Retail powerhouse Proctor and Gamble figured out a bit of marketing magic. They uncovered the moment that mattered the most to their consumers: when they stood in front of the store shelf and decided what to buy. Proctor and Gamble termed this the First Moment of Truth (FMOT) and they spent a lot of time, energy (and money!) focused on in-store displays.
Google decided to study this process. They wanted to see where influence took place and at what point shoppers moved from undecided to decided. Google uncovered that there is a step before the FMOT – and they named it the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).
ZMOT describes the time when consumers go online and research the product, read reviews and watch product videos – actions that, according to Google, more than 88% of U.S. consumers perform.
It’s easy to picture consumers in their ZMOT – researching which big screen to buy for the big game or which resort to stay at on vacation. Today ZMOT is a powerful force in decision making. Heck, you’d likely feel uncomfortable making a big decision without doing some online research first.
ZMOT and Healthcare
It’s a pretty safe bet that at least part of a health consumer’s decision process leads them online to perform research. How are you adapting to this shift in consumer behavior? Here’s some tips to help you succeed.
- Improve your search rank: If you know consumers are turning to Google to research doctors or hospitals, you want to make sure your doctors and hospitals turn up toward the top of search results. Easier said than done, right? Well, check out the SEO Guide for Today’s Healthcare Marketers and learn how using Google+ and creating sharable content could help your rankings.
- Invest in your website: If you’re lucky enough to get a consumer to come to visit your website, make sure you’re providing compelling information in a user-friendly way. If they’re looking for doctors, do you have robust provider profiles? If they’re looking for details on a particular treatment, are you explaining it to them in a way they can understand? And if they’re visiting from a mobile device are you giving them a mobile-optimized experience?
- Monitor your online reputation: Take a little time and see what types of online review are out there on sites like Yelp, Google or Healthgrades. You can’t do much about the negative reviews that are already out there, but you can figure out where your patients’ complaints are coming from and address the sources of the problem, such as long waits or unfriendly call center staff.
Here at Geonetric, we believe strongly in the power of the Web in helping today’s health consumers make decisions. If you’d like to learn more about search rankings, websites and reputation management, contact us. We want to help your hospital win your health consumer’s ZMOT!