Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is the period of time where a consumer searches for information online and is exposed to various sources before arriving at the store. During this period the consumer acquires deep knowledge of product features, competitor pricing comparisons, and upcoming product releases. Similarly, they are empowered to share product experience with a much wider circle of family and friends and general audience once they experience the product. Infinite Moment of Truth (IMOT) is the period when a consumer can share and evangelize her product/brand experience with the world. With the rise of savvy and informed consumers, the need for companies to better understand both their needs and behaviors is crucial.
The rapid growth of social media channels, web browsing, along with the advancements in analytics capabilities has enabled marketers to have social data at their fingertips. Combining traditional CRM with social media gives rise to social CRM. This is not a mere technology or platform but represents the way the organizations think about consumers. Usually organizations spend on social media to create brand awareness, but only a few have cracked the code on how to effectively use it as a tool to generate "social insights," which can be used to generate leads. The best part about "social insights" is that organizations can leverage from their existing social media properties—both internal (sponsored and owned forums) and external communities (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) to generate quality leads. (See Fig. 3 in the mediaplayer to the right).
Combining and triangulating on customer purchase patterns, forum discussions and social media feeds can help in predicting future purchases and in accelerating existing sales opportunities. Social CRM takes traditional CRM one step further by allowing data exchange in real time. With stiff competition in every market, focus has shifted to the customer experience. The sales and marketing pitch has been replaced by customer engagement and the goal is to improve relationships through more meaningful and personal interactions.