Procter and Gamble coined the Moment of Truth concept in marketing, and it has come to be a very powerful means of explaining how one connects a brand to a customer. But what is it, and how does it apply to your business?
In the consumer purchase decision tree, a stimulus is required to get a consumer thinking about a need or a want. For example, running out of dish washing liquid can stimulate a consumer to buy another. Similarly, falling pregnant, can drive consumer response, as can a pay raise, which may stimulate a new car purchase thought.
Until 2011, stimulus was either internal (e.g. a need in the consumers mind) or triggered (e.g. a TV commercial or media). Information and suggestion was broadcast – a forced download where the brand owner did all the talking. Influence began through media and the consumer decision tree began when the consumer first interacted with a product, usually on shelf in store – the first moment of truth.

Consider these when building and marketing your brand…

The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)

Google defined the Zero Moment of Truth in 2011. Changing consumer landscape and shopping habits meant that the shopping environment was no longer purely and bricks and mortar store.

The zero moment of truth refers to the point in the buying cycle when the consumer researches a product, often before the seller even knows that they exist. The Zero Moment of Truth is when a shopper goes online to research a product and decides whether to make a purchase. It’s about search, social media, apps and advertising. The purchase can happen online or traditionally in store, but the influence pattern is unique.

The First Moment of Truth (FMOT)

This is the moment when a shopper first interacts with a product in store. This is physical interaction and is a defining moment in the purchase decision, since a consumer decides in less than a minute whether he or she will make the purchase or not.

The decision is impacted strongly by product packaging, on shelf visibility and space, availability, price point and price point visibility, merchandising standards, promotional interest and competitive products.
To win here, you need to be better on all of the above, and create a point of difference or a point of interest in the consumers mind and heart.

The Second Moment of Truth (SMOT)

This is the moment when a consumer first uses a product. Take for example, a shampoo. When the consumer uses the product on her hair, success is defined by the brand promise. Does the shampoo deliver soft, silky shiny tresses? Is the bottle easy to use or does it break on the shower floor? Does is have a pleasant fragrance? Does is foam well?

The second moment of truth determines a consumer’s loyalty. If the brand and product meets it’s promise a first time consumer becomes a regular buyer.

 Written by Jainita Khatri. She is the founder of Prana Business Consulting.  She has 15 years of practical experience in marketing for blue chip organisations and has consulted extensively with entrepreneurial and medium sized businesses.  Jainta’s passion lies in digital marketing – helping businesses to build their brands and businesses.  Jainita is a speaker at conferences and guest lectures Monash University and UJ on vaiorus marketing related topics.