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Are Dental Practices Failing the Zero Moment of Truth?

Google refers to the online decision making moment, that moment that you open up your laptop or pull out your smartphone or tablet, as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). Is your practice doing what it needs to do to stand out during this important moment, or is your dental and orthodontics marketing falling short?

Understanding the ZMOT

The Zero Moment of Truth stems from an idea originally introduced by Proctor and Gamble in 2005. They introduced the First Moment of Truth (FMOT) to relate the moment when a potential customer first experiences a product on a store shelf. Because impulse buys are mostly emotionally driven, a company can appeal to a customer’s senses, values and emotions at the point of sale.

Proctor and Gamble continued with the Second Moment of Truth as the moment the customer uses the product, and the third moment where the customer transforms into a fan of the product and advocates for it.

But the purchasing landscape quickly changed, and marketing needed to change with it.

Fast forward to 2011. Google conducted a study on consumer purchasing habits and discovered the following:

  • 50% of shoppers used a search engine to research a product or service
  • 38% comparison shopped online by looking at reviews or prices from multiple places
  • 31% read online endorsements, reviews and recommendations

What Google surmised is that the internet has changed the way we decide what we’re going to buy. And the Zero Moment of Truth was born.

In the years since, the ZMOT continues to grow in importance.

The New Battleground for Brands

Google internal data shows that in the span of just one single month, the search engine answers more than 100 billion searches.

In the U.S. in March 2016, the term “dentist” was searched for 246,000 times – in only one month. In New York City in March, 9,900 searches were made for dentists, and 2,400 made for pediatric dentists. In Los Angeles, there were 3,600 searches for braces. How many of these searches could lead a potential patient to your website?

Searches are always accessible – a smartphone is rarely more than an arm’s length away. And along with searches for a product come a host of reviews, blogs, tweets, and other social media mentions. According to Google,

  • 70% of Americans say they look at product/service reviews before making a purchase or scheduling an appointment.
  • 79% of consumers say they use a smartphone when shopping for a good or service.
  • 83% of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for interesting products.

Are you showing up for these important moments, and providing the answers your potential patients want? Or, are you letting your competitors take these moments?

So, how can you win the Zero Moment of Truth?

To win the Zero Moment of Truth, you need to understand your patient. What are they looking for, and when? What information might they already have? What is their state of mind?

Google offers these four tips to help you win the ZMOT:

  1. Use search to determine and then understand the moments that matter to your patients and potential patients. Do you know what potential dental or orthodontic patients are likely to search for? Use search to identify the moments that matter.
  2. Be present for those moments. It’s not enough to know what those moments are, you have to then show up for them, because if you aren’t, chances are good one of your competitors already is. You can’t improve your patient’s lives, or entice them to become a new patient, if you aren’t there when they need you.
  3. Have something to say. You need to answer what your patients are looking for, but with the “right” answers that will keep your patients coming back.
  4. Then, measure the impact. Once you show up for the ZMOT, determine how that has impacted your clinic.

“When consumers hear about a product today, their first reaction is ‘Let me search online for it.’ And so they go on a journey of discovery: about a product, a service, an issue, an opportunity. Today you are not behind your competition. You are not behind the technology. You are behind your consumer,” says Rishad Tobaccowala Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer at VivaKi.

The Zero Moment of Truth Matters More Now Than Ever Before

When Google first came up with the idea of the ZMOT, they discovered that people are increasingly making these decisions at the precise moment when they have a need, or a question they need answered online. And the brands that answer those questions or fulfill the need at the right time gain those customers.

Since Google introduced the ZMOT, even more moments have become mobile. These moments are seamlessly integrated into our daily lives – we’re always connected, and mobile is quickly becoming our go-to.

“Brands that are committed to the Zero Moment of Truth—the ones that use search to uncover and understand the moments that matter, that show up, that provide the right mobile-relevant answers and that measure the impact—stand to gain a competitive advantage,” says Google.

Here is what we know to be true, and how Millionairium works to help our dental and orthodontic clients meet and win the Zero Moment of Truth through the SEO services we provide:

Mobile is More Important Than Ever

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again and again – mobile matters. People are increasingly turning to their smartphones for searches, so you need to show up with a mobile friendly site. No matter how hard you work on a Google SEO program, it could be all for naught if you don’t have a responsive, easy to navigate mobile site that answers your potential patient’s questions when they want them answered.

Content is King

Be relevant and engaging. Provide information your patients and potential patients can use, and will keep them coming back to your site for more, but that will also make you stand out as the authority and help you gain their trust. Make your blogs stand out as a voice of authority, with relevant, engaging material that answers questions or provides information your potential patients are searching for. Once you know the moments that matter to your patients, you can respond with relevant and engaging content that not only provides the information they want, but that makes them want to keep coming back for more information.

So, what are you doing to win the ZMOT? Your potential patients have access to more information than ever before, and between reviews, social media, blogs, videos, and everything found on the web, you need to be the voice they hear.

If you don’t currently have an SEO or internet marketing strategy, or don’t have one that is providing results, it’s time to rethink your strategy. Turning to a search engine to find answers to your questions is only going to increase, so how are you going to make sure your practice stays at the top? To learn more about SEO services and how we can help you, call 1-310-299-2799.

Are Dental Practices Failing the Zero Moment of Truth? was last modified: September 18th, 2018 by mr_million
  • Yes. I do believe in the power of online reviews too.

    Sotoodeh 3 years ago