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In the past decade, the Internet has completely changed the consumer decision-making process. Where the purchase decision–the most fundamental moment in the sale–used to happen primarily at the store shelf, it now occurs in the pre-shopping/research stage. Google calls this the “Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)” and published an extensive study on how this is shaping nearly every industry in today’s economy.

In this webinar, Jacqueline will share some of the some key findings in the study, and will show you what businesses need to do to ensure they’re winning that Zero Moment of Truth.”

All right. Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining me on today’s webinar. Today we’re gonna discuss Google’s macro study on the new mental model of marketing, and what they refer to as “zero moment of truth.” So before we jump in, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Jacqueline Cook, and I encourage you all to contact me afterwards with any questions or comments after the webinar. I’d love to hear them and I’d love to hear how they relate to the businesses that you’re working with.

I also want to take the time to highlight some really cool stuff our marketing team has been working on. They’ve been compiling some really valuable collateral on sales material, and I’d like to share some of these resources with all of you. So the link is below, at the bottom there, and if you sign in once you’ll always have access to stats, resources, and this will always be continually updated. So I encourage you all to check that out as well. I also want to say that this presentation today has been compiled from Google’s ZMOT study.

I make no claim that this is my own personal research, but I rather want to share with you a really compelling and really well-done report conducted by both Google and Shopper Sciences. So without further ado, let’s jump in. So, like many other things it’s touched. It’s nothing new that the Internet has completely changed the entire consumer decision making process in nearly every category. Consumers today have more choices than they’ve ever had before.

So in this study, what the researchers sought to examine was this question here, “How exactly is shopper behavior changing in this digitally powered world?” So the study consisted of a sample size of 5,000 shoppers. They looked at 12 different categories, from large purchases like automotive to daily choices like buying groceries. They wanted to find where the influence takes place from going from undecided to a decided and informed purchase decision. So specifically they wanted to examine three things, the first being the shopper’s purchase timeline. How far in in advance do shoppers, do we as consumers, start thinking about this purchase?

They also wanted to take a look at those information sources. Where are they looking? Where are they gathering this information? Is it traditional media? Is it new media? Where do they seek to help them make these decisions? And lastly they wanted to look at the actual influence. How influential were these sources, and where exactly in this timeline does the decision take place? So the study focused on the traditional three-step model of marketing. This is probably nothing new. First we begin with the stimulus. You’re watching the World Cup and you see an ad for a car.

A stimulus can come in any form of medium: radio, TV, print, coupon, talking to friends, anywhere that you become aware of a product or services. It’s the point of interest and awareness. What researchers refer to as the first moment of truth occurs at the shelf. It is in-store experience. This can include reading a product package, talking to the sales representative, trying a sample, touching, feeling, trying out the product. The last step in this traditional model is the second moment of truth, and that is the experience. It occurs after you’ve purchased the dress and tried it on, wear it out, or after you’ve purchased the vacuum. It’s the consumer comparing those expectations with the reality. They can either be profoundly happy or, as we’ve seen many times, screaming and raving mad.

So then the researchers said, “Hold on a second. After tallying all these results, something’s changed in this model in recent years.” When they tallied up everything they found a fourth step in this process. And a consumer cycle is largely the same. A consumer becomes aware of the product, they gather information, and eventually decide to buy or not buy based on that information. But what has changed is where they gather that information, their ease of access to that information from a multitude of sources, and their ability to compare against other products and services globally.

So this is what the researchers refer to as the “zero moment of truth.” Effectively the process of meeting shopper needs begins at this zero moment of truth. It doesn’t happen now at this first moment of truth. They’ve already made the decision. In addition, this second moment of truth now, if used effectively, can seed into and will fuel another shopper’s first moment of truth. In fact, they looked at the number of sources and types of sources and found that in just a year, from 2010 to 2011, shoppers were consulting nearly twice as many sources as they were the year before. People are looking. They want to be informed. They want to find the best value, the best product, and they’re actively… And we only see this continuing to grow.

So this is a slide right from the study. We can see here that some of the most valuable sources in that zero moment of truth, if we look right here, searched online with a search engine, read product reviews online, became a friend/follower, liked a brand. This is nothing new to you. And what it ties into is what we’ve been saying over and over again. Presence, reviews, and social. These are foundational products and foundational places that every business needs to be. So if you’re a partner of ours or a prospective partner of ours, you already know that a company’s brand is no longer what they say it is.

You say you have the best service in town? Your customers think otherwise. It’s being defined with how those customers are shaping you online. So in really examining the zero moment of truth, it’s crucial that a business is found online where your customers are in that research stage. At Vendasta we offer foundational products that allow you to and allow your customers to really develop a presence. Our presence builder products and our listing distribution products allow your clients to ensure that they’re where their customers need them and are looking for them.

Next, reputation intelligence allows them to ensure that what’s being said about them is a true reflection of their business and is accurate, allows them to gather information as well to what’s going on inside their business. How are staff treating? How are the bathrooms? This information is crucial if it’s being online for the world to see. Secondly, in the second moment of truth, Vendasta offers a social marketing product, which, as we know, can fuel the first moment of truth for more and more.

If you offer a service and allow your customers to tweet about it, it can provide word of mouth, digital word of mouth for new consumers looking for that same product or service. It also allows businesses to engage customers and encourage winning at that zero moment of truth. So by working with our partners, we’re essentially able to influence at all stages of the mental model of decision making. By harnessing what our partners are doing in effective advertising, both in traditional and in new media, by capturing them at this new zero moment of truth, by ensuring that they’re making the correct decision right at that transaction moment, and, of course, by encouraging them to communicate to other viewers and other consumers after the fact, we’re capturing them throughout the whole cycle.

So I’d love to ask you all today, how are your clients winning in their zero moments of truth? What are they doing? How are they advertising? How are they influencing purchase behavior in each of these stages? And how are you allowing them to do that? So that really concludes my presentation today. It’s a short one and a quick one, but I would be more than happy to pass along any collateral that I’ve used in this study, as well as any links to what I’ve presented here today. And now I’d like to offer the floor to questions, anyone that might have any.

Please, again, my contact information is at the beginning. I’ll just show that slide again. So I encourage you, please, just shoot me an e-mail. If you have any questions, if you want any of the materials from today’s pitch, if we can offer you anything as well, my e-mail is Phone is 306-955-5512, extension 142. I’d be happy to discuss this further with you all. If there are no other questions, then that concludes today’s webinar, and I look forward to presenting and speaking with you all very soon.

Jacqueline Cook

Jacqueline Cook

Vice-President, Growth

Jacqueline is responsible for driving a growth mindset throughout Vendasta. She encourages alignment, focus and execution cross-functionally with Engineering, Design, Product Management, Operations, Marketing, Sales, Support and Success. She leads Vendasta’s internationalization strategy and analyzes key customer insights and trends in order to feed back throughout the rest of the organization.

Jacqueline is an alumnus of The Next 36 Entrepreneurial Institute, Canada’s premier entrepreneurial leadership initiative. During the program, she co-founded and was CEO of Triumf Mobile Rewards: a tablet and Smartphone-based platform for small and medium-sized businesses to customize their own loyalty rewards programs. She has been a speaker at events such as TEDx UofS and WE DAY 2015, and has represented Canada at the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits, the 2010 APEC Summit in Japan, and at the 2011 G20 Young Entrepreneur Summit in France.