In this post I will explain how influencers are critical to any structured advocacy program by helping brands manage the two most important moments of their customer journey: the POME and the ZMOT.
Brand advocacy programs are becoming an increasingly important element of marketing strategies for big B2C brands: Nestle for example has inscribed “advocacy” as one of their nine brand pillars.
The BCG published a very insightful article on that topic last year demonstrating how advocacy needs to be at the center of marketing strategies. Advocacy spans across reputation, customer feedback and influence.
There are many uses cases for influencer marketing, from gaining social insights to reputation management, but ultimately, it’s about changing perceptions and impacting behaviors. And building brand advocacy is the most common objective of brands getting involved in significant influencer programs.
Building brand advocacy along the customer journey can be very powerful. Many brands have done detailed research to understand the contact points with customers along the funnel from consideration to purchase.
Back when I was in the electronics space, I remember Sony had identified a whopping 43 independent touch points for customers buying TVs: from display ads, online content to in store points! The Holy Grail is to optimize your marketing investment for each of these contact points based on how they impact the final decision.
POME and ZMOT are two key marketing concepts directly or indirectly developed by Procter&Gamble to identify the most critical moments in the relationship between a brand and its customer. These key moments are also the soft points where influence can play a major role.
Brands who realize this make influencer marketing a strategic element of their marketing mix – not some tactical add on.
Let’s look at these two key moments in more detail.
POME stands for Point of Market Entry. P&G developed the concept in the 80s. It’s the moment when an individual enters your market. A typical example is a pregnant woman entering the baby diapers market.
Same person, same socio-demographics, same gender. One day she/he is out of your market, the next day she/he is a potential customer!
Pregnancy is a POME for many consumer products
At POME, customers will suddenly express interest in your market, ask questions, look for information. They might have been aware of your brand, but now they are interested! It’s the #1 most critical moment to establish a positive relationship and influence future behavior.
Influencer marketing will play a crucial role here by impacting your « new » customer based on his/her new center of interest at that moment in time.
Marketers need to identify the POME in their market and develop specific strategies to « touch » their customers at that early stage of interest.
ZMOT stands for Zero Moment of Truth. It’s a more recent concept that was developed as an extension of the First and Second Moments of Truth that were defined, yet again by P&G.
The first moment of truth is the moment where a customer picks up the product on the shelf, the second when he experiences the product. As you might expect, the ZMOT takes place BEFORE the customer is in front of the shelf.
In the digital age, that moment has become incredibly important. As customers, we voraciously consume online content pre-purchase: customer reviews, videos, blogs, brands' websites….
In consumer electronics, a shocking 80% of customers have researched their purchase online before entering a store or buying online!
The capability of brands to deliver compelling content across all influence channels to impact the ZMOT is absolutely essential to their success. Influencer marketing is strategic.
Engaging customers with positive, authoritative content at POME and ZMOT is critical for brands. This is the reason why some of the most progressive organizations are already considering influencer marketing as a key element of their overall marketing mix.
The time when blogger relationships was considered minor extension of public relations and managed in isolation of the overall brand strategy will come to an end.
Brands and agencies will need to embrace influencer marketing to focus on the two key « touch points » between a brand and its customers
- POME for awareness and key brand values, and
- ZMOT to convey the clear differentiator and compelling customer benefits.
I know some respectable individuals in media agencies that question the value of influencer marketing because of the challenge to scale it.
I would agree influencer engagement should not pretend to be an alternative to advertising. However, marketers need to recognize the strategic value of these interaction points because that is where opinions are forged and decisions are made.
And one of the best ways for a brand to be present in these moments is to create relevant, trusted content with influencers.