We've all heard about Google's Zero Moment of Truth. It's the moment before the traditional customer journey when a consumer decides to research online about a product or service that they are interested in.
The Zero Moment of Truth is absolutely real! And if marketers don't take it seriously, it is at their peril.
However, just because someone at Google created a new "term" for research before the purchase, does NOT mean that the old rules of marketing no longer exist!
In fact, they are probably more valuable today than ever before.
Yes, people do visit Google and research your business before they buy it. No one in their right mind will argue against that point.
But, we must remember that Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc are just high-tech Yellow Pages. (Yes, they are living, breathing, incredibly cool Yellow Pages, but they are still a form of business listings for consumers in search of a solution.)
So, how does that affect you, Mr. or Ms. Marketer? Easy!
You still must build a brand! Make people aware of your products and services. People must associate a feeling, a loyalty, a trust with your company BEFORE they decide to click on your link...even in Google.
So, to be even more micro, there's actually a moment before the Zero Moment of Truth that marketers need to be aware of. I call it the "Less than Zero" Moment of Truth. The LTZ Moment of Truth is the moment just before your consumer decides to click on your link. It doesn't matter if the link is the result of an organic search, a display ad, a brilliant use of retargeting, or even a super cool pre-roll video. What matters is that the consumer has some-kind of recognition with your advertisement, link, or name that causes them to click.
Just having your name in a listing of results from Google will not cause them to click. They must have a reason, conscious or subconscious, to make an active decision on why they will choose you over your competition. Research shows that being first isn't necessarily the best. And having a catchy description is nice, but so does everyone else.
To win the "Less than Zero" Moment of Truth, you must have previously connected with the consumer. They need have seen you, heard you, or engage with you either on or offline before they decide to click on you, which means that you also need to spend time building your brand in the real world, not just the digital one.