The web and social media now have a decisive impact on marketing and communication strategy, creating a new “moment of truth” among the events that structure a purchase journey. This new moment of truth is the ZMOT: the zero moments of truth.
Here is a moment of truth that is added to and precedes the two other moments of truth defined, in the 2000s, by the company Procter and Gamble in the definition of a purchase journey.
The first moment of truth: the act of in-store purchase (shelf)
The second moment of truth: product experimentation (experience)
At these two decisive moments that everyone has been able to know, Google, therefore, brings the ZMOT, the zero moments of truth, which defines a new capital moment in the purchasing process which consists, for the consumer, of considering the opinions published on the Web and social media, BEFORE going to the store. A phase that certainly already existed before the very existence of social media, but not with the same acuity when the consumer gathered the opinion of his relatives or informed friends before making a purchase.
The recommendation is decisive on social media
Web 2.0 and social networks have obviously multiplied this recommendation phase that used to be more limited and confidential, and sometimes even non-existent. The ZMOT is now a mandatory part of the act of purchase. The influence exerted by the recommendations and opinions of “social friends” proves decisive in the choice of a product or service.
Price comparators of course also exert a strong influence (although many of them have disappeared since the introduction of the Google Panda search algorithm). We understand better why Google is positioning itself more and more clearly as a commercial search and… price comparison tool. As proof, the Google Shopping service now also occupies this new niche of recommendation and ZMOT.
ZMOT, Social Media's Third Moment of Truth
Stimulus: mainly stemming, still today, from traditional media to which the consumer is exposed and mainly television (for 37% according to Google).
Zero Moment of Truth: 84% of consumers say that this moment allows them to refine their purchasing decision and that this collection of information is just as important to transform an undecided buyer into a decided consumer... In 50% of cases, the consumer refers to an online search, and 49% by talking about the product with family or friends. Information from the brand's website only comes a long way behind as a source of influence (22%). Marketing and communication departments, therefore, must worry very quickly about “what is being said” about their products and services on the Web and social media. Because it is there, on the advice of others, that purchasing decisions are made.
The first moment of truth: the buyer goes to the store (physical or today online) and decides to take out his bank card, most generally in the world, based on successful packaging...
The second moment of truth: the buyer tests and experiences the product or service he has purchased, resulting in enthusiasm, satisfaction, or disappointment
And there... the fourth moment of truth it's again up to social media to play their role. That of the good buzz or the bad Buzz, in any case, that of the quality of the customer relationship and the Community management which will in turn influence the ZMOT: the loop is closed!