The Tale Of ZMOT, FMOT, and SMOT
Unfettered access to information has forever changed the way consumers make their buying decisions. This means that if they change the way they choose a product, the way you sell a product should also change.
According to Google research, 88% of US customers are researching online before actually buying the product. Instead of hoping to catch your buyers in the last phase of the buyer’s journey, you should now be a part of that journey from the very beginning, at the Zero Moment of Truth.
What Has Changed?
There is a reason why we trust our longtime friends more than others. It’s simple, we have a history with them. The same logic applies to your brand and customers; you need to be by their side before they are ready to buy. Consumers are more likely to choose a brand they are familiar with, trust and have previously had a positive experience with, than a strange new brand that's selling to them.
Think like a customer: you have a need or a problem. You also have a lot of questions... questions like
- What do I need to understand about my problem?
- What solutions are available?
- How much will the solution cost?
- What are the pros and cons?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- Are there any guarantees?
- What are the alternatives?
And so on. The brand that manages to answer these questions when you're just browsing secures your trust and possibly the future purchase — even if the purchase doesn’t happen that day, or within a week, or within a month. You will eventually make the purchase decision or, even better, spread the word about the brand and the information they shared with them.
Information is power, and that power is in the hands of the buyer. It’s your job as a marketer to leverage that.
Back to the New Buyer Mentality. Here’s what the traditional process looked like before Google introduced the Zero Moment of Truth.
Image Credit: Google
- Stimulus is the exact moment the customer feels a need for a product or a solution for a problem.
- First Moment of Truth happens when a buyer enters your store, office or comes across your product on the shelf. They are scanning the possibilities, including you and your competitors.
- Second Moment of Truth happens when the customer has already bought your product, took it home and has had their first experiences with it. If you have successfully delivered the promise, you've won the SMOT.
In many cases, you might also find an additional step called TMOT (Third Moment of Truth) or UMOT (Ultimate Moment of Truth). It happens when a buyer shares their experience and promotes your brand with a testimonial, review or simply tells a few friends. In inbound marketing we like to call it the Delight stage.
And this is what the new buyer’s journey looks like.
Image Credit: Google
As customers have the freedom to do hours of research before they head out to your store, ZMOT becomes the biggest stage of the process.
Zero Moment of Truth happens when a customer goes online to research and have their questions answered.
So, How Do You Win The Zero Moment Of Truth?
Every second there is someone asking Google about their issue, and they might not even know what exactly their issue is at the moment. Thousands of people are browsing the forums, review websites, social media, and other websites for answers, because they want to have information before they are ready to face your salespeople.
To win the Zero Moment of Truth, you need to know what questions your customers are asking, and you need to get your answers placed where they are looking. What information can you share with the readers to make them more educated about your service? What are their challenges and concerns? What information do they need in order to feel confident about choosing your solution?
Your consumers want your authenticity and your expertise; most of all, they need to be offered value. They need you to help them. If you accomplish this, then by the time they are ready to buy, you will already have a strong relationship with them.
To dig deeper into the ZMOT and how you can win it, go ahead and download our free eBook below!