Scott Brinker, a columnist at SearchEngineLand.com recently posted an article that caught my attention.
Many industry experts have talked about the importance of conversion but Scott’s article took it a step further and introduced a new acronym to me: ZMOT
You should read Scott’s entire post Conversion Optimization In The New Marketing Landscape and have I highlighted a section from his post for further discussion:
The Zero Moment Of Truth
The other “big picture” story is presented in Jim Lecinski’s book, ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth. Published by Google and distributed for free, it passionately describes the new reality of marketing where consumers are always connected, both to each other and to huge repositories of information on potential purchases.
Procter & Gamble’s former CEO A.G. Lafley popularized the First Moment of Truth (FMOT), when a consumer looks at a shelf of products in the store and decides which brand to buy, and the Second Moment of Truth (SMOT), when that consumer actually uses the brand at home and decides if they like it or not.
Google makes that point that there is now a new Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), where consumers explore and examine products and providers online — leveraging search and social media channels — to identify what’s most interesting to them before they ever go to the store. And this new ZMOT applies equally to B2B and considered purchases as it does to the consumer packaged goods where the FMOT was born.
Every touchpoint that a prospect has with you online contributes to their ZMOT decision.
An obvious example is when someone searches on a keyword, chooses to click your ad, and views your landing page. Their impression of you from that experience will impact their choices moving forward.
Conversion optimization is therefore critical in winning the ZMOT. Thinking of it this way frames the mission more broadly too — it’s not just about converting a visitor with one specific action in one particular context, but ultimately persuading them across a bevy of touch-points for the duration of their ZMOT deliberation. It’s customer experience management writ large, from the earliest moments of contact onward.
In fact, when you step back and view the ZMOT as emerging from the sum of all these digital interactions around your brand, you realize that the marketing technology landscape we discussed at the start is what enables and empowers your ZMOT strategy and tactics.
From both perspectives, conversion-oriented marketers are poised to take the lead.
Zero Moment of Truth
Take a moment to absorb this concept of Zero Moment of Truth. You can download a free eBook from Google on this topic by visiting: http://www.zeromomentoftruth.com. You can also watch the book’s trailer video: ZMOT Video
According to Google Blog on the subject of ZMOT:
Data from IRI’s latest Economic Longtitude 2009 study shows that 83% of shoppers make their purchase decisions prior to entering a store.
So, 83% of consumer goods shoppers make their purchase decisions PRIOR to entering a store. Then think about Scott’s summary statement pulled from the text above:
“it’s not just about converting a visitor with one specific action in one particular context, but ultimately persuading them across a bevy of touchpoints for the duration of their ZMOT deliberation.”
After reading this statement, I asked myself a question. How do we leverage this short period of time where a consumer is researching cars and deciding which dealership to call and which model(s) to test drive?
The answer is to make sure that all our digital touchpoints are designed to work together and to convert.
So ask yourself this question: Do ALL your digital assets work in harmony to convert?
Industry conversion leaders like Larry Bruce have spent a good deal of time helping car dealers understand the importance of landing page design in the context of a Google Adwords campaign. This is a great start for the auto industry that is wasting millions of dollars annually on poorly designed PPC campaigns.
Creating An Integrated ZMOT Marketing Strategy
But Scott is taking the discussion of conversion to an entirely new level when he says:
Every touchpoint that a prospect has with you online contributes to their ZMOT decision..
Is your website properly supported by carrying the creative design and call to action to your microsites, press releases, social media sites, and online brochures?
You get the idea, those companies that are conversion focused on ALL their digital assets will be pulling ahead of their competition. The implication is clear: There is no room to be sloppy with your digital media investments.
Here is an except from Google Blog on ZMOT:
What does ZMOT mean for marketers? It means that marketers need to button up their pull marketing strategies, not only the push strategies, and find ways to connect the two. Marketers need to ensure that a consumer has a consistent and positive experience — from the Zero Moment of Truth to the point of purchase and beyond — by getting in front of a consumer with the right brand message early in the process of discovery, and staying there along the way.
PCG Develops Digital Marketing Strategies
Next month we will be announcing additional products and services to address the need for a integrated digital campaign that supports your brand during the brief ZMOT consumer timeline.
There is only a limited number of car dealers that will put in place the disciplines that will create a complete set of digital assets that work in harmony to convert. This is not a project that a dealer can do without help from marketing professionals.
My hand is extended for those that want help creating a market dominating strategy that INCLUDES consistent messaging to address the ZMOT decision.
Keep in mind: “83% of consumer goods shoppers make their purchase decisions prior to entering a store” so do a AUDIT of ALL your current digital assets and decide if they ALL support your unique selling proposition. And of course, make sure you answer this question: Do they convert?