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The 4 marketing moments of truth

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Engaging customers and prospects more successfully

As consumers we all experience moments of truth every day, when we research, buy, use and advocate products or services. These four moments of truth shape our views of products and brands. So, not surprisingly, marketers have been using them as a vehicle/model for improving their interactions with customers and prospects for years. Although traditionally used in B2C situations, marketing’s four moments of truth are equally applicable in B2B situations – and your CRM system has a key part to play. Let’s see how.

Zero moment of truth (ZMOT)

In 2011, Jim Lecinski from Google released an e-book that described the zero moment of truth, which refers to the point where consumers are researching a product or service, often before the seller even knows that the prospect exists.

Given you are not even aware that a potential purchaser is thinking about your services at this point, how can you exert any influence? The answer is yes; by providing appropriate material on your website – such as customer testimonials, buyers’ guides, and case studies – and measuring carefully which is used the most.

Plus you can feed information about who is looking at information – both specifically and generally - into your CRM system using forms, web tracking and Google Analytics. Specific information collected from completed forms can be used to identify individuals, suggest further content and uncover any existing relationships with the firm. General information collected from web tracking or Google Analytics can be used to develop more targeted campaigns.

First moment of truth (FMOT)

This is the point where a prospect decides to make a specific purchase based on the research they have done. It’s a time for providing information that confirms their decision – such as ratings, reviews, customer case studies and other credibility-building material.

It’s also important to make the process of purchasing as simple and engaging as possible. The information you have collected in your CRM system on their potential purchase can be used to correspond, inform and pre-populate any forms that are needed.

Second moment of truth (SMOT)

This moment happens after someone has made a purchase and is concerned with whether your service lives up to their expectations. Here your CRM system is vitally important to provide excellent levels of customer communications, ensuring the right contacts have access to the right information at the right time, this will ensure that a strong relationship is built.

It can also be useful to survey clients on their experience, to highlight and resolve any specific problems that may be occurring. Also, by analysing the surveys from multiple customers any areas of poor performance in the practice’s processes can be identified and addressed.

Any responses you get from each of these activities can one again be stored in your CRM system to enable you to tailor communications to the exact interests of your customers, reducing the potential of spamming and adhering to the Data Protection Act and GDPR guidelines.

Ultimate moment of truth (UMOT)

The fourth element to think about is loyalty and advocacy. If the first three moments of truth have been a positive experience, hopefully your client will be willing to give positive testimonials, ratings and reviews, which then become the zero moment of truth for other prospective customers.

But this will not happen naturally. You will almost certainly need to encourage clients to contribute and the feedback you have received in your CRM system is the first place to look for those you should approach.

The moments of truth model (ZMOT, FMOT, SMOT, UMOT) is a great way to think about marketing and how you will engage with existing and prospective clients. And your CRM system has a key part to play at every stage. From capturing the data of prospects visiting your website - so you can email them relevant information – through building strong relationships, to keeping a record of the strong advocates who are willing to engage in joint PR or case studies, coupling your CRM system with a marketing plan focused on the four moments of truth will help you become more successful.

Tags: InterAction

About the Author:


Claire is responsible for the implementation of marketing activities across the Enterprise Solutions product portfolio. She looks after several elements of the marketing mix Including events, campaign management, online activities and branding. Her spare time is largely spent with her husband, young son and friends.

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