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What is ZMOT and How Can It Help Your Business?

Before we understand the Zero Moment of Truth we must first go back to when the idea of a marketing “moment of truth” originated. In the foreword of Winning the Zero Moment of Truth published by Google, Dina Howell former Vice President of Global Media and Brand Operations at Procter & Gamble describes how the “first moment of truth” was discovered.

The First Moment of Truth

The first moment of truth refers to the first 7 seconds a consumer has with a product on the store shelf, during this moment they evaluate packaging, price, and relate any marketing messages they’ve seen before and make a decision whether or not to buy the product. This is one of the “moments of truth” a marketer must win in order to gain a new customer.

The Second Moment of Truth

The second moment marketers must win in order to gain a new customer is when the customer takes home the product, tries it and decides whether or not they like it, would recommend it and/or would buy it again.

The Zero Moment of Truth

The first and second moment of truth were a revelation when marketers first discovered them; it helped them focus their messaging a drove them to market more effectively by tying together messaging at each intersection of the customer experience. But there is a new moment of truth that technology and the web has brought us: the Zero Moment of Truth.

The Zero Moment of Truth refers to all the research consumers do online before making their purchase. The internet has empowered people to know more about the product they’re going to buy, than the person selling it to them.

How do People Search for your Company’s Product or Service Online?

This is fairly simple, let’s say I am in the market for a new pair of headphones, a typical search might go something like this:

Or let’s say I already know the brand I wanted to buy, e.g. Sony; I would search for

These 3 searches are becoming the predominant ways people are searching for products and services online. As marketers it’s up to us to make sure we provide our potential customers with valuable content that informs their purchase decisions. We also need to be there for them in every facet of internet marketing:

We may not have total control over where someone researches in ZMOT, but we definitely should have presence. The book Winning the Zero Moment of Truth stresses that we must embrace reviews in order to be successful and that 80% of online reviews are written by 20% of users; and that 80% of reviews are 4 and 5 stars. It also talks about how a few negative reviews can lend authenticity and make positive reviews more credible. Reviews can even help you better your product and/or service, even helping you drive sales.

Watch this video to find out why reviews are the new word of mouth:

We’ll talk more about this ZMOT and how it applies to B2B and service based companies in blog posts to come!

Is your business embracing ZMOT? Tell us how!

Post By Steve Toth (120 Posts)

Steve is an industry recognized SEO expert who has been published in Moz. He is an audiophile and loves all things internet marketing. Steve enjoys working on the conceptual side of SEO.


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