Google has defined the decision making process the consumer goes through before making a purchase (either online or in person) as the “Zero Moment of Truth”. The “Zero Moment of Truth” purchasing cycle essentially has four components: Stimulus, Zero Moment of Truth, First Moment of Truth and Second Moment of Truth. The stimulus is the start of the decision making process. The stimulus can be a life event or when the consumer notices advertising about a brand on TV, in a magazine, newspaper or online. The Zero Moment of Truth is the researching portion of the purchasing process, when the consumer is looking for more information before they make the purchase. The First Moment of Truth is when the consumer actually visits a store or location, speaks with a customer service representative and purchases the product or service. The final step in the buying cycle, the Second Moment of Truth, takes place after the actual purchase. The consumer becomes a brand advocate and mentions the product or service to friends and family, writes a review on the services and shares the product experience on social media, especially Facebook.
The Zero Moment of Truth purchasing decision process can apply to any industry, business, or non-profit organization. However the buying cycle will be different for each type of business. The purchasing cycle could be just a few hours or days to many years. Therefore, it is crucial to reach the consumer at every point of the decision-making process. Marketing tools such as a company’s website, organic search strategy, email marketing, paid online advertising, and social media all play vital roles in converting a prospect into a new customer.
Senior living communities are just one of the businesses that need to understand the “Zero Moment of Truth” buying cycle so they can create the best marketing program to inform and retain potential new residents. The buying cycle for a potential new resident can take up to 18 months, so in order to keep in touch with prospective customers during this long decision making cycle, community marketing directors must understand each of the steps and utilize the many marketing tools that are available to them.
Linkmedia 360 has written a guide that walks through the stages of the Senior Living Zero Moment of Truth decision making process. Follow a senior couple as they make the life changing decision of downsizing to a retirement community and how important online marketing message are during this journey.