Table of Contents
Table of Contents 1
The Problem 2
Zero Moment of Truth 3
What can be done? 3
How Can it be Done? 6
The marketing world is going through an evolution of technology, everyday new technologies and innovations keep making their way into our lives making it difficult to keep up with the latest technologies. This has contributed immensely to the change in consumer behavior which has made it very difficult for marketers to meet the need and expectations of consumer. This crisis is identified as the ‘immediacy crisis' where marketers are trying to figure out how this continuously evolving technology can be used to their benefits. New technologies like video conferencing, augmented reality, virtual reality, big data, artificial intelligence, pattern recognition, mobile platforms and application, location-based information and many others provide a very interactive and highly personalized experience to the consumer which enables a very rich exchange of information and data between an organization and consumer if used relevantly. The objective is to analyze and conclude the best practice using these technologies to satisfy the consumer.
To understand the problem, it is crucial to analyze how the technologies has changed the behavior of consumers and how it has managed to change the behavior of consumer.
A model has been developed based on the decision-making behavior of the consumers after a study on twenty thousand consumers from five different industries and across three continents. The study shows that the consumers decision making process has changed significantly from narrowing doing to the right choice to adding and removing the brands under consideration during the process stage identified as evaluation leading to a finalized decision, once the decision is made the consumer starts to build a relationship with the brand thorough the product and start to share its experience to the world on the online platforms. There are four stages of the consumer behavior according to the model (1) Consider, (2) Evaluate, (3) Buy and (4) Enjoy, Advocate and Bond. The social media plays a vital part in the evaluate and advocate part of the process.
Zero Moment of Truth
This term was added not long ago to describe the new decision-making behavior of the consumers. Zero Moment of truth or ZMOT is the idea of list stage of any purchase a consumer is about to make which decides the future of a brand to consumer whether it will make it to the list or not. As the consumers of this age makes his decision at home instead of making it in store or at the shelf also the “First moment of truth” as described by Dina Howel. Today's consumer is much informed as the do proper research before reaching for the shelf the create a list of brands where brand keep on adding and subtracting based on their reputation, brand identity, price, product and etc. Each of the brand on the list goes through thorough research, consumer browse, dig and explore every possible aspect of the brand and product till they have finally made up their mind and are confident of the decision by the time consumer reaches to the shelf the decision is pretty much made and he is already well aware of the product and has all the information the was needed to come to this point. Another possible situation of ZMOT is the decision-making moment when you hear about a brand you like launched a new smartphone and you instantly feel interested but you don't just go and buy the phone right away instead you go online and start researching about it this is where the marketing has to do its job.
The new decisions are being made by what you research online the reviews, the rating, opinions, friends, users of the product and this learning and analyzing of a product from numerous source on the internet makes your decision at the Zero Moment of Truth.
What can be done?
“When consumers hear about a product today, their first reaction is ‘let me search online for it.'
And so, they go on a journey of discovery: about a product, a service, an issue, an opportunity.
Today you are not behind your competition. You are not behind the technology, you are behind your consumer.”
Chief Strategy and Innovation officer
The classic marketing has a traditional three step mental model for marketing that has been used by the marketers for decade.
In reference the to this model the new change the technology has cause is in the first two stages the Stimulus and Shelf. The basic things are still the same as people still watch tv, read newspaper see advertisements but the difference is now they go online instantly and search about the reviews, rating and opinions. This leads to searching more for similar products and finding that satisfies them, a decision is made and they already know what to buy before even ordering one or going out to buy.
Many marketers already have a lot to work with the stimulus part of the model they have team, strategy, marketing, affiliates, business partners but what can win when it comes to the zero moment of truth.
This is the true nightmare for the marketers, organizations and brands. According to a research people spent almost the same time online as much they spent watching television based on Forrester Research. The marketers and organization fail to realize the true impact of digital media on the consumer decision making and the potential of digital media to help them win the zero moment of truth because online world is shaping the decision making of the consumers. In 2010 only 15% of the advertisement budget was spent on the digital marketing.
The key is to target the consumers where they are making their decisions including the ZMOT into the traditional three step mental model for marketing which will grant a significant advantage over the competition as this will enable you to engage with millions of consumers before the even enter the store.
This new model adds the ZMOT to the basic traditional model and modifies it to match the needs of the current industry needs.
ZMOT is based on the research work from Google and based on their research ZMOT implementation has produced significant improvements across industry whether its B2B or B2C business.
The impact of ZMOT can be seen on the US elections in which Donald Trump became the new president of United States. It was later discovered how data of millions of users was stolen from the Facebook and later sold to be used in aiding the election campaign for Donald Trump which is one of the biggest controversial cases of current time.
To judge the impact of ZMOT Google had a study conducted by Shopper Sciences on over five thousand consumers from twelve different categories, ranging from groceries to cars. It was revealed that average consumer would use 10.4 source of information to make a decision in 2011 and the number of resource used by a consumer on average had almost double in period of just one year.
How Can it be Done?
In order to be successful at implementing this new ZMOT model to your marketing strategy it is crucial to take certain steps.
The first step is to see what happens when you start typing the name of your product or service in a search engine, what suggestions come up and predictions does the search engine make. Does your product, service or brand appear in the results? Does your brand or product have good reviews on popular websites in relevance to the category? After you have answered these questions there will be a much clearer picture of your brand reputation and standing against the competition.
According to research by Google, there are 7 steps or stages in achieving ZMOT.
1. Put Someone in Charge
ZMOT is a dedicated job and has to be assigned to someone who can take the responsibility and is suited for the job. There are certain traits that individual should have like Creativity, strategy, digital and social media knowledge, the person is also expected to work all kinds of marketing teams and be part of all major and marketing decisions strategies being made with his fair share of input.
2. Finding the Right Zero Moment
Zero Moment of Truth varies from product to product across different categories and industries. This is an important job a has serious impact on the ZMOT as a marketer implementing the ZMOT you and your team must be fully aware of your brand or product is search on the internet what terms people use what categories do consumers look for it.
As per your analysis and research the predictions that come up while you search for your product are the Zero Moment for your product as these are the most popular searches.
The next step is to use a tool that can give details on the product keywords and on the related and familiar terms that people use.
3. Answer the Questions people have
The people are curious they want to know as much as possible about the product the more they know the more satisfied they feel and this leads to purchases there are two tools from google itself that help you identify the popular question people have about the product.
Google trends and Insights are free tools that can help.
4. Optimize for ZMOT
This is where you are through half the important step and already answered some of the most important questions about your product but at this stage you do show up on searches but how can you make your product or brand to appear more. This is where the teams need to get creative relate the product to new stories, trends and be part of events sometimes in a subtle way.
Use the different method of appearing more in searches like:
Paid: used paid advertisement
Earned: get better reviews ratting and create a good reputation in consumers
Owned: use of asset owned by the company to promote.
Shared: find relevant areas and company where you can share advertisement like accessories for phone.
Use the mobile users as separate target as they require a different method of approach companies are using specially designed website that are optimized for smartphone to provide consumers with optimal experience.
Run mobile only campaigns separately, the mobile world is even more competitive when it comes to decision making thing happen much faster on smartphone. That is why it is best to use separate targeting for phone users.
5. Be Fast
Another key thing is to be fast and up to date with trends and market situations and use opportunity to promote yourself and go viral as in today's marketing being fast with viral content and relating your product to it gives you edge and gives a long-lasting impression in consumer memories.
6. Don't Forget Video
Using the second most used search platform Youtube to your benefit. The consumer now more than ever looks for video reviews, unboxing and first impression on the internet where they look for answers that they are unable to find in the text versions.
7. Jump In
The best way is to jump into situation as Google describe it that is the best thing about online world the is pre-steps required and this can be used to your companies benefit. And requires the ZMOT in charge to be free and creative.
In my opinion the marketing world has evolved and is still going through evolution as new technologies keep contributing to it.
This is the age of information the consumers are more aware than ever and more critical as well which is both and opportunity and threat but it depends entirely on an organization to use either of the two aspects in its favor.
The digital media boom has changed the way of traditional marketing and it is essential for everyone to adopt and accept the change otherwise they'll be left behind and forgotten.
• The first use of this term that I know of was in a SymphonyIRI Group report in October 2009:
• “Zero-Moment of Truth: Redefining the Consumer Decision-Making Process.”
“The New Info Shopper,” Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, 2009
Google/Ipsos OTX MediaCT, “The Mobile Movement Study,” April 2011, N=5,000 4. BabyCenter Study on Google Search, Nov. 2009
• eMarketer, “U.S. Total Media and Online Ad Spending,” Nov. 2010
Google/Shopper Sciences, Zero Moment of Truth Macro Study, U.S., April 2011 3. International Association of Athletic Federations
Designing branded mobile apps: Fundamentals and recommendations
Zhenzhen Zhao *, Christine Balagu ́e
Telecom School of Management, LITEM, Institut Mines-Te ́le ́com, 9 Rue Charles Fourier, 91000 Evry, France
• https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10548408.2013.751276?scroll=top&needAccess=true The Impact of Social Media on the Consumer Decision Process
...(download the rest of the essay above)