Zero Moment of Truth: The future of digital marketing

 Byline: Unathi Nkanjeni

Many moons ago - 8 years to be specific - Google introduced the world to a new marketing concept: the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).

According to the search engine, this concept was initially based on understanding the importance of marketing and how it can be quite useful to both new businesses looking to break into the world of online marketing and established companies looking to grow their online presence.

Google defines the ZMOT as the exact moment when a consumer has a need, intent or question that he or she would like to address through an online search. Instead of using pre-digital methods, today the same consumer would use his or her smartphone to search the product online, compare prices, customers reviews, YouTube videos, ask his friends on Facebook, forums, etc., and all of this is done at the Zero Moment of Truth.

Added to that, ZMOT takes place on search engines and social networks.  A compilation of micro-moments before the customer comes in direct contact with the product, resulting in a much more educated purchasing decision.

Although the study was compiled in 2011, it shows that 79 percent of consumers use a smartphone to research their shopping, and 83 percent of mothers claim to do online research after seeing a TV ad.

Real-time engagement

Gone are the days of marketers asking media companies questions of the share of voice enjoyed by excessive advertising. Today, marketers want to know how to find their audience in the exact right place and time. A very good example of this is companies that have a consistent online presence.

For example, online store companies. These companies know exactly what their consumers want and when they want it. They explain how quickly you'll be able to get something and suggest you order it at the click of a button.

Brands that are available online gain a huge competitive advantage over brands that don’t. And as this trend continues, brands must ensure they are at the right space and exact time they are needed. The consequence of not thinking this way will cast you back into the pre-digital years. 


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