Zero Moment Of Truth And Other Destructive Lies That Are Killing Your Business

Google zero moment of truth

You hear a lot of talk these days about transparency, engagement, and the Zero Moment of Truth.

My friend Dewey Jenkins says the most dangerous statement a stockbroker can make is, “But this time it’s different.” Dewey has been around long enough to know that ideas and concepts don’t really change so much as they get repackaged and renamed.

A number of marketing’s oldest ideas are getting repackaged and renamed. Among these new names are Transparency, Engagement, and the Zero Moment of Truth.

What is Transparency?

One clothing store says,

“We have the biggest selection, the highest quality, the best service and the lowest prices.”


Another clothing store says,

“Sure, we’re more expensive. But looking good costs money. How good do you want to look?”

Which clothing store do you believe?

The more expensive clothing store admitted the downside and won your admiration and your trust.

Transparency = They’re not going to believe the upside until you admit the downside.

Do you have the humility and the courage to let the public see you real? Few companies do.

None of this is new.

Winning a customer’s attention is easy.
Hanging on to it is called “engagement.”

What percentage of your selling opportunities become sales?
This used to be called your close rate.
Now it’s called conversion.

Yesterday’s loss leader is today’s tripwire.

Use the wrong word and you’re a dinosaur.

None of this really bothers me much.

The thing that makes me look at the ground, shake my head and sigh is the dangerous myth of the Zero Moment of Truth. But then again, Google is the new Yellow Pages, so it shouldn’t surprise us that they’ve repackaged and renamed the old Yellow Pages scare tactic.

The fundamental premise of the Zero Moment of Truth is that the customer is going to go online when they’re ready to purchase what you sell.

I have no argument with that.

But the dangerous, underlying assumption is that all contenders are equal during the Zero Moment of Truth.

But that simply isn’t true.

The company most likely to get the click, the call, and the sale is the company the customer has heard of and has good feelings about.

The tortoise patiently wins the hearts of the people long before the race is begun. He says he’s “bonding with tomorrow’s customers.”

“Stupid tortoise,” says the rabbit, “he still believes in branding.”

Have you heard how that race turned out? Take a look. I dare you.

“Knowledge is power” is another dangerous myth.

It doesn’t matter what you know.
What matters is what you do with what you know.

So what are you going to do?

PS – The old Yellow Pages scare tactic adopted by Google is basically this:

“No one pays any attention to ads until they’re in the market for your product or service. And in that moment – the Zero Moment of Truth – they’re going to go to the Yellow Pages. Consequently, the only advertising you need – indeed, the only advertising that matters – is a huge presence in the Yellow Pages.”

Replace “Yellow Pages” with “Google Adwords, Google Remarketing, YouTube pre-roll, etc,” and you have the new, updated myth of the Zero Moment of Truth.