Tuesday 17 June 2014


A World Cup Example featuring Ghana vs USA

You might be wondering, what could possibly be the correlation between the Zero Moment Of Truth, analysis and black magic (i.e. Juju)?

Actually there's none. I just wanted to get the attention of a certain kind of audience.
But since you are here, please do stay with me for a minute or two ok?

So, If you have NEVER met or heard of anyone who uses black-magic (or juju), then you've probably spent most of your life living outside of Africa. I mean seriously, practically everyone I know either knows someone who has used juju before, or they have some story of some neighbor or the other.

So my question here is,"why do people use it?" or, "why do they trust enough to try it?"....Do they ever actually think that last part through?

This article should challenge you to think of ZMOT strategy as a marketing strategy that is built on analytical data. Not on hearsay or on old-wives fables.

If you have read my previous articles then you probably already know what the (ZMOT) Zero Moment Of Truth is. But if you haven’t, you may find some definitions here and here.

But before we proceed, I must quickly point out that the question of whether or not I believe in juju is irrelevant to this article.
So please don't ask me if I do. Okay? Depending on who you are, you will not like my response. 

What is important is that many people in my country and other parts of Africa (West, East, Central, South, and probably North as well) believe in it.

They believe it exists, they believe it works, and some of them would actually pay good money for it to be used for their benefit.
That is the issue!

Some claim it works to protect themselves from harm or against supernatural attacks from their enemies. Others believe it could be to get someone to fall in love with them (funny, right?). And of-course, sometimes some folks use it to get promotion at the office. And funny enough, sometimes even to try to win elections. Imagine that!

So what has all of this got to do with Google’s principle of the Zero Moment Of Truth?

Well....Nothing, directly.

But a critical view of this behavior could help you with building the kind of mindset that is required for successful marketing in this new digital age.

Let's look at a funny example:

USA vs GHANA World Cup 2014  

So here's a funny but true example of what I am saying:

Last night, I was watching the USA vs Ghana (2014) world cup game with my neighbor, Patrick.

We were both commenting on how well the Ghanaians were playing, and recognizing how much better they were than our own Nigerian team earlier. This was despite the fact that the USA were leading by 1-0.

Now, at some point the game, the camera suddenly showed a Ghanaian fan that was unmistakably dressed like a "baba-alawo" (or witch doctor - or juju man).
And I must confess he looked a little scary as the close-up shot captured him in slow-motion as he whipped his hair around like Willow Smith.
Hahaha. Apologies to that sweet little girl. 

He actually looked a bit scary while he was animated, and in slow motion. Hahaha!

Anyway, within the next minute, Ghana got a goal to level the scores. And it was a beautifully worked goal indeed.
So Patrick immediately remarked, "what if it was their juju man that did it?"

Really!? :(

And while Patrick wasn't such a superstitious person, I guess his comment was because he made some kind of correlation in the fact that the goal had been eluding the Ghanaians all along, until that sudden recognition of the witch-doctor. 

And me, being a man that sincerely supports "fair-play" when it comes to logic and reasoning, I was willing to indulge him for a minute. 
And so I asked, 
"Did he travel to Brazil to use his spiritual juju powers to get a draw for his country, or a win?"

"Anyway, if they were to show him again before the match ends, and within a minute of that showing, Ghana were to get another goal to win the match, then maybe I will take what you said seriously, and I would probably start to do some serious research into juju in football". 
I mean, that's fair enough isn't it?


Newsflash: USA eventually scored another goal just before the end of that match, and that ultimately knocked out both Ghana and their juju man out of the World Cup.

But it is important to note that I don't just feel this way about witch-doctors alone:
I think true lovers of football should also not shy away from challenging the "expert analyses" of the many soccer pundits on tv or cable. Because let's face it, these days it is so easy to get on tv and start talking "football analysis" without actually using any real analysis to arrive at your postulations. Neither do the pundits demonstrate true knowledge of consistent patterns in their readings of the game.
(meanwhile, see how I combine Web Analysis with my Football game reading skills)

So in my marketing business, I tell my clients it is important to think about traditional television and magazine advertising this way as well. I tell them to challenge the claims and not just go ahead to buy a billboard advert simply because that's what others do when they've made a certain amount of money.

In fact, it is my nature to challenge everything.

Zoom in on the image below, you'll find some interesting results from a survey that was conducted in the Automotive industry where respondents were asked what had the most impact on their purchase decisions. Traditional stimulus influences are on the left in blue. ZMOT behavior is in red. But also recognize that two options with the green arrows represent stimulus that are digital (online) based, even though they are not ZMOT-inspired consumer behavior. 
(by the way, Stimulus & traditional advertising refers to the kind of promotions that prevailed before the digital age)

I have a theory:
You should not continue to pay for something, where the only way that you can know for sure it works is because its vendor told you so. Juju men say their powers work, and people pay for them. Traditional advertising works to a degree, but how do we really know that degree in this day and age, where you have so many more inventions jostling for our attention.

I am not saying that traditional advertising does not work anymore, or that it is like juju. No, that's not what I am saying entirely. Yet you must agree that television, magazines, radio and even billboards don't have anything close to the kind of influence that they once used to have over our lives.

This is why analysis is so important to me.
And analysis must always take context into consideration. I bet even my friends in my Community, True Football Analysts, are tired of hearing me say this.

So ultimately,
ZMOT mindedness or strategy is NOT about using juju-tactics or blind-trust to gain success for your business, whatever it is. It is about being armed with all the right capabilities for success in this ever present digital age. It is about gathering information and previously unattainable clues into how to touch your customer.

The accurate gathering and interpretation of analytic data along with the use of customer retention management systems relieves a ZMOT minded marketer of the anxieties that usually come when you rely on the whims of the gods.

And unlike in traditional advertising, where John Wanamaker (1838 -1922) said he didn’t know what half of his advertising spend was being wasted, today, thanks to digital marketing tools and human resources, you can be sure that you can find out and plug up such a wastage quite easily.


Analysis goes a long way in ensuring the proper use of digital marketing techniques like Search Engine Optimization (or SEO), Online Advertising (Display and Search Advertising), Youtube & other Video Marketing platforms, Social Media Marketing, etc.

Analysis also improves your tactics and strategy along the way. The need to be able to do this right cannot be overemphasized in this volatile digital age we are in.

It is about realizing that your potential customers and clients are changing fast. They are now constantly asking questions online, about your brand, your offerings, your techniques and even your competition. 

The scariest part is that they are already getting some answers to their questions. The problem is, from whom?

People are more likely to search for answers before making a decision to buy.

In conclusion:

ZMOT strategy will not give you magical powers to sell your products online. Just like Juju did not give Ghana victory against the USA (despite how well they played on the night) But your ability to think in this new paradigm - gathering and analyzing data - will give you a clear edge with your online transactions and deals. Whether they be goods on your e-commerce site, an offline professional service that you’ve advertised online, or even a cause that you wish to advance within your society.

Thanks for reading......

Please leave a comment, or ask me any question you like.
You can also ask me questions related to the Zero Moment Of Truth and/or digital marketing on the Digital Africa Community on Google+