Google is smart on shopper insights, and we’ve just been reviewing “Zmot: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth” an excellent free ebook on social shopping by Google’s Jim Lecinski.

One big idea.  You’ve heard of the “Moments of Truth”  consumer journey.

  • First Moment of Truth” the observational moment of truth when advertising hype gives way to truth and the consumer first sees a product on the product page or shelves of the store
  • Second Moment of Truth” – the experiential moment of truth, when the consumer actually experiences using the product first-hand
Well Google posits that social media facilitates a Zero Moment of Truth (pronounced zee-mot), which is the ‘borrowed experience’ of someones’s second moment of truth when shared; i.e. product experience shared online.

Of course, the Zmot is not new news per se, it’s essentially the familiar ‘word of mouth reality check’ humans have been using since they first started talking; a wise man learns from the experience of others – a fool by his own; we’ve been arguing for some time that the key benefit of social is smart - social technology creates a powerful viral loop in the consumer journey that makes consumers smarter.

The big insight? Social media is showrooming by proxy. But Google has captured the essence of this brilliantly in a “moments of truth” journey.  So what?

What does the Zmot mean for you and your business?  Two things.

1) If the Zmot acts as first reality-check in the consumer journey, then it is gate-keeper and agenda-setter for customer acquisition.  25% of Dell’s new customers are the result of a positive Zmot. In turn that means that your advertising should line up with the product experience – since a shared experience is what links advertising to personal experience.  So, as we like to stay, when you busily your sales and marketing strategy - ‘start with the smile‘ of product experience, and work back.

2) If the Zmot acts as first reality-check in the consumer journey, then the principal role of social media in commerce and marketing is ‘social utility’ – helping people shop smarter with their social intelligence and profit from social situations.  In other words, don’t offer campaigns – offer social utility; your social strategy should be about using social to help people discover and decide smarter; i.e. Assistive Consumer Technology.

On point 2; the Zmot book includes a smart quote from Kim Kadlec, worldwide vice president, Global Marketing Group, Johnson & Johnson

“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?”
We couldn’t agree more. So the next time your agency suggests running a social media campaign, shoot them.

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Today’s article is sponsored by Milyoni: The Leader in Social Entertainment
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