The buying decision journey has changed

The buying decision journey has changed

The buying decision journey has changed

The buying decision journey has changed

By combining Web 2.0 interactivity with social media, social networks, mobile devices, local search and review sites consumers have finally taken control of the market place, online and offline.

The consumer decision making process has permanently shifted – consumers have taken control of the market place. Key moments of truth in the consumer decision-making process:

Stage 1 – Stimulus

Stimulus – advertising, press releases, articles and other market communications that spurs consumers to the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), where they take an action based on the stimulus.

Stage 2 – Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – It’s what people search and find after encountering the stimulus that directs their next steps.

The Zero Moment of Truth – which comes immediately after the Stimulus and before the First Moment of Truth – has been made possible by the evolution of web:

  • Social networks – like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+ etc.
  • Social media – like StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and thousands more
  • Review sites – like TrustPilot, Yelp!, FourSquare, Trip Advisor, WOMO etc.
  • Mobile devices – tablet computers (like iPads) and mobile telephones, especially smart phones (like iPhones and Android phones)
  • Search – Local search for businesses from the major search engines – like Google+ Local (formerly Google Places)

Here’s what the Zero Moment of Truth looks like:

  • A couple sitting in a coffee shop scanning reviews on their tablet-PC for the best Italian restaurant in the city they are visiting
  • A student in the local bookstore checking reviews on his mobile phone for the books he is interested in possibly purchasing
  • A busy mom looking and comparing information and pricing on cold medications on her iPad while waiting to pick up her kids after school
  • A women researching information on her computer about the man she has a blind date with later that night.

Stage 3 – First Moment of Truth (FMOT) – P.O.P – Point of Purchase

First Moment of Truth (FMOT) – P.O.P – Point of Purchase – where consumers comes face-to-face with a companies product or service and made the decision to buy or not buy. It’s what people think when they see a companies product and it’s the impressions they form when they read the words describing the product.

Stage 4 – Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) – Experience

Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) – Experience – where they bought the product or service, tried it and had either a good or bad experience. It’s what people feel, think, see, hear, touch, smell, and (sometimes) taste as they experience the product over time. It’s also how the company supports them in their efforts throughout the relationship.

Stage 5 – Ultimate Moment of Truth (UMOT)

Ultimate Moment of Truth (UMOT) – A stage that brings to light the importance of shared experiences. It’s that shared moment at every step of the experience that becomes the next person’s Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).

Infographic: The buying decision journey has changed

The buying decision journey has changed

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Consumers are more demanding and more insightful

The social media has made consumers more demanding and more insightful. It also means that marketers are going to play a new role. Marketing cannot be used to create an artificial demand. Customers will not be fooled, because they know what products are made of and if there are some companies that do not live up to it, it will be communicated widely through social media.

Consumers no longer want to just hear what a company have to say about it’s brand, they want to know that the company’s brand is as good as they say it is. With the amazing ease of access consumers have, they can find incredible details online about all possible brands in a matter of minutes. And when they are ready to buy, they now buy with confidence.

It is these Zero Moments of Truth that determine whether the consumers do business with a company, or don’t. It’s a new decision-making moment that takes place a hundred million times a day on mobile phones, laptops and wired devices of all kinds. It’s a moment where marketing happens, where information happens and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world.

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Infographic: The buying decision journey has changed —

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom

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