The way a customer gets information about a product or service makes a purchase and becomes a loyal fan has completely changed these days. A few years ago there was a study in how consumers purchased their goods and it went like this:
Stimulus to buy: This came from an advertisement, desire or need.
The point of sale: This became the first moment of truth where a customer actually made a purchase.
Experiencing the product: This was the second moment of truth where he experienced the product.
Becoming a loyal fan: This was the final moment of truth when a first-time buyer becomes a loyal fan of the brand and a repeat customer.
Marketing and advertising professionals just concentrated on creating the stimulus via print advertisements, TV commercials, radio jingles, billboards, point of sale items and direct mail.
Then internet came along and changed it all.
Google researched and discovered that there was actually something they called The Zero Moment of Truth or ZMOT for short. This is the period between stimulus and purchase when we log into the internet and gather information before purchase. People are increasingly making inquiries about a brand or making decisions at the zero moment — the precise moment they feel a need or intent (or even a question they want an answer for) to look for a product or service. Hence, it is important for any business to showcase themselves and start creating the Zero Moment of Wow (because only truth is not enough, you have to wow the visitor), the first experience with your business online.
How do we do that?
Let’s look at 3 major ways to do that most effectively.
- Create an Excellent Website, Do Not Compromise
An excellent website is the starting point for creating a lasting impression on your prospective customers. A website should have an excellent design as well as easy navigability (information architecture) so that a viewer can get required information without any trouble. It is important to remember that a website must be designed with your business in mind and your unique presentation of the value you offer. This is called positioning your business effectively in your market.
A copy paste job will just not do. A website is also important for digital marketing. The webmaster must be knowledgeable to do the required integration with Google Search Console, Google Analytics and other platforms and integrate tracking codes etc. in the site code. You must also remember to build a website that loads fast and is mobile friendly. Website optimization is crucial for any digital tool/application. The content of the website should make the viewer excited; it should be good mix of aesthetics and information. Apart, from look and feel the website must be informative, tech savvy and precise.
- Build Several Touchpoints with Social Media
The website is built, now what? The entire marketing ecosystem must be built so that you can interact with your prospects through multiple channels. And a large part of such channels is social media. These days almost everyone is on social media and the regular use of the same makes it a powerful tool. Your business must be visible and reach out to your prospects socially too. Therefore start building beautiful and uniquely designed social media pages, consistent with your branding strategy. You should start with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and gradually spread out. Each platform has its pros and cons but what is commonly important to them is that they are platforms where a business must engage viewers. Hard selling is counterproductive. As an example, if you study Nike Facebook page, you will see most posts are about fitness and almost nil posts are about sports shoes. Post regularly valuable, helpful and engaging content. Target them well to your prospects.
- Start a Blog
According to an independent survey of UK consumers commissioned by affiliate network, affilinet, bloggers are the 3rd most trusted source of information beside family and friends. The survey was based on samples of UK consumers, but the outcome is most likely to be largely valid for most markets.
This is how different influencer groups’ rank in what you call the trust index:
- Social media contacts
- Religious leaders
It is interesting to note that celebrities, brands and politicians are the least trusted. Having a blog has many benefits for your business. To get a detailed perspective about how a blog should be run, click here.
Your blog does many wonderful things for your business which supplements your website, social media presence, email marketing, lead generation efforts and conversion. It also is very effective for search engine ranking of your website. A blog, wisely maintained, is the biggest asset for your business to create thought leadership and authority. As consumers are becoming more and savvy and cynical about businesses, your blog can generate the most important ‘trust’ among your consumers.
The final thought, putting it all together
Once you develop the 3 major components to communicate to your customer, it is now time to start marketing.
All channels should be used for marketing and you must form an integrated digital marketing strategy.
Initially, you may use paid advertising, but as time goes you will be able to develop a loyal audience base.
But always look for ways to wow the viewer with great content.
Author: Dipankar Dutta advises businesses on marketing strategy and implementation through digital channels and is Director of Excelligent Infotech Pvt. Ltd.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily policy or position of Stars of Startups or WiseLane Ventures Pvt Ltd. Assumptions, data, analytics, graphics and such other information are used for representational purposes only and cannot be treated as an official reference. Any information in the interview is by no means a guaranteed verification.