Adriano de Matteis explores the ZMOT concept and how insurers globally could put it to work.
According to research from global consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble, consumers make the decision to purchase a product in three to seven seconds: just the time it takes to notice the product in a store.
That three to seven second time gap, known as the ‘first moment of truth’, is the moment when all of a product’s advertising and publicity either translates into a purchase … or doesn’t.
With the internet’s fast-growing role in consumer activity, this consumer behaviour moment has undergone profound evolution. According to the market research organisation Ipsos, at the end of 2012, a majority of the world’s consumers (69% of adults between the ages of 18 and 64) indicated that they routinely consult online reviews to help them decide whether or not to make a purchase.
Google’s market research arm has investigated online decision-making more deeply, and how the internet has changed how we decide to buy. The result is the determination of a new point along that continuum: the ‘Zero Moment Of Truth’ (or ZMOT).
The ZMOT website (www.zeromomentoftruth.com) defines it as ‘the moment when you grab your phone, laptop or some other device and start learning about a product, service, idea, or even a person’.
ZMOT, in other words, is that brief sliver of time between the initial stimulus – an advertisement, article, or other communication that sparks awareness and interest – and the decision to find out more, or to buy.
It is fast gaining visibility as a crucial moment in the consumer decision-making process, whether the decision at hand is to book a flight, buy concert tickets, or even, when perusing a dating site, to send an email to an attractive individual.
For providers of life and pension products, recognition of the ZMOT is becoming increasingly crucial. Baby-boomers around the world are moving into retirement planning and becoming more and more concerned about the longevity of their pension assets. Many have already launched their own research to find the financial instrument – or instruments – that will help them achieve their retirement goals.
This need will become even more urgent over the next two decades, as the sizable boomer cohort moves into its retirement years. Pension product providers will have to establish online environments that provide information in an easy to digest manner, engenders trust and confidence from current and potential clients, and supports both sellers and buyers with effective e-underwriting tools that are simple to use and can generate speedy approval decisions.
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