It’s time to clear out the smoke and shatter the mirrors. One of the most dangerous statements a business owner can make is, “But it’s different this time.” What they fail to realize is that ideas and concepts don’t actually change so much as they get repackaged and renamed. In fact, many of marketing’s oldest ideas are getting repackaged and renamed. And among these new names are Transparency, Engagement, and the Zero Moment of Truth.
The reason these old ideas are being repackaged is that they’ve been forgotten. In the rush to keep up with the latest shiny object, we’ve lost sight of some of the most important marketing principles. Transparency, engagement, and the zero moment of truth are all old ideas that have been repackaged for the modern world. And they’re important ideas that we need to remember if we want to be successful marketers. So, what are these old ideas? And why are they so important?
We’ve got the answers for you in this article. So keep on reading to learn more!
What is Transparency?
Transparency influences your consumer’s decision-making process. This includes information about a product or service, such as its features, benefits, and price. It’s an important principle in small business marketing and business advertising because it allows customers to accurately see what they’re getting before they make a purchase. It also allows companies to build trust with their customers by being open and honest about their brand image, messaging, and products and services. Here’s an example that’ll paint a good picture for you:
One HVAC company says, “Our club membership provides you with reliable, high-quality services that lower your monthly utility bills.” Yawn. Another HVAC company says, “Sure, we’re more expensive. But no other company can provide the amount of value and perks that we can.”
Which company do you believe?
The second HVAC company admitted the downside and won your admiration and your trust. And that’s what transparency is all about. Your prospects aren’t going to believe the upside until you admit the downside. Do you have the courage and humility to let the public see you for real? Few companies do. The concept of transparency is an old idea that has been rebranded for the modern marketing world. Traditionally, businesses kept a lot more information about their operations hidden from the public than compared to today.
In our hyper-connected, hyper-complicated world where fake news, data breaches, and privacy concerns have become the norm, consumers are craving more transparency than ever before. So, if you want to build trust with your target audience, be willing bare it all. Otherwise, you may find your business at a serious disadvantage.
Sure, winning a customer’s attention is easy. But hanging on to it is a different story. This is called “engagement.” Engagement is the level of connection someone has with your brand. It’s the emotional attachment they feel toward your company, product, or service. It’s what drives people to buy from you again and again. There are lots of ways to measure engagement. But at its core, engagement is all about creating experiences that customers enjoy so much that they keep coming back for more. Let’s provide you with another example:
One contracting company has an email newsletter that they send out once a week. They have social media accounts, but they only post every now and then when there is a new promotion or offer. Another contracting company has an email newsletter that they send out every day. They are active on social media, sharing photos of their work, answering customer questions, and offering relevant tips and advice. Both companies are providing value to their customers. But the second company is more engaged with its audience. And that’s what’s going to make the difference in terms of sales, customer loyalty, and repeat business.
Back in the good ol’ days before the technology boom, engagement meant interacting with your customers face-to-face or through direct mail. But now, in the digital age, engagement has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s not enough to just post an occasional update or offer anymore. Consumers are expecting companies to be more responsive, engaging, and interactive. They want to feel like they’re a part of your brand, not just a passive observer.
Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT)
The Zero Moment of Truth is the pivotal moment in which a prospective customer decides whether or not to engage with a brand. It essentially comes from the old Yellow Pages scare tactic and is now repackaged and renamed for big search engines like Google. It’s the “make or break” moment that can determine whether or not a sale is made, and it’s crucial for businesses to understand how to influence this moment. The fundamental premise of the Zero Moment of Truth is that your prospect is going to go online when they’re ready to purchase what you sell.
However, there is a dangerous, underlying assumption that all contenders are created equal during The Moment of Truth, but that assumption simply isn’t true. The company that is most likely to get the click, the call, and the sale is the company that the customer has already heard of and associates positive feelings with. Think of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise takes its time to create a moment to win the hearts of the people long before the race has even begun. He’s bonding with tomorrow’s customers. The rabbit, on the other hand, thinks the tortoise is naive. He laughs at him for continuing to believe in the power of branding. And we all know how that race turned out.
So, if you want to win the race to conversion, focus on your Zero Moment of Truth. It’s never too early to start building a relationship with your customer. It’ll not only pay off in the long run, but it’ll give you a leg up on the competition.
Successfully Implementing New Marketing Ideas
Now that you have a deeper understanding of what role transparency, engagement, and the Zero Moment of Truth play in the modern world today, let’s break down the specifics of how you can implement these key principles successfully.
Here are some effective ideas that you can use in your marketing plan to bring the element of transparency into your brand:
- Own up to your mistakes: Nobody’s perfect, and your customers will respect you more if you’re honest about your failings. You can do this by replying to customer reviews, or even writing a blog post about a recent mishap.
- Use social media platforms to give customers an inside look at your business operations: This can be done through things like live-streaming, having employees post behind-the-scenes content, or even just responding to customer queries and concerns in a public forum.
- Be open and honest about any changes or updates to your product or service offerings: Customers will appreciate knowing what’s going on with the brands they support. Post updates by way of social media, email newsletters, or even just a quick message on your website.
- Avoid weasel words: The more ways you invent to get out of removing the problem for a customer, the more they distrust you. If your warranties and guarantees seem impossible to satisfy by anyone other than the Pope, you are doing your business more harm than good. Don’t fret about the odd knucklehead. Just build in a little bit into your prices to accommodate the occasional low life.
To keep customers engaged with your brand, it’s important to create content that is interesting and relevant to their needs. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Highlight customer stories: Share how your product or service has made a positive impact on someone’s life through a blog post, social media update, mass media ad, or email newsletter. Great advertising is about your customer and their life. Bad advertising is about you and what you sell.
- Be a consistent and entertaining presence: Entertainment is a currency to a too busy public. Share interesting content, run contests, donate to charity, and engage with your followers on a regular basis to keep them coming back for more. Frequency of a consistent brand message is essential if you ever hope to become a household name.
- Create helpful guides and resources: Edutain prospects with something new and interesting. Show them how to get the most out of your products or services through blog posts, social media posts, or downloadable resources. People don’t change their minds. They make a new decision when they are presented with new information that they agree to believe. You cannot change someone’s behavior until you change their beliefs.
- Answer common questions: Customers will have questions about your business, so be sure to answer them in a way that is both helpful and engaging. You can interact with them by leaving comments on their blog posts or social media updates, or by sending them a personal message. Don’t feel compelled to sell them something. The simple fact that you are being useful is persuasive enough.
Zero Moment of Truth
That first moment when prospects are about to decide whether or not to buy your product or service means everything. Here are some impactful ideas that’ll help you get into your audience’s heads during their Zero Moment of Truth:
- Make sure your website is up to par: For customers to take you seriously, your website needs to look professional and be easy to navigate. Checking for things like broken links, outdated graphics or information, and typos will ensure that your site makes a good first impression.
- Include customer testimonials: Customer testimonials are a great way to show prospects that others have had success with your product or service. Adding a face or a name to the testimonial will make it even more relatable and credible.
- Create compelling advertisements: If your advertising is painful to you, you’re doing it wrong. Great advertising is about telling your authentic story in a persuasive way that has people stepping into your gravity well as self-selected insiders. Creating ads that speak their truth, are relevant to your target audience, and offer them something of value will immediately resonate and capture their interest.
- Engage in content marketing: Content marketing is all about creating helpful, informative, and engaging content that will attract customers to your business. This can be in the form of blog posts, social media posts, mass media ads, YouTube videos, or even downloadable resources like e-books and white papers.
Build a Tribe of Loyal Customers
Use these marketing tips to inspire you to become a brand that prides itself on transparency, engagement, and prowess in winning customers’ hearts at their Zero Moment of Truth. For guidance on how you can build your brand to become a Titan in your industry, Wizard of Ads™ can help. To learn more about how we can help you, book a call with us today!
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