to find out whether any of my friends had already bought her album. This is the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). The process looks like this:

Zero Moment of Truth

What is ZMOT? A good description goes like this:

ZMOT is that moment when you grab your laptop, mobile phone or some other wired device and start learning about a product or service (or potential boyfriend) you’re thinking about trying or buying. I’m sure you know what I mean — you probably do web searches like this every day.

At the end of the ZMOT stage, I was ready to buy Hayley Westernra’s album.

To give you an idea how important ZMOT is, let me show you some statistics:

  1. 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase?
  2. 79% of consumers now say they use a smart-phone to help with shopping?
  3. 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them?

As Jim Lecinski wrote in his book,

This is how consumers live and learn and make decisions today: from ratings and review sites, from friends on social media, at home and on the go, and (more than ever) from video. They learn from search results, user reviews, four-star ratings, text ads, image ads, news headlines, videos and even good old-fashioned official brand websites.

Is your online business ready to meet your customers at ZMOT?

About the author

I am a Technology Consultant, whose passion is to help small businesses reach their full potential through mastery of digital technologies, strategies and marketing.