via G Hill
The first time a shopper encounters a product on a grocer's shelf is a make-or-break moment for its brand. Either she will reach out, pick it up and buy it, or move along to purchase a rival brand. So critical is this decision point, which lasts just a few seconds, to marketers that in 2005, consumer products giant Procter & Gamble coined the term "first moment of truth" (FMOT) to describe it. (A corollary event occurs when the buyer uses the product and it either lives up the brand's promise or fails to do so; that is the brand's "second moment of truth.")
Today, as web browsing has become more and more pervasive, the way people shop has changed. Long before shoppers find products on a store shelf, they search for the best options online. By the time they make a purchase, they have read reviews, compared prices and fully evaluated their options, whether they are buying a pillow or a Porsche. What, then, happens to the "first moment of truth?"
Online marketers have coined the term "zero moment of truth" (ZMOT) to describe this new reality -- where marketers have to compete for shoppers' attention online long before a purchase decision is made. Jim Lecinski, Google's managing director of U.S. Sales and Service and chief ZMOT evangelist, has written an e-book, Winning the Zero Moment of Truth, about what he calls a "new mental model for modern marketing." Knowledge@Wharton and Wharton marketing professor Jerry (Yoram) Wind spoke with Lecinski about the explosion of choice, today's highly informed consumer and what this new decision-making moment means to marketers.