In this blog post I’d like to talk about Customer Journey and the importance of digital in the journey. It has changed very much in the recent years, and mainly it’s because of technology. Example: back in the day (say 15-10 years ago) you’d be watching a film at home. Naturally, at some point a TV commercial would come up. For the sake of the argument let’s say you watch the ad and find it relevant – you want that product. So, you go to the shop, see it on a shelf, and then there and then decide whether to buy it or not. That’s pretty straight forward, isn’t it?
In 2005, The Wall Street Journal published a feature article that cardinally changed the marketing scene: it was about 7 seconds when consumer first sees a shelf at a supermarket full of the same product but of a different brand. Seven seconds later you decide to go for some brand. Procter & Gamble called this First Moment of Truth (FMOT). It was so important the company even created job role for a Director of FMOT! Back then, it was all about Stimuli, Shelf, Experience: a consumer is ‘enlightened’ of a product, then goes to a store and sees it on a shelf for the very first time (FMOT), then buys it, brings it home and experiences it (Second Moment of Truth(SMOT)).
I wonder how many of us shop that way today? It was a massive thing back in 2005, but now I’m writing about it and it feels so ancient. And stupid. Why would you even consider buying anything without reading reviews/researching about the desired product online beforehand? Because that’s how it’s done today.
In 2011, Google (well Jim Lecinski, US Sales & Service Vice president at Google), wrote a book on Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). All of carry research tool on us, a mobile phone, which enables to look up anything we want anywhere. Now in terms of sales, we can read product reviews while queuing at a Post Office, watching TV – basically whenever we feel like. Remember the SMOT? That’s where ZMOT comes from. Somebody bought something, took it home, used it and then published their experience online as a review on Amazon, a demo on YouTube, an appraisal on Twitter. These will be either positive or negative, and will influence people’s purchase decision who are trying to make up their mind through doing the research online. It’s all pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Within the last 15 years the way marketing works changed dramatically. Due to availability of technology consumers became tech savvy that fundamentally changed their purchase journey. It’s a lot more complicated. It’s a conversation now amongst consumers. Moreover, brands started getting involved in those conversations, too, instead of just trying to shove their messaged down consumers’ throats. As a result, the way marketing budget should be planned changed. Brands must get involved online in the conversation of to positively impact ZMTO.
Today brands can be present in the moment that matter to their customers. Follow trends, have something interesting, relevant to share. Every interaction doesn’t have to be about transaction. Build trust, and from there – relationships. And the best thing about digital is that everything can be measured and matched against KPIs. Even since the customer journey is so complex now, brands must be around when the problem brand has solution to is sought after. It’s a missed opportunity otherwise.