Half of marketing is understanding human psychology. When developing a strategy for presenting a brand to the world, you have to determine what distinguishes that brand from others. To this end, researchers at Google developed the concept of the Zero Moment of Truth, referred to as the ZMOT, as a guide to how businesses should approach the task of displaying themselves to consumers. We’ve found understanding ZMOT can be vital for dispensaries.
What is ZMOT?
The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) refers to the stage of the buying process when the consumer decides to research the product or service they wish to purchase. If the Moment of Truth is the decision of a customer to purchase a product, the Zero Moment of Truth is the action they take immediately beforehand.
The internet makes it easy to scour for reviews, check out a brand’s social media accounts, and otherwise take a deep dive into a company’s digital presence. Not only are consumers are savvier thanks to having all this power at their fingertips but their expectations are greater than that of consumers of the past. For many consumers, ample amounts of reviews and a well-established online presence are the signifiers of authenticity and quality.
The ZMOT asks businesses to think about the breadth of information that exists regarding their brand before consumers attempt to access it. As consumer research often involves browsing reviews and ratings of a product or service, developing a ZMOT strategy can take time. One way to think about the ZMOT is as a metric for a business’s digital reputation, measuring the success with which consumers decide your product is a good fit for them based on the information available online.
While product reviews and a robust presence in search listings are part of “winning” the ZMOT, many consumers are also looking for professional sources of information as well. To prepare for the ZMOT, businesses should be proactive in developing a digital media strategy and capturing the attention of highly-trafficked websites that cater to consumers of your product.
How Dispensaries Can Use the ZMOT
So how can your dispensary take advantage of the ZMOT?
The ZMOT asks dispensaries to understand the perspective of the consumer in deciding where to purchase cannabis products. Here’s how that research process might look.
First, most consumers are interested in viewing reviews for dispensaries and ratings across the major listing websites. To make the most of this, consistently maintain your dispensary’s listings on Google, Yelp and services like WeedMaps to give potential customers accurate information and provide them with a positive impressional. Monitor your reviews and respond appropriately to both negative and positive feedback. Plus, your dispensary website should be user-friendly and professional looking. Consumers are wary of poorly designed pages that offer little in the way of information, and rightfully so.
Second, dispensaries should attempt to cultivate relationships with online publications. While it might take a while before your cannabis business is noticed by the greater community, sending free samples or press releases to important voices in the cannabis space can be a way to develop connections with the resources that consumers trust.
Engaging with potential customers online via social media is also a vital part of showing off your brand’s personality.
Ultimately, creating a comprehensive ZMOT strategy involves understanding how consumers engage in product research. This info can help you maximize your digital marketing power and reach more potential customers.