The idea behind this second part of my post is to try to start you on a journey of becoming a ZMOT enthusiast like myself. Because by first becoming enthusiastic about the ZMOT, you would indeed learn much quicker, what you need in order to gain the necessary advantage for your business, your brand or your product in this new digital age.
Now some of the actual experts of this topic like Jim Lecinsky, Todd Pollack and Brian Solis have released articles and books that actually explain this concept much more indepth.
But the dimension that I bring as a very keen enthusiast, is such that anything I write, I try my possible best to make you (the African reader) understand what we are talking about, and how you could easily bring it into reality in our environment.
1. Mobile Is A Must
One day, I was asked a question by a hopeful blogger. He asked, "Even if people want to use the internet to read and learn, the NEPA (electricity) problems in Nigeria make it so difficult for most People. So how can I find people to even read my blog?"
So I told him that there was a relatively easy way to fix that problem. But he quickly added, "and you know that most people cannot even afford laptops or iPads".
So I said that that was even what makes my solution more of an advantage for him, if he could implement it.
"So what is this magic solution of yours"?
And I told him to have a mobile optimization plan!
I know that may sound too simplistic, but then just try to wrap your head around the scenario that the vast majority of websites in Nigeria (I cannot say much about the rest of Africa yet) don't account for mobile users.
And yet, from a marketer's perspective, you wonder why mobile internet is not more or less compulsory in Nigeria.
No wonder Facebook usage in Nigeria is so phenomenal?
Because Facebook is one of only a few websites known by Nigerians to have a version that is comfortably responsive to mobile phones of different screen sizes. This point cannot be over-emphasized.
Meanwhile, the reasons why Americans and Europeans use smartphones to surf the web may be indeed very different from the reasons why Nigerians do. Nevertheless, what is certain is that smartphones have become key players in this whole global online struggle for our attention.
Therefore if you are doing business and you wish to attract large amounts of people (whether American or Nigerian; whether for your corporate branding, or for lead generation, or for online retail) your website has to be able to communicate clearly through a mobile phone interface. Not to mention the added advantage you get as a mobile phone user can instantly make a call to your business, or at least store your phone number, when he sees your contact page on your site.
2. Social Media Re-visitation
Ever since people realized that social media networks were useful for marketing, we have been seeing people just going about dropping links and promoting stuff everywhere like crazy.
Some of us have clearly forgotten the "social" in this whole social media thing. So we spend so much unnecessary energy dropping links all over the social sites, presuming that others are using the internet for the purpose of searching for promotional links to click on.
ZMOT mindedness makes you a lot more creative and much more effective with your social media marketing campaigns. It opens your eyes to see what many other digital marketers don't see. It will help you remember or realize that you yourself don't go around looking for links to click on.
There is always an important trigger that gets you to click on a link.
Zero Moment reasoning also protects you from coming into that irrational mindset of those marketers who would do anything to see their website rank on the Top of Google Search result pages; As if ranking on the Top of search automatically means that people would throw their hard earned money at your website.
A ZMOT minded marketer understands that there are more than one way to catch a fish.
For example, I can show you a nifty way of using a combination of Facebook, Google+ and Youtube to do a lot of damage, even if you don't have a website. I talk more about using video for ZMOT warfare in this article here.
But if I started to explain those things here now, this article could become a book. I am always reachable at the Digital Africa Community. There I can take questions about ZMOT, FMOT and other areas of digital marketing.
Now there are many other techniques to ZMOT readiness like using AdWords PPC campaigns and one magical thing they call Remarketing, or taking advantage of Affiliate bloggers, and my own personal addition, the use of digital print and direct mail solutions. But for the sake of your time reading this article, the 3rd and last tactic I will mention here is learning how to stalk users at the review sites.
3. Raptness To Reviews
Again, I'm not sure I know how people behave in Ghana or South Africa, but here in Nigeria, I know that word of mouth is an extremely powerful form of product promotion. So if you can put words into Mr A's mouth, that could easily lead to Mr B buying your product.
I mean, I have literally seen people come to a store specifically to purchase an iPhone, and right there in an instant, they ask some other customer for his advice, and he suddenly turns into a smartphone expert; And before you know it, the lady who came to buy an iPhone4 is going home with her brand new Blackberry Z10.
In fact, more or less, everyone in this country is a consulting physician (both medical and trado-medical).
You feel slight dizziness and a throbbing headache? Your next door neighbor, the bank manager, prescribes an anti-biotic for you. Just like that!
So whether you realize it or not, most of your potential clients or customers are easily susceptible to influence from others. At some point in their journey, they could easily have been your customer. But along the way, someone prescribed an alternative for them.
And this behavior is happening on the internet as well, so it is not wise to ignore it. You must learn how to benefit from it.
You might not be able to prevent or rescue every one of your potential customers from those self-appointed experts, but there are ways that you can work on wrestling some of them back to your own offering. And of course, you can generate your own "experts".
In this other scenario, try to imagine you didn't log out of your Yahoomail, before you visited the Trip Advisor website to check out affordables hotels in Abuja. Incidentally, your Facebook account is associated to your Yahoomail.
Now you are gazing at the hotel at the top of the page that costs only N5000 per night; it looks like a good option for you. Then suddenly you notice that some people you know have already spent time at some other hotel below, and they gave it very good reviews. It costs only N400 more than the one you first noticed. And these people you know are people you really respect.
This could happen because Trip Advisor is using your Facebook friends list, and it doesn't even occur to you what's going on, or why they are showing you what your friends have reviewed.
This is a real ZMOT phenomenon. It happens everyday, and nobody really cares to ask why.
But what you should be asking is, how do I capitalize on it?
That should be he question every merchant is asking in this era....how do I win the zero moment of truth?
And the more you think and strategize in this mind frame, the more likely you would come up with answers for your digital business goals. The technology is available to help you win some of the battles, you just have to discover what they are, how they work, and how to use them.
The more you actively take part in ZMOT warfare, the more you'll learn; and the more new tools you would discover. This is my advice to you if you have a small business.
However, if yours is a large company that can afford it, it is best you hire a ZMOT Coordinator who is, at least, handy with his AdWords and Google Analytics, and has a ZMOT mindset.
Now, someone might ask, "hey why do I need a consultant who claims to be ZMOT-savvy?", "Can't I just give this article you've written here to my already existing traditional marketing department to handle"?
Well, you could try that....But you should be careful about how they run with it. Afterall, those guys are coming from a mindset that is quite different from ours. A mindset where so many boundaries and limitations exist.
So someone else could say, "Or I could even read through this article several times over, add some extra research, and do it all by myself?"
Well, actually you could. And in fact I am hoping you would.
I am hoping that all those who pay attention to my articles would become ZMOT-minded marketers, and do their own marketing by themselves one day. This would open up huge opportunities for me with the larger businesses, who are always the slowest to adopt these kinds of ideas.
However, their current paradigm is such that they always seem to want to minimize risk and pay more attention to financial budgeting, rather than statistical and analytics data.
So they are not likely to take a chance on investing on a ZMOT-manager or an inhouse digital marketing team until they see the result of my ZMOT strategies through those who have used it and profited from it, at lower levels.
Yet, this leaves you, the small or mid-sized business owner, with the opportunity to become enthusiastic enough about the ZMOT to learn how to get a head-start and an advantage for your self, and hopefully taking some of their market share while they are still asleep.
Thanks for reading.
Feel free to drop a comment or question below. I'm always here to assist. Also consider reading my post defining ZMOT in Nigeria, using Nigerian examples.