This post is a book review of ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth by Jim Lecinski and Google. The book was written as an enhanced ebook which includes audio and video clips as well as infographics interspersed throughout the text. The book is a fantastic read and has changed the way I look at marketing my products and services. I suspect, after you read ZMOT, you will change the way you do business too.
It’s funny how I came to find the book in the first place, and that fact underscores the point of the book, which is that search engines have changed the way people buy products. The first real buying decision is no longer made at the store shelves, it’s made researching the desired product online. The store shelf – known as the first moment of truth (FMOT) – is being pre-empted by online research, ratings and reviews, and social commentary, otherwise known as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), a phrase coined by the Google marketing team.
I had just finished reading a book on my Kindle app for iPad and had been hearing about a Kindle feature which reads the book to you. I thought that would be a great way to checkout a new book while I go for a run. I can put the iPad in the stroller with my daughter and listen to the book via headphones. When checking out the category in the online store I noticed two things. First, the books enhanced with audio are mainly children’s books. Second, the audio feature works only on the actual Kindle device. I made a mental note to come back and check out the children’s section, my daughter would love to checkout an interactive book with audio and video too.
I was really interested in the text to speech feature because it allows me to read when I want to read and to listen when I want to listen. That, to me, is better than just an audiobook. I did a search online and found that Apple iBooks program offers a text to speech feature where the book can be read to you as well. When searching online I found that most of those books were children’s books also. I put a pin in that search, and went over to the enhanced books section. This is the section of books that have new media formats along with the text. I thought I’d checkout a book there. I found ZMOT as one of the featured books, and it was being offered at the low price of $0.00. I thought I’d found a perfect match. I downloaded it, and started reading it right away.
I never put it down. The text was fantastic, the audio and video were captivating, and the infographics were from an amazing consumer study commissioned by Google in regard to how people shop, both online and in stores. Immediately, as I was reading the book and watching the video clips, I realized there are so many ways that search engines have affected our lives.
The book touches on the marketing aspect for businesses, saying that businesses need to shift the way they think about marketing to sell in this new era where consumers no longer make their decisions in-store. The study shows that consumers are making their purchasing decisions months ahead of time, and are using the internet to read information about the product, check ratings and reviews, and even to connect with other people who may have used the product. In essence, we are all becoming more informed consumers, and are using the information at our fingertips as factors in our buying decisions. This is true not only with big ticket items like cars, but even smaller items like diapers and medicine. The same is true for service related businesses.
The book encourages sellers to interact with their customers on a more personal level, and not to be afraid of allowing consumers to review their products directly on their site. These conversations are already going on inside many social media circles, and when a product manufacturer can tap into those comments on their own sites, they can get some of the best product feed back available, and work to incorporate important changes into future versions of their products or services.
Several C-level executives are interviewed both on-camera and off, and their responses are catalogued in ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth. They discuss how the ZMOT concept is being used in their industry and how it has affected not only sales, but their corporate culture as well. One executive at GE explains that salespeople can’t rely on the product selling itself anymore. They need to engage the customer on multiple marketing levels, and explain to them why the product solves a consumer need, and why their product is better than a competitors. It doesn’t stop there though. Those same salespeople need to continue engaging the customer online, in chat rooms, on customer support calls, and in the real world, to make sure the product continues to meet customer needs, and to pass on good word of mouth.
So many people have touched on the idea of interactive search and its effect on consumer purchases, and until now, no one has been able to put those thoughts and ideas down into concrete examples. Jim Lecinski and Google have finally pinpointed how the internet has become a major factor in purchasing decisions, and in doing so, have opened my eyes to a new way of thinking about selling products and services. Going a step further, I can even see how these principles related to growing an audience on a blog, whereby the product being sold is neither a product or service, but information.
If you are in marketing or advertising you need to read ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, but I think bloggers can gain valuable insight from it as well.
The book is available for free from several online ebook stores. I got mine through Amazon Kindle store here: ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth.
If you liked this book review, you can read a few of my other book and ebook reviews:
Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School
Lendle.me: The ebook borrowing service for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Apps.