The term ‘moment of truth – ZMOT‘ coined by Google in 2011 suggested that due to a shift to mobile technology, consumer behaviour will drastically change and there will be an entirely new model in play.
But does it mean more banner ads popping out of your screen and being held at gunpoint until clicked on?
Derived from Procter & Gamble’s ‘FMOT’ concept (‘The First Moment of Truth’): ZMOT is defined as the first point at which a shopper comes across a product on the shelf.
Pretty much the point of purchase or failure for the product.
“If you’re available at the Zero Moment of Truth, your customers will find you at the very moment they’re thinking about buying, and also when they’re thinking about thinking about buying.” (ZMOT, 2011
Defining the ‘Moment Of Truth’ model
First Moment Of Truth (FMOT)
Establishing an emotional connect (via a first impression) between the potential customer and the product can result in an impulse purchase, also referred to as “non-planned purchases“.
In the online marketing strategy, the FMOT typically happens under a variety of situations:
- A Banner Ad Served While We Are Browsing A Website
- A Product Review Or Testimonial Shared On Social Media By One Of Our Friends Or Followers
- An Instagram Post Exposing The Viewer To A New Restaurant Nearby
Second Moment Of Truth (SMOT)
The second moment of truth comes in play when consumers are already using the product purchased during the 1st stage.
The impulse purchase is not what you should want to achieve. But instead, try to convert the impulse buyer into a frequent visitor to your website.
If your customer feels like your marketing promises are not fulfilled by their own personal experience, your chances of converting them into a repeat customer will die a quick death.
And hence, it is critically important to make sure that the product delivers as promised.
Third Moment Of Truth (TMOT)
The third moment of truth is when the satisfied customer becomes your brand advocate.
At this stage, they will share their experience and recommend your product to other people via positive reviews, social shares, word of mouth, and several other ways.
Wait, so where does the ‘Zero Moment Of Truth’ fit?
Google defines The Zero Moment of Truth as the new moment that stands between a stimulus (ad) and the FMOT.
My personal example of a ZMOT customer journey goes like this –
- Step 1: I Need to get a new phone
- Step 2: What springs to my mind while thinking of brands to shortlist?
- Step 3: Do some research to create a Shortlist of the best brands
- Step 4: Open a new browser window, what are the experts recommending?
- Step 5: Open a new browser window, type “[Brand or Model Name] review” and repeat for all options, evaluate the general sentiment
- Step 6: 5-10 minutes later – Find the best price for the product vs trust of the retailer, places an order
The idea has been there since 2011, but as more and more consumers are getting into the habit of ‘buying the product’ and not ‘being sold’, this might be the ‘Eureka’ moment you have been looking for.