The Zero Moment of Truth

The Key to Rebooting Your Business

When the economy shut down in mid-March, many businesses also curtailed or even stopped their marketing efforts to cut costs. But history tells us that the companies that continue to implement their marketing program during tough times are the ones that do best when things pick up again.

With so much marketing taking place online, the question is, “What’s the best way to use your digital presence (assuming you have one) to keep in touch with your target audience.”

The traditional marketing model has three stages:

  • Stimulus — Where the Consumer is exposed to advertising in a general way.
  • The First Moment of Truth— The nano-second the Consumer makes a purchase. 
  • The Second Moment of Truth — Post-purchase when Consumer now has direct experience with the product or service.

Google added a fourth stage between the first two and called it “The Zero Moment of Truth,” or ZMOT. It signifies the period before the purchase where the Consumer conducts searches, consults review sites, and checks out social media posts to gather information about the product or service they want to buy.

With the economy opening up and Consumers getting ready to buy again, we are heading toward one gigantic ZMOT, and working it might be the best way to take advantage of all that pent-up demand. The key to success is to seed your digital presence with content that will be interesting and useful to your past, present, and future customers. Then, try to anticipate what they might be looking for during this decision-making process and where they’ll turn to find that information.

Working the ZMOT 1: Ramping-Up Your Online Presence

If you’ve been slow to adopt internet marketing, or have been ignoring your campaigns, now is the time to go all in!

Website Content and SEO
Optimize your website content and SEO with keywords potential customers use to conduct searches relevant to your company. Refer to your stats on Google Analytics and use many online tools to see what keywords visitors are using to find products and services such as yours.

Social Media
Develop a consistent social media content strategy to ensure that your brand appears active, responsive, and knowledgeable about your industry and the current situation.

Review Sites
Solicit product reviews from current customers. Have them posted on your social media sites and various review sites.

If you blog, implement a strong blogging strategy. Develop content that addresses your customers’ concerns while providing endless ideas for social media posts and email marketing newsletters.

Email Marketing
Don’t overlook email marketing. It historically offers a $38 – $1 return on investment. Your emails can even be fully automated through drip and trigger campaigns, making sure that you appear at the top of your customer’s inboxes.

Paid Social Media/Paid Search Ads
A great compliment to your Email Marketing efforts and an effective way to target specific demographic groups — by location, age, interests, and much more.

Working the ZMOT 2: Distributing the Right Kind of Content

During this crisis, marketers need to be sensitive about the type of content they are distributing. Rather than focus purely on sales or fluff, building trust and awareness should be your long-term strategy.

Content That Answers Questions
Consumers go online to find answers to their questions or concerns about a product or service. By now, you should anticipate the type of questions your customers would ask. Therefore, every piece of content you post should answer those questions. If it’s not, it’s the fluff, as mentioned earlier, and you shouldn’t waste the visitor’s time on it. 

If your posts or articles answer those questions, the Consumer might not even need to further search. You may have just become a trustworthy partner.

Content That Educates
If a consumer is not ready to buy sales-oriented material or even an innocent demo offer, it can quickly become an annoyance. However, if they don’t want to buy now, that doesn’t mean they won’t want to believe in the future.

If that’s the case, you need to nurture your leads with educational content. Information about your industry, company, product updates, or items of general interest. This way, you become a trusted resource, and when they’re ready to buy, you’re the company they’ll think of first.

Content That Inspires
During this crisis, consumers may be looking for more than just the latest gadget, trinket, or kitty pix. They are looking for reassurance. They are looking for businesses that will help them get through this. Let them know that you’re aware of what’s going on in the world that they have concerns that go beyond your business.

Messages of support, advice on coping strategies, stories about how you and your employees are helping out are all a good place to start.

The Zero Moment of Truth is an opportunity to reconnect with your customers position your company for success in this uncertain environment and beyond.