ZMOT – How to control when your customers buy

How to control when your customers buy – the Zero Moment of Truth

In 2011 Google conducted a study on consumer habits and coined the term The Zero Moment of Truth, or ZMOT.

ZMOT is the moment when a consumer decides whether or not to buy something. 

As any business owner would know, achieving that moment is crucial in ensuring your business’s survival.

So how do you achieve this elusive zero moment? Well Google discovered a few interesting things that will help you do just that.

The study found that most people aren’t ready to buy at the first touch point with the product or service. In other words, the first time they see your website or brochure probably isn’t going to be the moment they make the decision to buy. Google found that a buyer needs 7 hours of interaction across 11 touch points in 4 locations.

These terms may be unfamiliar, so let’s put them in layman’s terms. A touch point could be a flyer, a newsletter, a review, a video, a blog post or a television advertisement. A location refers to means through which the consumers are receiving these touch points, such as on social media, a website, in an email or in person.

How to increase your customer touches (in a non-sleazy way)

11 touch points in 4 locations. How are you doing?

Let’s look at the locations first. Do you have a website? Social media profiles? A store front (or, if you’re online like us, do you go to networking events)? If so then you’re off to a great starting point – even if people aren’t interacting with you on all of these touch points yet, the potential is there.

If your business isn’t present in four different locations, think about what you can do to increase your presence. Can you write some guest posts for different blogs, or articles for industry journals? Is it time to create a Facebook page? Is it time to start meeting people face-to-face? How about building an email list (and actually emailing them)?

The next item is the 11 touch points. Across these four locations, a customer needs to interact with you 11 times. So they might visit your blog four times, read three emails, like your Facebook page, call you once, have a face-to-face consultation and see an article you published on Inc. or Anthill.

The final piece is the seven hours. These 11 touch points should add up to seven hours for maximum effectiveness.

This is where a lot of people get stuck – they have a Facebook page, a website, and an email list. But how long does it take to like a status update? How long does it take to read a blog post? How long does it take to read an email (if they even open it to begin with)?

If each touch only takes a few minutes, it’s going to take a long time to reach seven hours.

This is where a book is invaluable. First, it’s a separate location. Tick. Second, because most readers won’t read it in one sitting, it could add up to several different touch points. Tick. Third, even shorter books take a good three to four hours to read. And if your reader is engaged in all of the action steps you set along the way, you could easily build up your seven hours with your book alone.


Learn more about the Google ZMOT study.

Lachlan - January 7, 2016

This is outstanding content. Thank you for the concise write up, extremely clear actionable points for businesses to undertake. Well done.

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