BrainTrust Query: What is Missing from Moments of Truth Marketing
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is an excerpt from a current article from the Joel Rubinson on Marketing Research blog.
First, Procter started talking about the first moment of truth (FMOT). This is when a shopper first encounters a product in the store. (The second moment of truth relates to use). This was great for the shopper marketing folks as it clearly signaled that brand awareness, preference, and purchase can be created spontaneously in seconds at the shelf.
Now, since 2010, Google has started a campaign around ZMOT, the zero moment of truth. This recognizes that many shoppers actually start their shopping online via a search.
However, let me introduce “minus one” in path to purchase, because there is something that comes before search.
Most of search that refers traffic to a given site is based on typing in a trademark name, not a generic phrase like, “get the smell out of my carpet.” So, how did someone get to know about that trademark that they thought to search for? I think there are three main sources:
- Push advertising on TV and digital display that creates desire and curiosity;
- Word of mouth and conspicuous consumption (those white earbuds on the iPhone had tremendous impact on creating societal acceptance);
- Visibility at retail. Yes, the first moment of truth can come BEFORE the zero moment of truth. In a way, packaging was the zero moment as it was the searchable content before mobile devices brought the internet into the store. Well, you knew linear marketing was dead, right?
So, I’d say that the moment of curiosity and desire that creates interest in learning more is the minus one moment of truth. Minus one can be triggered anywhere; in the living room while watching TV, on the train, in the store, or in Facebook and Twitter (and now Google+) conversation.
The mating dance between minus one and zero has always existed. What I think happens is that unless you can quickly act on your desire, it dissipates. Before internet search, when minus one occurred you needed to go to the store, or call a friend, or buy a magazine. I have to believe that 90 percent or more of desire was squandered in the pre-digital age. Now, consumers can instantly search for something they are curious about — from their computers at home or work, or mobile devices right in the store, or from 35,000 feet. So what search does is it lets us act on our curiosity before it dissipates, which is powerful for marketers.
Some marketers are ahead of the curve at turning minus one into zero anywhere and anytime but this is a big part of digital strategy — turning curiosity at minus one into a zero moment activity before it dissipates. This should be a priority for a marketer. How would you do this at shelf, online, in a TV commercial, outdoors?
What do you think of the challenges of reaching consumers at the ’minus one’ and ’zero’ moments of truth? How are digital search capabilities and increasing use of mobile technologies transforming the conversation between marketers and consumers?