Consumers live and learn and make buying decisions today by using a variety of sources:
- ratings and review sites
- friends on social media, at home and on the go,
- (more than ever:) video
They're looking for search results, user reviews, four-star ratings, text ads, image ads, news headlines, videos and even good old-fashioned official brand websites. They're asking answers for three questions about products and services they're considering to buy:
- Will it save me money?
- Will it save me time?
- Will it improve my life?
The First Moment of Truth (FMOT) is when the consumers stands in front of the shelves in the store. In a new eBook, Google employee Jim Lecinsky identifies a Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) just before that.
Some factoids from the eBook:
- a full 70% of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase
- 79% of consumers now say they use a smartphone to help with shopping
- 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them
Without a doubt, a positive online brand experience creates loyal customers. As serveral studies have discovered, the majority of consumers who engage with a brand in the digital space - whether by participating in a contest or by "liking" a brand on Facebook - tend not only to purchase the products, but also make recommendatioins to their friends and family.
The traditional approach of “product reviews” by bloggers is sometimes called blogola: A slang term used in online marketing circles to describe the act of bribing or paying influential bloggers to create a buzz in the blogosphere about a specific product or technology in their blog.
This technique is often seen as suspect or non-transparant. On the other hand, there's this huge base of very active "Twitter Moms" who are very eager to vent their opinions about household and food products. Their audience: other "Twitter Moms" who trust advice from their peers more than anything else.
Here's a very interesting take to that problem: TwitterMoms Seal of Approval.
From the press release:
Products carrying the TwitterMoms Seal of Approval have been subjected to a structured evaluation process designed by members of the TwitterMoms team. A minimum of A minimum of 25 independent moms were selected for their geographic and demographic diversity then complete the structured evaluation process in their own households and submit their qualitative and quantitative feedback for review and analysis. To be awarded the Seal of Approval, a product must meet or exceed expectations in all areas of the evaluation 85% of the time and the same percentage of evaluators must be willing to recommend the product to others.
The TwitterMoms evaluation panel is comprised of experienced moms who are active in social media from across the United States. 60% live in the suburbs, 18% are rural dwellers, and 22% live in cities. Nearly 75% of the panelists have two or more children. 26% have babies in their household, 23% have preschool-age children, 33% have kids that are in grades K-8; 11% have kids in high school. Household income ranges skew slightly higher than the US average: 25% of the evaluators report HHI of more than $100K, 36% report HHI of $60-$100k, and 28% report incomes in the $30-$60k range. 62% keep large pets in their home.