ZMOT, The Zero Moment of Truth and Consumers

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ZMOT – whether you’ve heard this or not you’re probably thinking: not another term to add to the tedious marketing literature! Fondness of acronyms notwithstanding, ZMOT may represent the most important change to marketing in the past decade.

A quick Google search for mobile and web usage will show you that they’re on such a rise that it is predicted that by 2015 there will be more mobile phones than people on the planet. We know that web access is changing too; by 2014, more people will open a website for the first time on a mobile device than a desktop computer.


So what is ZMOT and why is it relevant?

ZMOT stands for the “Zero Moment Of Truth”, coined by Google it describes the ‘new’ first step that is now occurring in the consumer decision making process.  Sound familiar? Procter and Gamble coined the First Moment of Truth (FMOT) describing the first point of interaction a customer has when they pick up a product off the shelf and decide whether to purchase it. Smart devices have seen consumer’s connection with the ZMOT flourish.  Access to rich, comparative product information anywhere, anytime, means many of us have significant interaction with a brand or product well before we decide to purchase, and that’s if we arrive in-store at all.

ZMOT, How to Make Friends and Influence Consumers.

Think of the last time you thought of buying a high involvement item (a laptop for example). You probably went online, checked out what other consumers who had purchased this product had to say, and compared prices and specs at many different stores and platforms like GetPrice, MyShopping, Google Merchant and eBay. This torrent of information likely influenced your decision well before you chose to buy. This is ZMOT in action.

A Google moments of truth study showed that the average number of sources consulted before making a decision nearly doubled from 5.3 in 2010 to 10.4 in 2011. This is further backed by statistics that show that 54% of people comparison shop for products before buying and 37% of people saying that online reviews are a key driver when making purchase decisions.

So if you want to succeed in the marketplace, recognizing your customer’s zero moments of truth and optimising for them is crucial.

Here are the top 5 tips we recommend to increase your chance at winning at the ZMOT: