Understanding ZMOT

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ZMOT, or Zero Moment of Truth, coined by Google, describes the revolution in the way consumers search for information online and make decisions about brands.  Traditionally, the marketing ‘Moment of Truth’ described the climax of the consumer-purchasing journey – the moment of the purchase.

Smartphones are the most common starting place for online activities, according to Google’s own research over 65 per cent of searches begin on someone’s mobile. Mobile web browsing and the ever-dominating Internet, have radically changed our shopping pathways. The Zero Moment is the precise moment when a consumer has a need, intent or question they want answered online.

 ‘Where can I buy organic dog food in Chipping Norton?’ or ‘Which Oxfordshire restaurant has the best TripAdvisor rating?’ A company which can answer these questions scores, what Google calls, a ‘double win’, it improves the consumer experience, providing helpful information, and has a competitive advantage over other brands that don’t provide the same level of customer service.

What does ZMOT mean for PR?

The consumer journey is no longer a marketing funnel but a flight path. Google found that there might be as many as ten different touch points or sources of information before consumer action or purchase takes place – between online search, websites, reviews, friend endorsements and print media.

Ultimately, it’s down to finding which website, social media user, blog, forum or magazine holds the most influence for your target audience and working with them to build positive coverage – the good news is, that’s what PRs have always done! Same skill set, new arena.

Understanding ZMOT

Understanding ZMOT


Writing good web content


What catches our attention on the web? A good picture or headline grabs attention, and then it’s down to the quality of the copy to keep the reader interested.

The rule of Charles Dickens still applies, but now it has to be applied with 21st century speed. Great Expectations was written to captivate the reader each week; captivate them enough to buy the next issue of ‘All Year Round’ in which it was serialised. Dickens was looking for sales and many of us writing for the web are also looking to achieve sales, ultimately.

This chart from Convince & Convert in the US is great for showing how we should approach writing content for our clients, but I think the balance isn’t quite right. Surely capturing and maintaining the audience’s interest is far more important than any other factor?


Facebook knows what you did last summer

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With thanks to someecards.com  for this great image which says so much about the way we use and enjoy Facebook.

Holly, our intern and recent graduate in Psychology from Warwick University takes a look at what Facebook knows about you…

You may have recently read about Facebook’s controversial study on emotion which involved manipulating the content of nearly 700,00 users’ newsfeeds to include either more positive or more negative posts. US privacy pressure group, Epic, filed an official complaint demanding that the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigate Facebook’s actions. In some ways, it was the last straw for many of us who already feel an invasion of privacy from these social media giants.

Most of us are aware of the potential pitfalls when using social media; a lack of privacy, questions over content ownership, possible damage to your career…the list is endless. It gets confusing when we happily use these networks only to later discover the true extent to which some corporations collect and store our personal data.

Research from Skandia reveals only 7 per cent of Britons read the terms and conditions of a service before registering. Comforting to know I’m not the only one but shocking nonetheless! Some may argue that this lack of attention to detail should automatically waiver our right to privacy but will this jolt you into pledging to read through hundreds of conditions?

Facebook may also have contradicted themselves: for years, users have asked for a ‘dislike’ button and for years Facebook has refused. They argue that “Facebook tends to focus on positive social interactions and ways to express positive sentiment.” Surely the nature of this study falls short of their previous positivity?

Having studied Psychology at university, I’ve had all the basic Psychological ethical issues drilled into me. All participants should give informed consent for their data to be collected and analysed. Although this may bias results, a lack of it goes against all ethical standards of Psychological practice. There are also growing fears that the data collected could be used for other unethical activities such as voter manipulation during political campaigns.

Perhaps we’ll never discover just how much Facebook knows about us. Will this study stop the 1.28 billion users that currently the site almost everyday? I don’t think so. I think our love for sharing, liking and communicating is sure to triumph any feelings of betrayal.

Inevitably, the furore over this topic will peter out into murmurs of disagreement and disgust. And where exactly will all this occur? Why, on Facebook of course.


To read more on this subject, and understand just what this snapshot of metrics from Buzzfeed means-  its data they collect about you! – check out this blog post http://barker.co.uk/buzzfeediswatching