What is ZMOT or Zero Moment of Truth?
No longer are consumers limited by the first moments of truth- the presentation and packaging on stores’ shelves- to shape buying choices. Jim Lecinski, author of ZMOT Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, coins Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT to describe the sometimes quick and sometimes lengthy consumer research that occurs prior to purchase decisions.
Engaging, searchable content is part of the ZMOT formula. Lecinski suggests that
“the sales funnel is turning into something less linear- more like a neuron with impulses going in all directions. The impulses are firing faster and faster.”
Consider a recent hotel, cell phone, or home purchase. While you might spend hours and hours on your home computer researching these products, you also might quickly look up details via your mobile device.
Consumers gather impressions about products and services with their mobile devices while in the car, standing at the store, or sitting in front of a home. These impressions are Zero Moments of Truth. ZMOT’s sometimes occur seconds prior to the first and second moments of truth before purchases are made.
Who’s Your ZMOT expert?
Lecenski, who’s also the Managing Director for Google’s US Sales and Service, asks
“Who’s in charge of ZMOT for you? Because if it’s nobody’s job, it’s not going to get done…That person should be ready and empowered to work with your various agencies- creative, strategy, media, and digital- rather than being hidden in a lonely cubicle down the hall. They should be in meetings when you plan strategy. And they should have a say in the overall experience for your costumers…While you’re at it, ask yourself: Do I have a budget for the Zero Moment of Truth? Or do I just have a website budget? Because your new ZMOT leader can’t do it all with smoke and keywords. To put ZMOT to work for you, put someone in charge.”
Whether you hire an internal ZMOT expert or you outsource your efforts, the person in charge of branding at the ZMOT should have a firm grasp on marketing and the power of words.
A Content Checklist for ZMOT Experts
Your content providers should partner with you to provide quick, information-gathering reads, as well as in-depth analysis pieces. Consider the following content tips when providing ZMOT content:
1. Provide a keyword-rich summary of all uploaded videos, PSA’s, and commercials.
2. Utilize Google Trends to answer questions that people are asking.
3. Include semantically relevant keywords and phrases that complement your focus keywords within your copy.
4. Connect copy and blog ideas to the general chatter about your brand or its related products. Staying current is key. Information moves at a fast pace. Today’s trends are tomorrow’s archives.
5. Provide summaries and bullets up front, while following with more details further down each ecommerce page.
6. Write comparative pieces. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your products?
7. Take risks with your copy. Don’t forget to find your human spirit – the driver behind what you’re writing. Your authentic passion is contagious.
8. Take your laptop with you to the center of the action. Get out of the cubicle and into your customers’ lives. Sometimes this may require face-to-face meetings with subject matter experts, brand loyalists, and naysayers.
9. Pause conventional thinking. Writers by nature cross t’s and dot i’s. In some cases, rethink customary conventions. Revise and proofread for the customer, not for your reputation.
10. Make connections. Provide content links to other great pieces to help customers and readers learn more. Write several pieces of content that support each other. Consider for example, What is Quality Content part 1.
Your ZMOT expert and web writers should work together to create helpful, brand impressions. Who is your ZMOT expert and what content strategies do they employ?