Zero Moment of Truth-What Does This Mean to the Automotive Industry?

Our last blog provided an overview of the Google ThinkInsights ZMOT study. But, the real question is what do the results of this study mean to the automotive industry?

Remember that Google defines this Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) as the time when consumers do their research, get smart about reviews, look for promotions and specials, and comparison shop, all before going to the dealership.

So what does this mean for the automotive industry specifically? Google’s study found that 97% of car buyers are influenced by the ZMOT, the most out of any other industry. In short, your potential customers are checking out you and your competitors to get the scoop on where to buy, finance, and service their vehicles.

If you want more proof, consider this. Google also found that 7 of the 8 ZMOT influences occur online when consumers:

  • Used search engines.
  • Searched dealership inventory.
  • Sought information from an OEM website.
  • Comparison shopped for vehicles online.
  • Sought information from a dealership website.
  • Talked with family/friends via review sites and social media.
  • Requested a quote on a vehicle.
  • Searched online for a dealership.

    Zero moment of Truth and what it means to the automotive industry

    Google's ThinkInsights Study showed that 7 of the 8 things that influence a potential car buyer during the zero moment of truth occur online.

The results of the ZMOT study reinforce the importance of having a digital footprint for your dealership. Consumers are out there looking online for vehicle and dealership information. What are they finding out about you? Are they finding anything at all? What are they discovering about your competitors?

Also consider that research shows that “the Zero Moment of Truth is second only to the shopper experience you provide in your dealership in both engaging and influencing the purchase. Consumers have changed the way the way they purchase vehicles and service vehicles. Has your dealership kept up or you still using the old mental model?”

If you can combine the great experience you are providing at your dealership with a great ZMOT experience for your customers when they are researching vehicles online, you have gained a competitive advantage.

Download the free ZMOT book at (PDF, eBook).

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