Zero Moment of Truth

Google put out a free ebook last fall about the new Zero Moment of Truth(ZMOT)  in marketing. Proctor and Gamble proposed the first moment of truth years ago. To explain these are the basic moments in marketing that engange consumers:

Stimulus – an ad, tv commerical, etc. What first introduces the product to a consumer.

First Moment of Truth (FMOT) – shelving, store displays, packaging, in store coupons, etc. What the consumer sees in the store that helps make their buying decision.

Second Moment of Truth (SMOT) – using the product then telling other people about your experiences.

The digital marketing revolution I talked about has drastically changed this process. Google proposes that there is now a NEW moment of truth, before the First ever occurs. This is their ZMOT, the time before you even get to the store when you’re researching the product online through various channels and this is now when consumers make their purchasing decision. If businesses aren’t participating in the online Zero Moment of Truth, then they are assuredly losing business.

You’re probably thinking, yeah that sounds great, but what about libraries? Just like consumers, library patrons have moved online as well.

Let’s look at the various moments of truth through the filter of a library:

Stimulus – ad or article in newspaper about upcoming library event, tv commerical for a new book, etc. What first entices a patron to come to the library.

FMOT – The library shelves, displays, librarians themselves, etc. How the patron makes a decision on a book or service they use at the library.

SMOT – When the patron tells others about their experience and then brings friends with them next time.

ZMOT Examples for libraries:

Reading reviews of a new book online.

Following an author on twitter who is doing a reading at a library.

Participating in an online discussion group or reading a blog that reviews your favorite genre.

Here’s a trailer with top retailer minds in the country discussing this idea of the Zero Moment of Truth-

What other Zero Moments of Truth can you come up with for a library? Share them in the comments!



2 responses »

  1. Janelle Yahne says:

    Can ZMOT also be called “control your public perception?” It is important for an service provider to in touch with the community it works in. I am amazed at the number of articles being written about controlling your online presence.

    Interesting idea, but I am not sure if this is an entirely new concept. Is it possible that it is a device Google is using to hold more ground in the Internet?

  2. Christine Flott says:

    Whether or not this is a new concept or a concept that was newly “branded” by Google, I like the ideas of libraries becoming a part of people’s conversations about popular topics. In the Library Success: A Best Processes Wiki (, there are a variety of opportunities identified for this ZMOT concept. RSS feeds, podcasts, and informational YouTube videos about library services (author visits, trainings, rotating special collections or themes) could all be ways to get in front of current or potential patrons. Here are a couple of other resources:

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