This week, I had the pleasure of addressing the Santa Clarita Valley Business Group during our morning business networking meeting.  In 7 minutes, I shared with these amazing small businesses the concept of the Zero Moment of Truth ( ZMOT ), where Social Media fits in and why this should be important to the Small Business Owner.  Below is an overview of my presentation.  When you’re done reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

First Moment of Truth

In 2005, Proctor and Gamble did some research based on consumers and the way that they shop. They coined a term called First Moment of Truth – which refers to the first 7 seconds a customer, has with a product.  It’s the first 7 seconds where the customer begins the “buy now” decision process. They consider price, the packaging, the store itself.  This is why product positioning on a shelf is so important because we are trying to get the consumer’s attention, we are trying to beat out the competitor next to us on the shelf.

Second Moment of Truth

Then there’s the 2nd moment of truth – the point where the customer bought the product and is forming opinions about the product while using it.  Things being evaluated may include the look and feel, the smell, the perceived value.  It is where the consumer is going to make decisions about your brand and quality, about whether they’d recommend the product to someone else, or if they’ll buy from you again.

Zero Moment of Truth

In 2011, Google hired a 3rd party independent firm to research the purchasing decision process and identified that there was another moment of truth – the Zero Moment of Truth.

What is a Zero Moment of Truth?

It’s when a prospective customer decides either to take the next step in the purchase funnel or to exit and seek other options.  It’s that moment when the purchase is being researched and considered before they enter the next step of the sales funnel.

Why Should Small Businesses Care?

Because The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – is the buying of a product before the seller even knows that they exist. Small Businesses should care because THIS is what you and I are competing for today – winning the Zero Moment Of Truth.

There used to be a time when the air conditioning or heater went out and you opened up the yellow pages and chose a repairman, then called and made an appointment to come fix it.

Today we go online and there are postings on Facebook pages and Twitter asking for recommendations and referrals. They’re not only asking for names and phone numbers, their asking for websites, they’re having conversations with other people, they’re looking up reviews to see what experiences others had with those companies.  Then they’re making their calls.

Today we will sit in front of the television with a smartphone and an iPad next to us.  Something happens and we start researching – THIS is when we start the Zero Moment of Truth process.

According to Google’s research – 84% of shoppers said that the Zero Moment of Truth shapes their decisions during they buying process.

Examples of ZMOT:

    • – Looking up new televisions when you decide it’s time for a change
    • – Reading reviews on resorts for your next get-away
    • – Asking friends on Facebook their opinion of the latest smart phone because you’re thinking of upgrading your cell phone.

So as a small business, how do you win the Zero moment of truth?

  • Have great products/service
  • Be where your customers are researching – online!
    • They’re using Social Media – are you?
    • When was the last time your website was updated?
    • Is your website mobile ready?
      • In 2011, 31% American owned Smart Phones
      • In 2013, 57% of Americans have Smart phones,
  • Listen to what your customers are saying
    • When was the last time you checked your Yelp reviews?
    • What are you doing to manage your online reputation?

Finally there’s the Ultimate Moment of Truth

The Ultimate moment of truth is when the consumer is writing content to share with others about their experience with your products.  It’s one customer’s ultimate moment of truth that helps shape another’s Zero Moment of Truth

2014 Statistics:

    • Facebook
      • 1.35 billion active monthly Facebook users (Sept ’14)
      • 23% login at least 5 times/day
      • 47% of Americans say Facebook is their #1 influencer of purchases
    • YouTube
      • 1 billion active monthly users (March ’13)
    • Google+
      • 540 Million active monthly users (October ’13)
    • Twitter
      • 284 million monthly active users (October 2014)
      • 550 million registered users
    • Pinterest
      • 70 million registered users (July 2013)
      • 20 million active monthly users
    • Instagram
      • 300 million active monthly users (December 2014)
    • LinkedIn
      • 187 million active monthly users (April 2014)

In Summary

Woody Allen once said –  “80% of success is showing up”.  Are you showing up? What are you doing to win the Zero Moment of Truth?

To find out more on how you can show up where your customers are researching, drop me a  line, my inbox is always open.


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