The Zero Moment of Truth: A New Marketing Strategy

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Once upon a time, marketers believed that shoppers made up their mind about a product in about the time it takes to read this sentence.

The three to seven seconds a shopper considered a product on a store shelf was believed to be a critical moment—what P&G termed the “First Moment of Truth” or FMOT ("eff-mot"). This was the moment when all the advertising a consumer had seen for a brand would either pay off with a purchase or not.

Since then, FMOT has become one of those terms, like “tipping point” and “purple cow,” that changes the way marketers think. FMOT is one of three widely accepted “moments of truth” for a product—the other two being when the consumer sees an ad for the product (the stimulus) and when she uses it for the first time (the experience).

These concepts still hold true today and may be even more relevant given the continued emergence of strong store brands. But thanks to the web, we’re seeing the rise of an additional class of critical brand interactions: the Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT ("zee-mot"), which occurs after the consumer sees an ad for a product, but before a purchase is made in store. More precisely, it's the moment when a shopper goes online to research a product and decides whether to make a purchase.

We're seeing growth in everything from queries for reviews and coupon redemption to mobile usage, strongly indicating that this phenomenon is real. But what we wondered is, what does this phenomenon mean for marketers? To find out, we spent a lot of time talking to industry experts and leading marketers and conducting primary market research to learn as much as we could about ZMOT.

Now, we’re excited to drive industry discussions and pass our findings on to marketers in a new free ebook, Winning the Zero Moment of Truth.

In it, we explore:

- Typical ZMOT moments that happen every day
- Why marketers should consider ZMOT as important as “the ad” and “the shelf”
- Seven steps to winning at ZMOT, including exercises to identify relevant moments for your brand

If you’re interested in learning more about the consumer behavior that’s changing the way marketers think about branding and online commerce, I invite you to download Google’s free marketing strategy ebook Winning the Zero Moment of Truth. And I encourage you to join the conversation (and check out the enhanced video version of the book) at (#zmot). I hope that you enjoy our work and that it helps you navigate your own moments of truth.

Posted by Jim Lecinski, Author and Chief ZMOT Evangelist, Google

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