Marketing is changing more rapidly than ever before. With the growth in the number of different retailers a shopper visits, multichannel shopping, and mobile usage, the ‘Moment of Truth’ has become much more difficult to pinpoint. Utilising awareness to drive sales is the key to most marketing campaigns, yet in the retail space, especially FMCG, brands can do even more to fulfill this potential.

Procter & Gamble used to talk about the moment of truth being at the point of purchase, and this arguably used to be true. More recently though, Google (and many others) have since argued that purchase decisions are no longer just made in the supermarket aisles, coining the phrase ‘Zero Moments of Truth’ (ZMOT). They believe that increased advertising points and the surge in mobile usage have meant that shoppers are being
more and more influenced pre-shop, and there is therefore no longer one clear ‘moment of truth’. This is backed up by research carried out suggesting that 84 per cent of shoppers engaged in activity prior to making a purchase, especially using their mobile phones as shopping aids, to compare prices, find retailers, get product information and redeem mobile offers.

The growth in multi-format marketing has given many more opportunities for shoppers to consider purchasing a brand; decisions can be made not only in store, but from the train, sofa, office or anywhere with access to mobile web or WiFi connection. This has created a number of challenges for brands looking to influence the moment of truth, as it is increasingly unclear as to when and where this is.

On the other hand, this trend provides a myriad of opportunities for brands, growing the top end of the path to purchase funnel, providing greater access to consumers and opportunities to use awareness to influence consideration. Not only that, but the most innovative companies are now able to then track these relationships with their customers, and re-target individual shoppers to drive overall brand loyalty.

Using awareness linked to a call to action

Strong brand awareness is of course still very important. However, a call to action or incentive to encourage consumers to make their way down the path to purchase can support influencing the shopper much higher up the chain. Therefore an area for brands to consider is whether a clear call to action should, wherever possible, form a critical part of a campaign.

Marketers are also taking this approach one step further and linking this with trigger and/or event based marketing, providing consumers with a clear call to action when an event or when specific conditions occur. Examples of this that are regularly utilised are the marketing of products for barbecuing or ice creams when the sun comes out, or to encourage beer purchases around the timing of major sporting events.

This can then be taken further still, with specific consumer personalisation based on prior behaviour or pre-defined shopper attributes. Providing an offer at the right time, to the right shopper, does two things for customers. Firstly, they appreciate the monetary discount or offer, and secondly the timing helps to make them feel valued and endears them to the brand. In my experience, driving customer loyalty is not only more cost effective, but results in higher revenues and return on investment than acquiring new customers.

Data driven results

This is especially relevant as through data-driven marketing utilising big data, brands now have the ability to use more and more advanced data analytics. When used best, these techniques can encourage loyalty, repeat purchase and subsequent sales.

However despite all of the data now available, the observation over a century ago by the department store magnate John Wanamaker still rings too true today for many brands: “I know half my advertising dollars are wasted, I just don’t know which half”. This doesn’t need to be the case though, as the benefits provided by digital media and mobile are significant as a means to measure and track the success of marketing efforts.

Brands looking to measure effectiveness can
fully utilise technology by placing a call to action or incentive within advertisements. They can then link this advertising to specific actions that are required by a shoppers on their mobile, and track each stage of the shopper journey. For example, a shopper
can view an advert for a product containing an offer within it, which is redeemable by downloading a mobile app. This then allows the brand to track that shopper through the full path to purchase from the media click through rates, to brand consideration,
interaction, purchase and re-targeting.

Too many times brands focus their efforts on creating a buzz around their products, but fall down when it comes to converting the maximum number of consumers into making purchases. The latest trends and technology developments can help you overcome this, and dramatically change how effectively you market to your shoppers.

It’s time to make the most of these opportunities, influencing shoppers at all of the moments of truth, and then using this data to help drive your future sales.


By Chris Newbery, Director at Shopitize. 

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