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.