The ZMOT is not such a complex thing to be honest.
In fact it could be incredibly easy to understand, especially if you already know a lot about how the internet works, coupled with some reasonable knowledge about the business process of marketing (which usually involves advertising, publicity and sales distribution). You need a combination of these two, if you want to really enjoy this article.
So consider the zero moment of truth as that point in a customer's journey where she/he bounces back and forth looking for answers about a product or service she/he may be interested in. She/He uses Search, Reviews, Ratings, Specifications Data, and even user comments as a guide to come to her decision. So clearly, you can see why you need to play a part in at least adding something to the conversation that leads to this decision.
WHERE TO SLOT ZMOT
STIMULUS – When the customer sees an advert of any product or service that may interest him (let's say a pair shoes) and does get interested; or he saw the ad and suddenly remembers that he had already planned to buy a pair of shoes at some point.
This is why good marketing actually begins at the point where you ensure the quality of the design of your product. It is important for your marketing that customers don’t go about saying bad things about your product or about your store.
Because that is the experience they take away from your business.
But most customers would definitely say something, whether it is good or bad. Whether it is about the shoes or about your store.
The idea at the Experience Stage (Second Moment Of Truth) is to get them to say more of the good stuff. Especially about your store, if you’re the store owner.
To be honest, going by today’s turbo-charged rate of information & technological advancement, we could almost say that ZMOT (since 2011) is already an old marketing concept. I have already given an intro on it for an African audience in one of my previous articles about ZMOT in Africa. But a good way to summarize it here would be to just say that ZMOT is that virtual valley of decision that your customers go to after getting inspired by an advert that catches their attention, and before going to a shop to spend their hard earned money on the product that is promoted by that advert.
So despite the way I listed these terms to make the introduction, ZMOT actually slots in between Stimulus and Shelf. So now, I'll try to explain how it works...
DIGITAL MARKETING, ZMOT TARGETING
Maybe some would sell 1100 shoes that month, and others who were unlucky might do 900. Just humour me for now....
Imagine if 2 of those retailers decided to step up to owning websites; and they took on some online advertising campaigns (especially Enhanced Campaigns from Google). Imagine they did some pretty effective SEO, and some social media marketing.
The dynamics would have changed because you would now have some shoe retailers encroaching on customers of retailers that are geographically far away from their territory.
These smart retailers could also offer free delivery to further convince the customer to shop with them instead of the retailer close by.
At this stage it may not matter even if the near-by retailer has the same shoes the customer has seen on the web. What matters is the information, and the knowledge of where & how to get it.
It all depends on if one, or both of the ecommerce-smart retailers are willing to go the extra ZMOT mile.
Then if he decides to upgrade to invading the zero moment of truth, he could take a size-able chunk out of the share of the other website retailer’s 2800, and even further flatten the margins of those retailers who are doing 600 sales per month.
INFILTRATING THE ZERO MARKET OF TRUTH
You are going to say that that is America!
This is Africa!
Yes, I know.
And yet my point here is that just because we are not a continent that is particularly keen on gathering statistical data and analyzing such data, it doesn’t mean that we do not have the same sociological tendencies of shoppers everywhere. Afterall, we are all human.
Africans are as driven to search out their interests and engage share their thoughts with others, just as Europeans and Americans are. And I dare say, Nigerians more so than anyone else.
Please try to remember that ZMOT is the name for the virtual meeting ground where you will find your target consumer, not rigidly the name of your tactic itself.
“Shoppers today want to explore and think about how products can improve their lives. They do reconnaissance to gain the insights they need, and they’re driven to bond with others and enrich relationships as they learn.”