The Moments of Truth in Marketing
In the 1980s, Jan Carlzon, then President of the Scandinavian Airlines, defined the Moment of Truth in business to be:
“Any time a customer comes into contact with a business, however remote, they have an opportunity to form an impression.”
According to Wikipedia, the Moment of Truth in marketing is defined as “the moment when a customer/user interacts with a brand, product or service to form or change an impression about that particular brand, product or service.”
In 2005, Procter & Gamble introduced the First Moment of Truth, followed subsequently by the Second. This was eventually also called the 3-Step Model of Marketing.
So, what are these Moments of Truth in Marketing? Let’s take a look.
The Stimulus is when a consumer is made aware of a certain product or service through advertisements seen on offline media. The stimulus makes the consumer realize that they may require a certain product, which could be something as straightforward as buying shampoo because he or she has run out of it.
The First Moment of Truth (2005) is when a consumer is confronted with the product in a store. It is at this point that the consumer is faced with many different choices and brands. It is also at this point that a brand realizes how deep their brand penetration is and what their ROI is, in non-monetary terms, for launching a certain product.
The Second Moment of Truth (2005) is all about the customer’s experience with the product. Did the product meet the customer’s expectations? Was the need that was created in the mind of the customer fulfilled?
The Third Moment of Truth (2005-2006) is the feedback or reaction a consumer may have towards a product. It is at this point that a customer may prove to be a brand advocate, by sharing his or feedback via social media publishing or word of mouth.
Eventually, as the internet percolated cities and minds, this process had another dimension added to it. Consumers and brands moved online. Consumers could now get different kinds of information – product features, reviews, discussions – online. Each of these interactions is an opportunity for a brand to educate, influence, attract or convince a customer during their online journey
In 2011, it is precisely this moment that Google defined as the Zero Moment of Truth.
The Zero Moment of Truth, or ZMOT, refers to the research conducted by a user online about a product or service before taking any action. We, as marketers, are well aware of how important this moment is. The purpose of many forms of marketing presently is dependent on it. Online Advertising and SEM, for example.
According to Forbes,
“(In 2014,)eventricity Ltd. introduced the Less Than Zero Moment of Truth (Zero Moment of Truth.”
2016 saw the rise of another Moment of Truth, which is something that we are all very familiar with. It was coined by Amit Sharma, the CEO and founder of Narvar. He calls this moment the Gap.
The Gap is “the period of time from when the customer buys a product online to when he receives it.” It addresses an aspect that we as marketers are aiming to achieve: personalization.
“In a brick-and-mortar shopping experience, a branded moment after the customer has paid for his/her purchase can be ensured by the salesperson who helped the customer and rang up the sale. He might come around the counter with the merchandise and walk the customer to the door. That doesn’t happen with an online experience. The closest thing that resembles that is the thank you email and the notice that the item has shipped.
Regardless of whether you’re an online business or brick-and-mortar store, B2C or B2B, there are gaps in the experience that are opportunities to deliver a positive experience that gives the customer the confidence that he or she made the right decision to do business with you.”
What are your thoughts about this? Have these Moments of Truth, knowingly or unknowingly, helped your marketing ventures?