The connected consumer buying journey.
As the illustration shows, the purchasing journey has become more complex with the rise of the internet, but certain stages remain even if they have evolved.
STIMULUS - the impulse
At the base of any purchase, there is a stimulus. Whether it's a need, a desire, a crush or a conversation ... there is always a starting impulse.
The stimulus mainly comes, even today, from the classic media to which the consumer is exposed and mainly television (for 37% according to Google).
But the stimulus can be anything: a conversation with friends, reading an article, a blog post, a magazine advertisement.
ZMOT - the preparation
In most cases, the individual will then search the internet for all the information relating to the product or service that interests him. This moment, which might seem trivial, is in fact upsetting the way in which brands approach marketing.
However, this need for information also coincides with a tendency to empower individuals who seek to know how the product will impact and improve their lives. It also coincides with a trend towards socialization as the consumer shares his observations and thus influences other people.
This virtuous circle of information represents a major issue for brands. Because it is at the moment when the consumer forms his first impressions that the final purchase decision is often played out. Therefore, responsiveness and "brand content" are two key elements to win the ZMOT. To do this, brands have a whole arsenal of 2.0 tools: sites, blogs and SEO of course, presence on social networks, e-reputation but also engagement and conversations with customers.
FMOT - the decision
In the initial concept developed by Procter & Gamble, the FMOT (first moment of truth) indicates the moment when consumers decide on a product. This usually very short moment - three to seven seconds - is the time it takes for a consumer to decide which brand of product to choose.
This crucial moment represents the critical moment in marketing : the buyer goes to the store (physical or online) and decides to make a purchase.
SMOT - the experience
The buyer then tests and experiences the product or service they have purchased with enthusiasm, satisfaction or disappointment. It is the second moment of truth or SMOT (second moment of truth) which focuses on the product experience once the purchase has been made.
New technologies have little impact on this stage of the purchasing process - mainly dependent on product quality , customer relations and after-sales service .
Once this step is validated by the consumer, we can say that the re-purchase will not pose any problem and the loyalty process will start naturally.
TMOT - influence
Finally, the purchasing journey ends with a third moment of truth - TMOT (third moment of truth) - which corresponds to the degree of satisfaction generated by the use or consumption of the product. The consumer evaluates his purchase and talks about it around him.
TMOT corresponds to word of mouth (physical or online), comments and suggestions posted on forums and social networks, positive or negative feedback about the product or brand. This step is just as important as the previous ones because it conveys a lot of emotions - this is where the passions and frustrations of consumers are expressed.
In any case, it is the quality of a brand's customer relationship, its ability to inspire its customers and to unite and retain its community that will in turn influence other ZMOTs and thus the circle will be closed.
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