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FLEXO Magazine : July 2013
is when the consumer first experiences the use of the prod- uct. The SMOT must deliver the “promise.” It must fulfill the consumer’s expectation of the product and its performance; and value. The SMOT is important to the continuing success of the product. Winning the SMOT ensures the consumer will repurchase the product and will be a repeat customer. It allows the CPC to build an enduring relationship and equity with the consumers of their product, or service. As important as FMOT is for the initial purchase, the SMOT is equally important to the continuing success of the product and the company. Winning the SMOT protects your customer from the temptation represented by competitive products and competitive inducements to lure the customer away. Winning the SMOT ensures future success, a deepening franchise with the customer, and a long term relationship with the cus- tomer. This is the base of business on which new sales can be built to grow and expand the business. Recently an additional concept has been added to this “Jour- ney of Truth. ” It is called the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). The ZMOT are the activities that take place before that FMOT to ensure the customer is ready and open to choose your product during the FMOT. It is the pre-conditioning and positioning which a company may do to ensure that during the FMOT the customer is open minded about choosing its product, or even better, has a positive feeling about its product. The ZMOT can happen in a number of ways. It is about the brand and reputation of the company, more than it is about the product. Every supplier promises great products and services. If the customer trusts the company and sees the company in a positive light, he/she is more inclined to have an open or positive view of the new product during the FMOT. If the customer sees the company as a leader who gener- ally provides good or better products or services, he/she will be more inclined to choose to try one of those products or services during the FMOT. The ZMOT is important because it gives you an edge dur- ing the critical FMOT when the purchasing decision is made. If you win the ZMOT, it improves your probability of winning the FMOT. But, if you loose the ZMOT, it may make it impos- sible to win the FMOT. The Journey of Truth from ZMOT to FMOT to SMOT has be- come an incredibly important concept for P&G as well as for many other CPCs. A great deal of effort and attention is being given to being suc- cessful throughout the Journey of Truth. It may be said that the Journey of Truth is where success will be won or lost for the consumer product companies. Over the last sever- al years I have read and heard much about FMOT. Only recently, I started thinking about how this can be applied to other industries. Most industrial products may not be as sexy as consumer products and in fact are items that most consumers have little knowledge or understanding of. PRINTING RELEVANT Whether we sell inks, plates, aniloxes, pumps, doctor blades, chemicals, or any of the many different consumables and equipment used in the printing industry; we may still see some application for the Journey of Truth. We may operate in a much smaller world than the CPC, but the concepts of the Journey of Truth can be just as relevant. For a business-to-business (B-to-B) industrial supplier, the FMOT may be the awarding of business—either through an RFP process or a number of other processes that result in the actual ordering of the product. A lot of effort may go into that FMOT for a B-to-B supplier and it often takes more than the six or seven seconds a consumer may take to make a purchasing decision. Information and data is collected during the decision making process and finally a decision is made. Often, that decision is made in a very competitive environment. Informa- tion and data from a number of competing companies may be collected and compared when making the decision. Unlike the consumer FMOT the B-to-B supplier’s FMOT of truth may also include an actual trial of the product to ensure fitness for use. But in either case, the decision is made based on the impression of value that will be obtained from the purchase. In the FMOT, we have a limited time to make our case and convince the buyer that the value he or she will receive from our product is superior to what can be received from com- petitive products. We may do a good job on those activities involved in the FMOT. We are often complimented as having a good presentation and fast response to the RFP. But, in the B-to-B world, we have one more hurdle to face; minimization of risk to the buyer. This is no different than the risk issue for a large consumer purchase. The initial buying decision is the FMOT. The ZMOT positions your company for success during the FMOT. www.flexography.org July 2013 FLEXO 21