When was the last time you made a purchasing decision without doing some research? Apparently 88% of us research before we buy, consulting an average of around ten sources. This along with an increasing access to the internet and the number of devices used to access the internet is further shaping our behaviour. Statista.com reported in a 2015 study that 46% of internet users in the Asia Pacific region and 20% of Internet users in North America had purchased products via a mobile device.
In early 2011, Google partnered with Shopper Sciences to uncover the journey a modern day consumer takes before they purchase a product either online or at a brick-and-mortar store. They found that the consumer decision-making process triggered after being exposed to a stimuli but preceding the first moment of truth is significant. This was termed as ZMOT.
Today consumers do not go knocking at the doors of retailers to inquire more about a product after they are exposed to an advertisement for that product. They connect to the internet, search more about the product, read about other consumers’ experience with the product and reach out to their family and friends.
In order to win customers, marketers need to understand how consumers think and act. ZMOT helps marketers to gain that perspective and then utilize the learning to further develop their marketing strategy and fine-tune their tactics in the marketplace.
Products must hold up not only to industry standards but also to the reviews of any customers who have ever used the product. So what can you do as a business to ensure your product survives the zero moment of truth?
- Answer the questions that shoppers are asking
- Make information about your product readily available so shoppers can compare
- Solicit reviews about your product–good or bad, they’ll help you improve
- Get your product listed in buyer’s guides
- Be prepared for rigorous comparison versus similar products
Enveritas Group [a global consultancy who offer bespoke, on-brand content solutions] suggest the following for at ZMOT in 2016:
- Focus on mobile. According to a May 2015 report from Google, more Google searches now take place on mobile devices
- Think global. ZMOT is a consumer behavior that is occurring and growing around the world. A recent study on winning the ZMOT in Asia revealed that 78% of Asian women use search as a significant part of their decision-making process for consumer packaged goods. This means you not only need to be providing the right information in the right place at the right time; you also need to provide it in the right language. Content localisation is a must if you want to win the ZMOT with international consumers.
- Remember there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The path to winning ZMOT varies hugely depending on industry, target audience, location and more and you need a unique, customised plan. It’s all about jumping in, tracking results and adapting to the ever-changing consumer journey.