Zero Moment of Truth: Revisited

August 19th, 2014 in Content Marketing 3 minute read

Monday 11th August 2014 marked twenty years since the first ‘secure online purchase’. And what was that first online purchase I hear you ask… it was a copy of Sting’s ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ album for $12.48 plus postage. Since then online technology and digital marketing have changed dramatically and the number of people making online purchases has increased at a rate no-one could have predicted.

Research commissioned by Shop Direct has shown that 95% of us now shop online and 1 in 4 of us in the UK go online every week to shop.

So with more of us shopping online, how do you make your brand stand out from the crowd and get noticed? Content.

The Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT is a term commonly used in the marketing industry particularly around Content Marketing. We looked at ZMOT and how it differs from the traditional marketing model back with THIS blog post. For those of you who missed that one or haven’t heard about ZMOT before here’s a quick recap:

The traditional marketing model involved three stages. The ‘Stimulus’, which is the first time you see a product or service advertised this might be a TV or radio ad, a print advert in a magazine or newspaper or a banner or billboard. Next comes the ‘Shelf’ which is the point of sale and ‘First Moment of Truth’, this is when you make your purchase. Marketing and content at the ‘First Moment of Truth’ might be a product display or packaging. The final third stage is the ‘Experience’ when you take the product home or use the service, this point is the ‘Second Moment of Truth’. Once you have made your purchase you usually then go on to tell people in some way about your experience, whether positive or negative. This might just be a causal comment in passing to friends or family, or sharing your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.

A survey carried out by Google into consumer shopping habits, found that there is now an extra ‘stage’ in the buying cycle. They named this the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’, it occurs between the ‘Stimulus’ and ‘Point of Sale’ or ‘Shelf’ and is the point at which you begin your journey of ‘discovery’ as a consumer and start learning about a product or company.


In this connected, digital age we are researching more than ever before, we do our learning before making a purchase and committing to a product. This research is often done through a variety of content channels for example, social media, reviews, the brand website, YouTube and asking the opinions of family and friends.

The ZMOT is where we ‘learn’, make our shopping decisions and form our opinions on a brand and their offerings. After publishing their original research and ‘Winning the Zero Moment of Truth’ eBook, Google are back with a follow-up.

Google have been exploring the role of the ZMOT in Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) in Asia in their eBook: ‘Winning the Zero Moment of Truth in Asia.’

The research looked at the shopping habits of over 8,000 females in China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. The results revealed that 1 in 2 female shoppers ask their friends or family their opinion before making a purchase.

1 in 3 shoppers use a search engine for their research at the ZMOT making them a more popular first resource than social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and review sites.

Why do people research? What are they researching at the point of the ZMOT? Some of the most popular searches revealed in the new research were to compare prices, locate products, check availability and find reviews and tutorials. The rise in online review sites and forums make it easier than ever before to find product reviews – the modern word of mouth in written, visual and audio form.

The more you research, often the more your choices grow not narrow like the traditional marketing funnel – you need to stand out as a brand and tell your story.

What questions at the ZMOT are your customers asking? What do they want to know? Answer these questions in your content. If they can find the answers to all of their queries then why would they go anywhere else? If they leave your site or social media channels with questions unanswered the chances are that they are going to go elsewhere, will they come back? Maybe, but why take that chance.

Here at Zeal our Content Marketing strategy is all about the ZMOT and helping you make sure your consumers and potential consumers have all the answers about you that they need.

We can help you tell your brand story get in touch to find out more about our Content Marketing services.

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