Sunday, February 05, 2012

Social online consumer influence

Not even that long ago when you needed or wanted to buy a product you might check some printed adds in the paper and go to a shop and talk to the sales person in the shop who told you which item was the best item to buy. Almost no other sources of information where available and the entire marketing idea was build upon the fact that as soon as you moved your message to the consumer you where in the buying zone and could convince someone to buy your product.
Due to the internet and now to the social nature of the internet picking up you see that people do tend to want more information before the buy a product. The time between seeing a buy stimulations (for example an add on a billboard or a video) and walking to the shop to buy something this is the moment where consumers do collect additional information on your product. This moment in time is called the zero moment of truth and is something thought of by google. Google is providing a new way of thinking about how you should interact with consumers and make sure they have the best experience with your product possible.

If you look at the complete model below you see it is all starting with a stimulus. This is the moment the consumer learns that your products exists. They see a TC add hear something on the radio or read something about your product. This is the moment where consumers used to go directly to the "first moment of truth". At the " first moment of truth" you had to make sure that everything surrounding the product was perfect and stimulated the consumer to buy the product. after purchasing the product the "second moment of truth" was when the consumer unboxed the product at home and started to use it. This second moment of truth is eery important to convince the consumer to buy from the same brand or same store again. Apple has perfected the unboxing experience.
Now ZMOT, " zero moment of truth" is introduced between the stimulus and the FMOT. This is where the consumer is looking on the internet and using search or using a QR code to go to a product page. At this moment it is important that your marketing department has made sure that the consumer is provided with all the needed information and all good references. The consumer should find the product on all channels he is looking for. Product reviews on youtube and vimeo, a page on Facebook where you can see how many people like the product, a information page where all is combined, making sure you product is on all kind of blogs and forums where people discuss it (in a good way).

The difficulty is that you cannot control the ZMOT completely however you can influence it a bit by thinking about you marketing strategy. Companies who do understand ZMOT will most likely be the survivors of the upcoming time and companies who do fail to understand ZMOT will not. Google is providing a lot of information and guidance into ZMOT from their website which is very beneficial to visit. Also watching some of the below videos is something worth to do.

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