15 years ago, the marketing messages we received were all delivered using TV, radio, print, PR, and word of mouth. Today everything has changed. Marketing messages are no longer displayed to us face-to-face. We take control of everything ourselves and look for information about the products we want to buy. For marketers, each of these search moments is an opportunity to help shape the decisions your customers make. In this article, we take a look at these critical moments of truth and see how we as marketers can take advantage of them. For your information, in this article, we will look at one of the latest ways of thinking about this, which Google calls the Zero Moment of Truth, and see how our internet connections and always-on devices can be unlike the past. Influence purchasing decisions.

Moments of truth

In 1981, the struggling CEO of Scandinavian Airlines proposed a change in customer service philosophy that would later be named the Moments of Truth. These moments focused on connecting with the emotional needs of airline customers during customer service interactions.

The company deals with these moments thousands of times a day, and a positive interaction could create a feeling of superiority for the brand and, as a result, more loyalty to it. Customer loyalty could lead to profitability in successive interactions. Customer service that focused on emotional moments led to brand loyalty and more businesses. After some time, there was no more threat for this company to go bankrupt.

If we move forward 35 years, everything has changed compared to that time. Customer contact points with brands have multiplied; Smartphones, social networks, search engines, reviews, live chats, email, phone or face-to-face. There are so many moments of truth today, and connecting with the emotional needs of customers is more important than ever with multiple touch points. People expect to get answers as quickly as possible, through different channels, and we as marketers, businesses, and brands must be able to provide the information they are looking for.

The first moment of truth

First Moment of Truth is a model proposed by Procter & Gamble in 2005. If you don’t know what P&G is, the company owns a portfolio of brands, most of which you will recognize, and which have products that you have probably already bought and have in your home right now.

FMOT is related to the moment a potential customer experiences a product on the product shelf of a store. In this micro-moment, the brand has the best possible chance to make a shock or unplanned purchase and convert a passerby into a customer. Shock purchases are those that are primarily driven by emotions, so this can be achieved by appealing to emotions, values, ​​and feelings at the point of sale.

If you’ve ever wondered why supermarkets replace everything, you can find the answer in studies of unplanned and impulse purchases. There are clear indications that reduced usability of the shopping experience can lead to longer in-store stays, more product encounters, and more impulse and unplanned purchases.

In today’s modern marketing environment, the first moment of truth is not limited to seeing products on their shelves in stores. This can also happen in a variety of situations, such as those listed below.

  • A customer viewing a variety of products on a store shelf or a POS display
  • A possible diner (!) looking at the restaurant menu in the window
  • A customer visiting a prospective service provider’s website for the first time
  • A traveler looking for hotel scores and reviews to go there
  • An office manager is comparing different prices for printer ink

It is very important to know that this part is not the beginning of the customer journey the first moment of truth can be considered as breakfast time. This is where pre-sales marketing and branding come into play. In most cases, a user is exposed to a stimulus that triggers FMOT.

The second moment of truth

The second moment of truth is when the customer uses your product. It doesn’t matter if that means eating a meal that looked delicious on the menu (the first moment of truth) or getting a facial with a beard paste that promised to not harm the skin.

This is where your product or service must live up to the promises made in your marketing. If you fail at the second moment of truth, your chances of getting repeat customers are greatly reduced.

The third moment of truth

This is a moment of favoritism. Just like a normal sales funnel, we should go from awareness (trigger) to sales and ideally, to post-sales offers. This is where you turn a customer into a fan. This is where you build true brand loyalty.

In the real world, building a following usually requires a business process to incentivize happy customers to review you or share positive sentiments about you on various social media channels.

Zero moment of truth

Whether we’re shopping for a car, our hobbies, or a vacation, the Internet has changed the way we make purchasing decisions. Today, after the initial stimulus and before users reach the first moment of truth, they encounter several decision-making moments that Google calls “zero moment of truth.” The zero moment of truth is the moment when the spark of buying a product or using a service is formed in a person’s mind.

The zero moment of truth was originally discovered in a research study conducted by Google in 2011. The study found that the customer journey is changing.

  • 50% of buyers have used a search engine to research a brand or product
  • 38% of buyers have compared different stores online
  • 36% of buyers have checked the websites of brands and businesses
  • 31% of buyers have read online offers, reviews, and endorsements before purchasing

All these things are for 2011 and since then people have adapted much more to smartphones. Another research study conducted in 2014 shows that consumers are using their smartphones to research a product, and today there are many more touch points between a customer and a brand than ever before. There is.

The zero moment of truth is a new moment that is placed between the stimulus (advertisement) and the first moment of truth. Suppose a mother sees an ad that talks about the importance of eye exams for children. While in the past this mother might have contacted an eye doctor directly, today she picked up her smartphone and started researching the best brands, prices, reviews, and business opportunities in this field.

The zero moments of truth can happen in search engines and social networks, and the result is a more confident and informed purchasing decision.

A 2011 study found that more than 79 percent of consumers use a smartphone to help make a purchase, and 83 percent of mothers claim to research a TV ad online after seeing it. Considering the age of these statistics and the rapid growth of smartphones and mobile internet, we can imagine how far these statistics have reached in today’s world.

The main point here is that today’s users do research, read reviews, compare brands, talk to their friends, watch videos, and interact with each other on social sites. They set up, read the news, and even visit the brand’s website to make a purchase decision, while all these things are done in the zero moment of truth.

New marketing model

The main concept here is that today’s customer journey is broken down into hundreds of Micro Moments. Moments of wanting to know, wanting to go, wanting to do, and wanting to buy. What is the best body shampoo this year? Where is the best electrical appliance store? Where can you buy skis? Where can I buy guitar strings?

The diagram below shows you where the zero moments of truth exist in this proposed new model:

These Micro Moments represent the zero moment of truth and provide an opportunity for your brand to get in front of a potential customer. For example, this morning, while researching tinnitus for my friend, I came across an article that talked about the effect of diet on tinnitus. This article was published by a company that produces different types of hearing aids. As a result, I am now aware of these supplements, and if the company is as strong in other aspects of marketing as it is in content marketing, I will most likely move to its digital store with remarketing and offers. And I will face the first moment of truth so that I may decide to buy.

I will most likely continue my research at the zero moment of truth. I search for the brand name. I read about their products. Looking for reviews and comments. I am looking for customer satisfaction and will also eventually look for possible alternatives to this brand. Also, some people even take a look at the scientific evidence to see if it supports the brand’s claims about their product’s capabilities.

My zero moment of truth for this product is the fairly long research process, which probably involves several hours of research and a lot of reading. For some purchases, things go much faster. For big purchases, from technology to cars, it can be a process that takes days, weeks, or even months.

In addition to these studies, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that Google has direct control over what must be the largest consumer information platform in the world, billions of search queries per day along with the entire customer journey.

While some of this information is accessible through tools such as Google Trends, Google Insights, and Google Keyword Planner, we can imagine that the better and more detailed analysis done by Google is more towards the advertising products of this company. are inclined Because of this, we must pay attention to these studies and identify what can be done better to help the products, businesses, and brands we serve as marketers in this fast-paced environment. Elsir helped.

Users no longer wait for what they need. We can search, upload our information, and buy whenever we want. Patience is at an all-time low and we can act immediately and expect to find relevant and useful content to help us make the right decision. It is these small moments that shape our needs and guide our purchasing decisions. Businesses that best help users in these moments of zero truth can beat their competitors.

How can we as marketers use this information? How can we help our potential customer to reach his goal? How do we ensure that we understand the customer journey and that we are there throughout the multiple touch points to help the customer make a purchase decision?

SEO, content marketing, and moments of truth

Simply put, it’s a content marketing game. Customers have questions and we need to have the answers.

In reality, providing these answers may require a more innovative approach and we should use the weapons that are available to us to promote our content. The exact solution depends on the business, location, and many variables that cannot be covered in this section.

Although we can broadly categorize the types of content our users need at each stage of the new customer journey and purchase cycle. You can use this template to research the specific questions your prospects have at each stage of this newly revised customer journey model.

Zero moment of truth

The content at the zero moments of truth should be information related to your product, industry, category, and service. You need to understand what your audience’s needs are and then present this information to them in a way that they can easily access. for example:

  • Customer questions in blog or video formats
  • Content on your blog, industry-related blogs
  • Content on popular video-oriented sites such as YouTube

This content model easily answers questions. What is the best HD TV in the world? What is the best TV brand? Do I need LED or OLED? At this stage, being present in multiple places and multiple formats can be walking in the zero moment of truth.

The first moment of truth

In this section, the buyer most likely has a good understanding of what they want, and the content should support and empower the purchase decision. This content model includes the list below:

  • Product details: delivery, specifications, FAQ and similar
  • Exclusive offers: close the deal by presenting an exclusive offer to the customer
  • Reviews: 80% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust recommendations from people.
  • Customer Satisfaction: Real customers who are talking about your products.
  • Case Studies: Show how your products make the difference they promise.
  • Social Media Engagement: Actively responding on social channels is critical at this stage.
  • Customer Support: Allow your customers to easily ask questions using your website.

When looking for credit, it’s important to survey the landscape and understand all the potential places to display positive credit. Again, this is highly dependent on your location and industry, so you need to think like your customers and look for this.

The second moment of truth

The second moment of truth is about customers who are using your products or services and having a great experience. This experience of theirs can easily create many negative and positive feedbacks that affect the zero moment of truth for future customers, so supporting and encouraging customers to support you is very important at this stage.

You can see the content models that can support the second moment of truth in the list below.

  • Product FAQ: Helping customers with their common problems and questions
  • User Guides: The more complex the product, the more support you should provide in this section
  • Social Media: Many people don’t read your posts, so make sure you’re active and direct them to your guides and FAQs.
  • How-to guides: Support your customers by showing them how to work with your products before they buy
  • Surveys: These surveys can help in getting your feedback for future improvements and marketing your moment of truth.

The second moment of truth is all about helping customers have a smooth experience with your product, whether it’s a razor or a vacation trip, a burger, or a mountain bike. Make sure you answer customers’ questions and support them so you can have a second moment of truth positive.

The third moment of truth

The third moment of truth is after experience. That is when you are moving the customer towards becoming a true fan and ambassador of your brand. At this stage, several things need to be nurtured, and various types of customer support can help you.

Let’s take an example; Suppose a person has two sons who are 9 and 4 years old. They both have a teddy bear model, both named Jacko. They have had these teddy bears since they were born. A few weeks ago, they both left Jacko in their bedroom at the hotel they stayed in during their trip. The boys are very upset.

The boys’ parents call the hotel in desperation but are pleasantly surprised because not only do they have the two bears, but they have packed them up and delivered the packages to the boys’ home. This third moment of truth means that when the boys’ parents talk to others about the vacation, they are fans of the hotel with a positive message about their experience dealing with them rather than about the price. The hotel is too expensive to say something.

Mobile Optimization

By this point in the article, it should be pretty clear to you, but having a mobile-optimized site and ensuring that you provide a strong experience on mobile devices should be one of your priorities for your strategy. Be the zero moment of truth.

Getting a presence is half the battle, but if users are then exposed to content that isn’t optimized for their devices, you’re missing out on the chance to influence those users.

Embrace the steps before the journey begins

Advertisements are no longer as effective as they used to be. They serve a purpose, and that purpose can be to act as a trigger, but without fully embracing the pre-purchase journey (aka zero moments of truth), your efforts will fail to reach their full potential.

Ultimately, to succeed in the zero-moment-of-truth context, you need to provide the information your prospects need, and you need to provide it where they’re looking for it, and in a format that they can use on screens and devices. Different people can easily access them.

SEO and Google’s zero moment of truth

SEO has become so widespread nowadays that it is difficult to find a template to include SEO in it. Our approach to SEO includes how potential customers interact with search engines. How do they search for products and services? How do they search for their problems, wants, and needs that your products or services can solve? How do they view you from the point of view of validation?

What we want to do is own all of these. Owning anything that can be considered as a factor for the zero moment of truth from the decision of the first moment of truth. A useful tool for this is creating customer profiles. In these profiles, consider all the search terms that users are likely to use during all stages of the buying cycle. All the search terms that customers use for a zero and first-moment search of truth.

Use tools like Ubersuggest and Answerthepublic.com to research the questions your users have at the zero moment of truth.

Again we can go back to the idea of ​​”80% of success is simply being present” on a large scale that SEO and CPC advertising are based on. We would like to go a little further. It does no good to show up when you look disheveled and unnatural. Make sure you’re there to make that 80% good, then make sure the people who are saying good things about you make the other 20%.

Use a search engine to help research customers. Use the search engine to find a complete understanding of wherever you need to be. Then make sure you show up and look good too. Forget the 80%, we want 100% marketing to have great success at the zero moments of truth and beyond.

Zero moment of truth for local businesses

We have worked with businesses of all sizes and shapes. Single-location and multi-location businesses with coverage throughout the country. It doesn’t matter what size your business is, what matters is the moment of truth.

Whether you’re an art supply store or a plumber, your customers are looking for you, looking for problems you can solve. You may not be able to rank organically for big questions, but you can rank for zero-truth questions.

Remember, exposure isn’t just limited to your site. Considering all the ways customers compare providers and making sure you have a good reputation will usually set you apart from your competition.

Reviews, customer satisfaction, business information, hours of operation, and phone numbers can all be zero-sum searches. Things don’t always have to be so complicated. You need to be sure that your technical SEO is good and that Google understands your business.

If you want to get a little more sophisticated, search, social media, and display advertising offer plenty of opportunities. It doesn’t matter if you use paid ads to introduce content to potential questions of your customers with a special offer at the end or display a banner of your business with a special offer on existing content, you should always think about users. Consider where they are and make sure you will be there.

All these things have already happened

In many ways, this model is nothing new. We’ve always had a sales funnel, we’ve always had a consideration stage, and we’ve always researched products. However, the zero moment of truth provides a useful tool for thinking about the customer journey and unconventional ways you can market to customers earlier in the buying cycle.

The time to be at the zero moment of truth is at its longest in history. The number of contact points has increased. The opportunity is clearly in front of you. Do you want to show up in your customers’ zero-moment truth searches?

It is very important to be fully aware of what has changed and the internet and smartphones have made it so easy to access information. In the past, we would see an ad (trigger) and then go straight to the product or service. For example, we used to go directly to the car dealership and trust the seller.

Nowadays, we don’t need to trust experts. We can be experts ourselves. We can do our research. Find the best price. Find the best service and finally make an informed decision. We don’t have to accept the price the car dealers give us because we’ve researched the real prices and we certainly don’t have to accept the 2005 model car they’re trying to sell us, a problem we’ve had before. This has been very common.

Google, Facebook, and big players have not changed in this field. We have changed the game, consumers. We are looking for better and now we have the tools to be better. We have the tools to get the information you need to make your purchase. Products must be improved. Businesses should be clean and transparent. Weak people and businesses will disappear, strong businesses will continue to dominate, and customers will become more savvy in their purchasing research.

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