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Just what is the “Zero Moment Of Truth”?

The “Zero Moment Of Truth” is one of those rare marketing concepts which pops up announced but may well stay with us for a long time. That’s because it describes a whole new type of buyer behaviour which is set to be a permanent one – and it’s as relevant (if not more so) in B2B marketing as it is in the consumer sector.

The idea was talked about a lot 2-3 years ago, when Google picked it up, realising they were a major part of what’s going on, but it’s not become any less relevant. So what is the “Zero Moment Of Truth”?

The term builds on an older idea, the “First Moment Of Truth” (“FMOT”), which seems to be credited to Procter & Gamble. The FMOT is the few seconds in which the consumer first comes into physical contact with the product and makes a decision whether or not to buy. Everything leads up to this moment, and maximising this opportunity is so important to companies like P&G that they created a whole department to manage it, over ten years ago.

Then, wouldn’t you know it, along comes the internet and immediately mucks up everything. Because now, while the FMOT still very much exists, the consumer now arrives at that moment armed with an unprecedented degree of knowledge about what they want to buy. Indeed, the consumer may already have had a number of specific interactions with the product (or its manufacturer) before they come to the buying moment. They may have all-but-decided what to buy. And this preceding period is what’s called the “Zero Moment Of Truth” (“ZMOT”).

I’ll look at how this relates to us in business-to-business marketing tomorrow, but there’s a lot of great stuff about the concept at this Google website, which I’d strongly recommend dipping into.

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