In 2005, the president and CEO of Procter & Gamble coined the terms, First Moment of Truth and Second Moment of Truth. The Third Moment of Truth was introduced by a former P&G employee. In 2011, Google developed the term Zero Moment of Truth. To be most effective in acquiring new customers your brand needs to engage your target audience during each Moment of Truth.
In this article we examine the moments potential customers experience when faced with purchasing decisions and how your marketing strategy can use them to grow your business.
Moments of Truths at a Glance
- Stimulus: A consumer becomes aware of a certain product or service through an ad, social share, email, commercial, etc.
- Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT): A customer researches a desired product or service online through various channels including reading reviews, exploring relevant blogs and comparing offers.
- First Moment of Truth (FMOT): A customer’s initial encounter with the actual product or service such as walking into a medical provider’s office or visiting a law firm’s website.
- Second Moment of Truth (SMOT): The customer has purchased the product or services and determines if those products or services live up to the brand’s pre-purchase promises.
- Third Moment of Truth (TMOT): The customer provides feedback, whether positive or negative, about the product via social media, word of mouth, surveys, etc.
Zero Moment of Truth
The Zero Moment of Truth describes how potential customers search for information online and make decisions about brands. Jim Lecinski, Vice President of Americas Customer Solutions at Google, explains, “The ubiquity of smartphones means that ZMOT is no longer defined by a single discrete moment (“when I open my laptop and search”). Instead, it’s an integral part of the constantly connected consumer’s entire day.”
As Zero Moments of Truth continue to evolve, your brand must take steps to meet prospective customers confidently during these micro-moments. This includes maintaining a professional website, sharing images on Instagram and Pinterest, uploading videos to YouTube or creating email campaigns that demonstrate how to use a product or service. Most importantly, your marketing collateral must detail how your products or service solves a problem that the customer is facing.
First Moment of Truth
When a potential customer encounters a product or service in real life, it is the decision-making moment or First Moment of Truth. Giving customers reasons to buy within your sales pitch is essential for earning their business. Below are a few ways to generate reasons a potential customer should buy your product or service:
- Brand your product professionally (consult a branding expert)
- Gain the trust of potential customers by sharing customer reviews or client testimonials
- Maintain your business’s contact information on every platform you utilize
- Monitor website contact form submissions or voicemail boxes
- Respond to all customer inquiries as close to the moment of interaction as possible
Second Moment of Truth
Once you have won the customer’s business, they move into the Second Moment of Truth. This truth develops as customers use your product or service. The best way to support a positive customer experience is to remain relevant.
- Provide professional and courteous customer service
- Replace faulty products
- Publish how-to videos and blogs on your website
- Respond to any social media hashtags, shares or inquiries
Third Moment of Truth
The Third Moment of Truth can either make or break your relationship with your customer. This moment involves your customer sharing feedback and experiences with your product or service. Gaining relevant feedback on your product or service from customers largely depends on what you’re selling. If your products rest on store shelves, offer customers incentives to follow you on Facebook. Are you a doctor’s office? Consider sending follow up emails about your patient’s appointment within 48 hours of their completed visit.
Keep in mind that feedback is typically provided via Yelp, Google and Facebook reviews, phone or email surveys. It is important to acknowledge and respond to all customer feedback, both positive and negative, to effectively establish a positive relationship between your brand and your new customer.
Note: This feedback is often part of the Zero Moment of Truth for customers seeking your product of service, starting the cycle all over again.
Consumers turn to the internet when they’re seeking to make purchasing decisions. The Zero Moment of Truth is the most relied upon method consumers use to make buying decisions. Thus, it’s become the most important part of the buying process.
Your responsibility as a brand is to provide valuable and relevant information about your product or service that sets you apart from your competitors and provides immersive engagement. Consider the following as you analyze your brand’s Zero Moment of Truth strategy:
- Product position and placement
- Advertising and marketing messages
- High quality, easy to navigate website
- Organic and relevant reviews available online
- Customer service policy developed with the consumer in mind, clearly stated and visible, and delivered upon consistently
- Responsive and timely customer communications
Ready to revisit your marketing strategy and strengthen your Moments of Truth but not sure where to start? Shoot us an email or give us a call and let’s have a conversation