June 29, 2012 | Debbi A. Ballard | Comments 0
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Winning the Zero Moment of Truth in MLM

copyright, 2012, Debbi A. Ballard All rights reserved worldwide.

Winning the Zero Moment of Truth in MLM (or in the marketing of any product, service or opportunity) can seem like a daunting task. What does Google have to say about it? What are my insights as to how it can be applied to increase an mlm business?

It all starts with an understanding of the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) as explained by Jim Lecinski, Managing Director, U.S. Sales and Services at Google, in his ebook on ZMOT.

ZMOT includes the pre-shopping activities done online by consumers to find information to help them make an informed buying decision. This is done by doing a search online using certain keywords, garnering input from various social media sites, looking at coupon sites, reading review sites, checking with recommendations from friends, relatives and others online, etc.

One of the issues that needs addressing, however, is that pre-shopping takes place offline as well. For example there is personal interaction that takes place between an individual with a problem and others who are looked at as trusted authorities. In my own experiences, I find that often even very tech smart friends, relatives and acquaintances of mine will pick up the phone and contact me for vital information without ever bothering to first search for that information online or offline.

They are very busy people who want to cut to the chase to help get their problems solved as quickly as possible. And, so, I surmise, they feel like contacting me directly can either solve their problems quickly via my direct, honest input or I can be the gateway to specific reliable info online and/or the person/firm that can help solve their respective problems.

But word-of-mouth pre-shopping exists when ANY two individuals who know and respect each other interact offline and one asks the other for input on a particular problem and how a product/service could solve that problem. This has always been the most powerful influential type of marketing as validated in many research projects, some of which have been discussed here in mlm consultants’ blog.

And it is this more personalized marketing that has always been the strength and the bedrock foundation of the entire direct selling industry. As mlm companies and their networkers employ online marketing strategies and tactics to ensure an effective positive online presence for their brands, the combination of that with the very loyal personalized customer relationships built offline can trump those brands who lack more personalized interactions that elicit a higher degree of loyalty (like home party plan demonstrations, phone calls and face-to-face interactions between friends, relatives and acquaintances making recommendations).

And so our industry, in particular, should be looking at ZMOT more broadly, not just mainly focusing on what happens online in regards to pre-shopping, but looking at what happens both online and offline. That’s the key.

The bottom line is that consumers have always done “pre-shopping” long before the Internet. Talking to others, reading magazine reviews, listening to radio/TV interviews, etc. all were used to gain insight.

In fact years ago before the vast amount of info we see today appeared on the Internet, I coined the phrase “Informational Marketing Systems.” These were ways I could help my clients better understand how to meet the needs of consumers when searching for the best solution to solve their problems so that they could buy with confidence….confidence in the buying decision being the ultimate trigger to making a final decision. The use of CDs, video tapes, white papers, research reports, clinical studies, etc., were all used effectively.

Now the Internet has of course magnified the amount of information that consumers can examine in their pre-shopping activities. It has also made in more easily accessible.

So what’s the lesson? Make sure you are winning the zero moment of truth (ZMOT) in your mlm by increasing your odds of the consumer choosing your brand (or the opportunity seeker choosing your opportunity)…regardless whether the person is pre-shopping offline or online. You do that by intensifying and increasing the number of personal relationships you have offline AND engaging in building trustworthy ties with consumers online in an honest, thoughtful manner.

You also do that by analyzing both online and offline activities to see where you are getting the best return on your time, effort and monies in your efforts to get consumers to purchase your brand or choose your opportunity. Google Analytics, for example, is used by many firms to help them analyze their websites in terms of traffic, sales and conversions. It can give you a view as to how visitors arrive at your site, what they do once they are there and how you can get them to keep returning to your site. There are also a variety of other firms that provide excellent analytical tools.

Stay tuned here at mlm consultants blog on mlm best practices where I’ll be writing more about winning the zero moment of truth in mlm and how remarketing and real-time marketing trends can be used to secure those pre-shoppers. Let me know what you think of ZMOT in the meantime.

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Filed Under: MLM ArticlesMLM Trends


About the Author: MLM Consultant, Expert Witness, Author, Blogger, Speaker and CEO of International Network Liaison Corporation...but more importantly, wife, mother, daughter, aunt, cousin and friend.

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