Digital Marketing: How Nigerian Brands Can Win at the Zero Moment of Truth.
Years back, A.GLafley (CEO, P& G) spoke about two moments of truth- the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth.
The first moment of truth is the moment of purchase.
It’s that moment when a consumer is looking at the different brand choices, say of noodles at the supermarket and they either choose your brand or competitor’s.All your marketing comes down to that point- Do you win the sale?
The second moment of truth is the moment of experience.
It’s when the customer experiences your product. Does it meet their expectation? That moment determines if you are winning brand loyalty and repeat purchases or you are never going to see their money again.
Lafley emphasized how these moments of truth are connected and how all our marketing efforts lead up to these moments.
Marketers got familiar with this and got pretty good at making them work for us.
But the digital world created a new moment of truth. This moment of truth has turned out to be increasingly significant.
The guys at Google called it the Zero Moment of Truth.
WHAT IS ZERO MOMENT OF TRUTH?
The Zero Moment of Truth is the moment of research.
ZMOT is that moment a prospective customer does a research online to learn more about your product or service offering.
Zero Moment Of Truth is the man trying to decide what airline to take on his next trip and searches online.
It’s the young couple searching for best TV to suit their needs.
It’s the young student look for information to help him decide which phone to settle for.
That moment is their Zero Moment of Truth.The moment when they search for answers online to help them make their buying decisions.
But How Important is The Zero Moment Of Truth?
The buyer journey has changed fundamentally.
Now the consumer researches before making buying decisions of any magnitude.
Increasingly, the Zero Moment of Truth is becoming a major factor that determines whether prospective customers make buying decisions or not.
The question is when your target audience are going online to search-Where will you be?
In Barrack Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope, he spoke of his visit to Google where Larry Page and Segrey Brin showed him a three-dimensional image of the earth as it rotated on a large flat-panel monitor. Lights sparkle showing, in real time, the online searches that are going on in the world.Africa was dark.
Almost a decade down the road, Africa, especiallyNigeria, is no longer dark. People are searching!
When people search for your product and you don’t answer that search, some else would answer.
That someone is your competition.
The Question therefore is-
Is your brand winning?
So How Do You Win at The Zero Moment of Truth?
1. Find your Zero Moment of Truth-
The first step is to find your Zero Moment of truth. This involves you doing a comprehensive and thorough research. Find out-What words are people using to search for your product or product category.
What terms do they use most?
When you start typing your product name into a search engine, before you finish, what search terms fill in?
What’s in the related searches tab?
What’s interesting to them (prospective customers) at the time?
What questions are they asking?
Gain insights both online and offline. Then harmonize and validate.
Tools like Google Keyword Planner,can help give you more comprehensive insights.
When you have done this, check out where you stand in the Zero Moment of Truth.
Does your website or message appear on the top third of the first results page for those searches?
How does your brand appear on the key rating and review sites for your category?
If someone does a search on your tagline, what do they see?
2. Be Found When they search:
When you have discovered your ZMOT, the next thing is to ensure you are there when they search.
You want to be able to answer accurately when the prospective customer knocks.
Do some serious Search Engine Optimization.While that is in the works, do Search Engine Marketing.
3. Answer the Question:
Simply being there when they search is not enough. You need to be answering the questions they ask, better than your competitors are doing.
A common practice by some Nigerian marketers is to find their Zero Moment of Truth and try to muscle their way to the top of the SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages). This will only get you thus far if what you offer is not relevant to what the customer is seeking.Be relevant.
Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president, Global Marketing Group, Johnson & Johnson, describes the change in mental models succinctly-
“We’re entering an era of reciprocity. We now have to engage people in a way that’s useful or helpful to their lives. The consumer is looking to satisfy their needs, and we have to be there to help them with that. To put it another way: How can we exchange value instead of just sending a message?”
4. Optimize for ZMOT
When people search, they are actually searching from different screens- be ready for them.
A consumer may search with her phone while in commute, and then hop to her laptop as soon as she gets to the office, then hop again to a pad during lunch.
It’s called Multi-Screening.
This means you need to make sure all your online assets are optimized for different screens. You need to make sure your online assets are mobile responsive and also being mindful of the type and flow of your content.
4. Social media:
Be on the social media platforms your customers are.
A key part of social media marketing is the conversation. Research shows that people expect to get a reply within 20 mins when they reach out to brands on social media.
Social media marketing is a conversation not a platform for pushing out messages.Be active, be responsive.
Integrate Customer Service with Social Media.
Do not only converse with customers, empower your social media team to be helpful when people come searching for answers.
People, expect their queries to be resolved there on the social media- or at least be able to go into action when issues or queries come up.
Don’t disappoint them.
Instructing them to “call this call-centre number” is foolhardy, to say the least. Connect them to help right there.
5. Be Agile:
The process of ZMOT cannot really be done and dusted, you have to keep searching and validating the process.
You have to be at alert to find out when new opportunities come up. You want to feel the pulse of your target audience.
Kim Kadlec Worldwide Vice President Global Marketing Group Johnson & Johnson rightly says
“Major innovations that used to change our lifestyles maybe once or twice in a generation, we’re seeing that now almost on an annual basis. So what needs to be top of mind for all marketers, no matter how established their brand is, is to stay relevant among our consumers.”
ZMOT has been and will increasingly become a key part of the buyers’journey. The earlier you get into it, the better.
Seek to answer these questions-
When people search your product or your product category, what do they find?
A negative review? A good one?
A well-optimized site that immediately helps them answers the questions? A site that looks like it belongs in the 90s?
An active twitter handle where customers immediately get responses when they seek one? A deserted twitter handle where the last tweet was from 2 months ago?
Or the worse, do they even find you at all?
The answers to these questions determine whether your brand will fail or win at the Zero Moment of Truth.