ZMOT, Big Data, Micro-Moments and the Overthinking of Everything


As my friend Jeff Kershner so eloquently Tweeted last week: “A few years ago everyone was going BONKERS over ZMOT and now going BONKERS over Micro-moments. It’s like breaking up a turd into pellets.”


While I might have stated it differently, for 99.9% of companies out there his sentiments are 100% spot on!

If you’re the Chief Marketing Officer for a Fortune 500 company, then by all means, dive as deeply as necessary into ZMOT, Big Data and Micro-Moments. But, if your workspace happens to be at the same address as the retail establishment where you manage digital marketing or oversee sales, and you waste more than a few minutes reading about Micro-Moments (like the weeks you wasted trying to perfect ZMOT or leverage Big Data for your store), then you don’t have a very good understanding of what actually drives your business.

When it comes to selling something at retail – whether a car or a sandwich – slicing up the consumer decision making processes into layers too thin to work with gets you nothing but confused – especially when you’re measuring things that you cannot control or even act upon. Time and budgets are finite; and you can only manage so much. Given this, why not focus on those activities that have more of a direct correlation to your business success?

Another way to put this: When everything is critical, then nothing is. (If you think becoming an expert at Micro-Moments is critically important for customer acquisition and retention, then how critically important is a clean restroom or a smiling receptionist? I would argue that a dirty restroom and a rude receptionist will lose you much more business than never having heard about Micro-Moments.)

If you’re an internet manager at a car dealership or the owner of bar, it’s better to focus your marketing and sales efforts on those things you can (1) Easily Measure; (2) Quickly Understand; and (3) Successfully Influence. For most of us, that means we need to set our sights on the boring and the routine and the effective.

For car dealers, this means tedious things like ROI measurements, sales processes, and manager accountability. For the average bar or restaurant, this means fast, friendly service at a good value. None of which you will learn about through ZMOT, Big Data or Micro-Moments.

Good selling!