Book Review: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – ZMOT

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization) highlighting a FREE, new eBook from Google. It was called Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – ZMOT by Jim Lecinski.

I clicked the link in the email and arrived at the ZMOT landing page. It was snazzy and had a high-quality video enticing me to read the book. That was my ZMOT, and I immediately downloaded the eBook to my Kindle. I read it over the course of a couple of runs on the treadmill.

I’m glad I did.


This book is for anybody who sells products, services, or information online. It takes P&G’s “old” concept of “FMOT” or “First Moment of Truth” (the 3-7 seconds where a consumer stands in front of a shelf in the store and makes a decision about which toothbrush to buy) and backs it up to “ZMOT” or “Zero Moment of Truth.” ZMOT is “a moment when marketing happens, where information happens, and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world.”

A great example of ZMOT is when you’re standing in your favorite bookstore looking at a new book, and you pull up your phone to read some reviews on Amazon. (When was the last time you bought a book without reading any reviews?) Another example might be comparing features of whiteboards before making the trek to Office Depot. (I’ve got my eyes on this eco-friendly model.)

Zero Moment of Truth Key Points

The book reveals the results of an interesting study conducted earlier this year by Shopper Sciences. The study was designed to “show exactly which sources influenced shopper buying behaviors.” I’m not going to reveal all the findings, because I want you to read the book, but here are a few key points:

  • ZMOT has changed traditional marketing forever. The classic Stimulus -> Shelf -> Experience process has been rudely interrupted by ZMOT. Today, most consumers research products before they buy. This may involve reading reviews, comparing features, watching “how-to” videos, or talking to somebody who owns the product.
  • Consumers share information like never before. Remember browsing for reviews in the bookstore? You can find reviews for almost any product online – and they matter. People trust heir friends (real or virtual) when it comes to brand and product selection. Along these lines, I saw a fascinating segment on the Today Show last week in which a family was requested to push certain brands on their friends. The result: 9 of 10 brands were bought. This is the power of conversation.
  • Research is not just for big-ticket purchases. It used to be that consumers primarily spent time researching expensive items like cars, computers, and cameras. This is on longer the case. As an example, my 14-year-old daughter won’t buy new makeup until she’s done her due diligence online. The new generation of consumers are savvy shoppers!

In Summary

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – ZMOT has a nice mix of conversation, examples, data, and tips to make for delightful reading. As I hinted above, it is a quick read and it will be worth your time – at least if you want to win at the Zero Moment of Truth.

Fun facts from the ZMOT study:

  • 70% of Americans read product reviews before making a purchase.
  • 79% of consumers use a smartphone to assist with shopping.
  • 83% of moms do online research after seeing TV commercials for interesting products.

Watch the Zero Moment of Truth Trailer

Editor’s note: All quotes are from Winning the Zero Moment of Truth – ZMOT.

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