As analysts, it’s our job to continually challenge our own thinking so that predictions and assertions becoming living ideas that are subject to evolution based on marketplace changes and consumer behaviors. I tend to think of my work less as a fortune teller and more of a tour guide explaining changes in the landscape so those traveling with me can avoid pitfalls. As such, I am updating my thinking related to my research on The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), especially in areas that relate to the power of content to drive transactions.
A key element of the ZMOT practice is delivery the right content at the right time via the right experience to a consumer when he or she is in a crucial part of the buying journey. If you follow the time-honored belief that shoppers (especially Millennials) lean on their social graph for a thumbs up or down before completing a transaction, then some interesting news making its way into our inboxes should seriously challenge how marketers should deploy consumer-generated social content as part of the campaigns. Data suggests that only about 28% of the coveted Millennials are either fairly or very likely to make a purchase based on a friend’s social media post and as the demographic gets grey-er, influence from one’s social graph declines even further. Such findings could force Digital marketers to factor in risk-reward as they contemplate their content marketing investments.
That leads me to three key questions to explore as part of our digital commerce coverage:
If social media posts from friends are not significant purchase drivers, what content does drive online shoppers through the non-linear funnel?
If these findings are true, how should digital marketers adjust their thinking about content marketing strategies?
Is less content as part of a marketing strategy better than a flood of Tweets, pictures, videos, blog posts and Facebook chatter? Upworthy, a news curation site which limits the new of stories it publishes, does far better generating Facebook traffic than any of its peers. Is less the new more?
It’s time to take further examine the impact various signals and components, such as content, have within the ZMOT framework. I am excited to share those findings.