Marketing has changed a lot. We all know this. Over the years, the control has gone from the marketer (which can be the actual marketers, companies or agencies the companies work with) to the consumer. And what I mean by the word “control” is the fact that marketing previously was the collateral/information the company released and wanted to release when a product was launched, or when you requested information directly from them.
Today, it is exactly opposite of the way we previously marketed our products and companies. Again, we all know this based on the way we, ourselves, shop and make our purchase decisions. Think about what you do when you are buying anything, going to a restaurant, hiring someone (individual or a vendor company) or engaging a company to perform a service.
The internet plus technology plus mobile devices have changed the way we shop and the way we receive information. It has changed how quickly we want the information. It has even changed the way we want to receive our information. When I say shop, it can be for consumer products and services as well B2B products and services. The research we now do is immediate, often and you don’t have to be at home or at your office to be doing the research. You can be in your car, in a store or anytime your mobile device is with you. Your computer does not have to be on, because you also have a tablet.
This is why it is so important your marketing proactively answers to Zero Moment of Truth. The key word here is proactively. If you are responding to a request for information, you are likely already late…or later than your competitors.
The key change in the decision-making process is the added level of research done before you even know someone is in the market for your product or service, consumer or B2B. These are the ways they are doing their research:
• Online search
• Peer reviews
• Reach out to your network
Notice in this list, there is no mention of reaching out to the company of interest! There are still so many companies that just don’t “get” this. But seriously…it’s true!
Being proactive in answering to ZMOT is hard. It requires a great deal of effort. But it is truly the way we all need to be thinking. To give you an idea of things you should be doing to answer to ZMOT, here are some suggestions:
• Social media
• Your website
• White papers
• Online/Electronic brochures, flyers, spec sheets
• Publication articles
• Online listings (like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yelp)
• Press releases
• SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
• Guest Blogging
• Training/How-To videos or written pieces
The key, common factors here for all these items listed above are these 2 things –
1) Does it answer the questions people are asking?
2) Content, content, content – you must be creating content and lots of it!
So…really give this a proper amount of thought. Does your marketing plan (if you have one) include initiatives that answer the questions people are asking…people you don’t even know yet or know they need your product or service?
If not…time to start now!
Here are some good resources which you may find helpful.
Online Business Listings:
The Ultimate List: 50 Local Business Directories
Our guest blog post was written by AMA Member:
Anna Brice, Incoming AMA PHX President and Principal at Pinnacle Peak Marketing
Read more at: www.marketingevolutionblog.com