Buying habits and strategies have changed; and it’s no surprise they will continue to evolve as information becomes increasingly available. A replacement battery for a garage remote can cost you $13 at a local electronics store, or you can buy it for $1.01 and have it shipped free, from China: no-brainer!
In a global market place, how do you compete with your competition: be different. Think differently, act differently, and go to market differently.
I recently read a Google e-book called “ZMOT: Winning The Zero Moment of Truth” (click link to the ZMOT site – it’s a free download). The author, Jim Lecinski, offers a new way of understanding the consumer buying model. Traditionally, an advertisement would pique the interest of a consumer (“Stimulus”), the consumer would head down to their local store and find the product they were looking for (“First Moment of Truth”). When a consumer first discovers the product in real-life and comes face-to-face with it, this was the “make-or-break” time for vendors to answer questions and actually sell the product.
Google has discovered that there is a new moment of truth. One that precedes what was previously viewed as the first: deemed the Zero Moment of Truth (“ZMOT”). When a consumer is stimulated by an advertisement, their first reaction is no longer to go to a store. Their first reaction is to turn to the internet; their smart phones, tablets, laptops, or any other device that connects them. As consumers we want to know what we are looking at; and fast. We want to read reviews, we want to find a good price, and we want to measure it against its competitors. Does this surprise anyone?
Every item, new or used, my wife and I purchased for our kids was diligently researched and compared by my better-half. We (she told me which one was best) knew what products performed better, lasted longer, made children happier, and made life easier for the parents. Availability of this information far extends the traditional “Play With It and See” method. We relied on the experience of others to help us navigate our purchase.
No wonder companies like Amazon and eBay are thriving while Best Buy’s are closing locations. If you are not first when it comes to a consumer’s ZMOT, you’re in trouble.
It has become evident that companies have to change their marketing strategy; optimizing search engine terms and tracking clicks are becoming more critical than a flyer mail out (I’m not discounting mail outs). A company’s online presence and their reputation (read: customer service) are critical components to building a successful brand.
I strongly suggest you download and read the ZMOT e-book. Let me know what you think!