Yeah, yeah. I know you know (cause obviously you're a smart person) that you need to engage your customers. And you gotta do it fast, or else you lose them, just like that.
With so many avenues where customers can go through the sales cycle, we need to start recognizing the "Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)". What is it exactly?
To provide you with a more concrete example, I'm going to quote Google's Todd Pollak and his experience purchasing online:
I went online with my wife and we spent 30 minutes educating ourselves on all the options, features and specs, jumping back and forth between manufacturer websites and reviews, looking at the best-sellers and comparing prices. Once we made our choice, in less than five minutes we had logged into a retailer's site, added a TV to the cart, paid in a single click and had a date for a delivery direct to our home. I was beaming from ear to ear and explaining to my 4-year-old daughter that she should be AMAZED.
My kids didn't think it was such a big deal, but the purchase of that TV happened while we were all in mid-flight from San Francisco to New York, 35,000 feet above the Earth, somewhere over Utah!
So my family bought a luxury item - a complex product with what used to be a long sales cycle, one that would be a part of our lives for many years - without ever speaking to a salesperson, visiting a physical store, looking at or touching the product. We never contacted another person we knew or any expert for advice.
These vital moments are where you capture your customer, that moment of truth. It's the time when a consumer shows that they are intent on purchasing something. Basically this is when all your social media, blogging, advertising, coding, among many other things you do collide. The question you seriously need to ask is, will you be the one to meet their needs?
Show Up Where They are
Look, I'm not going to lie and say the sales funnel is as easy as pie to figure out. If you really think about it, it's not so much a sales funnel, but more like a charted map, as consumers dart from source to source. One minute they're in a brick and mortar store, the next they're looking on their smartphones at coupon deals or Yelp reviews. Gosh, it never ends!
It's more important than ever to be where purchasers are, ready to strike when that ZMOT hits. And it would be a shame to miss out on that, to say, your competitors. Show up.
Where, you ask?
Fall In Love With Multi-Screens
Surprisingly (or not), about 90% of consumers use multi-screens to complete a task, according to a study by Google in the ZMOT Handbook. They describe two types of usage, which is sequential and simultaneous. Sequential means that a user works with one screen, then another, whereas simultaneous means that a user is using more than one screen at a time.
Just think of the possibilities! It means you have opportunities to engage on one device and spark ZMOT on another.
Remember the need to be where your customers are? This is the very reason why. And according to Jim Lecinski's Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, 80% of success is just showing up.
Not only is it important to show up, but you need to be able to create a user friendly experience on ALL devices. Here are some quick tips to get caught up:
- Get your site up to speed: Ensure that it loads clearly and quickly on any device, particularly mobile. Consider creating a responsive theme if it makes sense.
- Unify your branding across all media (mobile phones, TV, and tablets).
- If you engage with customers on TV, are you promoting ZMOT discovery?
- Look into using mobile and video ads together.
- Consider advertising on mobile apps.
- Add alerts or reminders to follow up with customers after they sign in your site. Remind them about a consultation they've done, an item they've left in their shopping cart, etc.
How Local Can You Go?
Being where your customers are also means being where they physically are. Considering how 95% of mobile users have searched for local information, why wouldn't you want to tap into that? And no, you don't need to cyber stalk anyone, just following some simple tips will do.
- Experiment with hyper-local ads - play around with different cities of zip codes to see what works best.
- If relevant, try local offers - Many businesses have benefitted from sites such as AmazonLocal and Groupon to bring in first time customers.
- Turn on local ad extensions and features - they'll help you with people who are looking for local information, as it will display business info (such as store locations, store hours, phone number or even parking) alongside your ads.
I know there are many more ways to engage with consumers than I can write in this article, so you'll hear from me soon more more ways to tap into ZMOT for your business. In the meantime, any tips you'd like to share?