Technology, Social Media and New Moments of Truth

Many aisles in stores are becoming a blur of products, none standing out from the others.  Take a look for yourself.  If you’re spending all your energy trying to figure out how to differentiate yourself on the store shelf to win the “first moment of truth”, you’re probably losing.

In 2005, P&G’s A.G. Lafley introduced the concept of the First Moment of Truth; that moment in the store where shoppers interact with a brand and make a purchase decision.  Let’s call it MOT (Moment of Truth) 1.0.  Later, someone defined the second moment of truth, MOT 2.0, as the moment when a consumer actually uses your product.  And someone’s defined MOT 3.0 as the final moment when a consumer’s attitudes and emotions have crystallized into a lasting impression.

But social media and new technologies are shifting the critical moments of truth.  If you’re not winning MOT 0.0–0.9, you’re going to lose MOT 1.0. Check out this study back in 2009 by IRI.  83% percent of shoppers stated they are making their purchase decisions at home.  I’m guessing, and someone should point me to the research, that should be more correctly stated as “away from the store”.  New technologies have enabled consumers to make their decisions on the go.

No question that today’s consumers are more connected than ever before. And especially in this economic climate, they’re using technology for convenience and to save time and money.  Smartphones and tablets have made list making easier (e.g., Remember the Milk), friends’ recommendations more accessible, couponing more convenient and location-based reminders more prevalent.  With all these new pre-shopping behaviors enabled by technology, mapping new marketing strategies to focus on earlier moments of truth is essential.

By the way, shouldn’t we call it the Path to Consumer Satisfaction to encapsulate every MOT from 0.0-3.0? 

(Learn more about winning with shoppers at the 2011 Shopper Insights in Action conference sponsored by IIR USA.)