Volume 28/Number 6; September 1/8, 2014
By Lisbeth Calandrino
In 2011, Jim Lecinski, VP Americas, customer solutions, Google wrote a book called “Winning the Zero Moment of Truth-ZMOT.” What we learned from the book was the consumer has forged a new path to your door. The “moment of truth” has always been the point where the consumer forms an impression of your business. In the old days, the moments of truth were pretty much limited to your advertising and your actual brick and mortar store. If you’re reading this article, it’s likely you’re aware of a change.
In his book, Lecinski describes the new buying model as numerous moments of truth. No longer is the business in command of the customer’s path; the customer has designated her own path. In the old days I mentioned earlier, we had the “sales funnel”; Lecinski refers to it now as a “flight path.” Instead of the customer being driven into a funnel, she is using the Internet to steer herself to your business.
But it doesn’t stop there. If the customer decides not to purchase, she is going back to the Internet to get more information. She may be interested in what previous customers are saying about you on social media or what your online reputation looks like. I’ve been told by many salespeople that it is taking consumers more time than ever to make a purchase.
Lecinski has written an update to his book that I recently received: “ZMOT and Why It Matters Now More Than Ever.”
The recent update continues to describe the consumer’s journey. As she continues to bounce back and forth through the Internet, more things have become apparent. The customer has added many more moments of truth.
Although this journey may seem like it’s more difficult for you to find the customer, it has actually provided us with more opportunities to connect.
According to Google’s internal data, there are over 100 billion searches per month. Every few minutes there are 7.5 million searches. These searches provide you with an opportunity to get closer to your customer. To make these connections, you must know everything about your target customer, what she is looking for, why she’s visiting you and where she is coming from.
Every industry has its exclusive search terms, which will actually help you gain insight into the motivations of your target customer.
One research study cited a customer searching for a “stain removal solution.” According to Google, when it comes to stains, the most searched topic is “how to remove red wine.” If you’re in the carpet cleaning business, knowing the answer to this would be a home run.
Google suggests that using search and Google insights functions will help you determine the right key words for your site. In addition, you will know what type of information, blogs and answers to the most commonly asked questions to post on your site. Customers are searching for useful information and want answers 24 hours a day.
The last major point is that more of the moment is occurring on mobile devices. Customers are searching for information on their smart phones while walking down the street or riding public transportation. This leads us to the last question: Is your website mobile ready?
Take it from me, what’s old is new. You still need to find your customer, show up with useful information and join the conversation.