Google’s Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
The moment of truth has traditionally meant the moment a buyer has decided to buy. Google refers to the critical period before that when the buyer is researching what to buy and who to buy it from as the Zero Moment of Truth.
The number of research sources the average buyer uses before making a decision, the percentage that rely on the internet for research, and the percentage of buyers that rely on that research to make a buying decision escalates as the price of the product increases. It’s clear that buyers of higher ticket items tend to use more research sources. These research sources are not limited to search results, but also emails, websites, social media (for B2Bs primarily LinkedIn), emails, referrals, etc.
Google has done an impressive amount of research on this and even produced a book on the topic: available as an ebook here: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/_qs/documents/673/2011-winning-zmot-ebook_research-studies.pdf
The idea (and the book) have been around for about 10 years. It was all revolutionary at the time, now it is generally accepted marketing practice—however this all bears repeating; it’s not one thing that leads to marketing success—but a strategic, disciplined and well-executed methodology.