Thursday, October 22, 2009

First Moment Of Truth

I am preparing a series of posts about the First Moment Of Truth as part of my reflexion about customer experience. Hence, the First Moment of Truth which has shown up for the first time in 2002 has been a real revolution in the retail world.

Procter & Gamble, who has been most of the time a trailblazer for a lot of trends in the retail industry, has been the founder of the concept. As P&G was the king of mass media advertising, with huge investment in TV spots, they found out that customers were making their decision process 5 to 7 seconds prior to picking up the product. Hence, this short period of time when customers decide to get your product versus your competitors’ must be managed in a proper way to optimize your conversion rate. Hence, Procter has cut its TV advertising budget by 25% the following years, and at some point were barely using TV advertising in its marketing strategy.

The goal was to create such an environment that the product would be more visible and desirable than your competitor’s. Hence you have different options to get the attention of your customers during the first moment of truth:
Merchandising: Negotiate a nice visible spot on the shelves. You could also try to get multiple facings or even get an end of the aisle display.
Promotion: Get a good promotion, noticeable.
The packaging: Work on the packaging to make it appealing.
Billboards inside the store section: If you need to advertise, it must be nearby the product emplacement.

Being efficient during this crucial period is harder than it seem. It requires a great knowledge of the customer. It also implies to have established a strong partnership with the retailer to insure the proper mix.

The first moment of truth is also crucial on a customer relationship management because it is the first time someone becomes an actual customer of the product. Hence it is important to secure a strong shopper experience because it might results ultimately in customer loyalty.

In the next posts, you will see that the concept has changed during the time, and that there are some other crucial moment that will impact the relationship between a customer and a brand.