The internet, as part of the digital age, has forever changed the way we interact with the world. It has modified our perspective of everything that surround us. Now we have the ability to have immediate access to information, and as a result, we have the opportunity to make “better/ quicker”, informed decisions. This technological revolution has undoubtedly had a direct effect on our daily lives. In 2005, Procter and Gamble came out with a three step model of marketing. According to P&G, "shoppers make up their minds about a product in three to seven seconds, just the time it takes to note a product on a store shelf. This time lapse is called the “First Moment of Truth,” and it’s considered the most important marketing opportunity for a brand.” Wall Street Journal, 2005.
In 2011, Google introduced the idea of ZMOT, or the Zero Moment of Truth, to refer to the research conducted by the buyer online about a product or service before taking an action. This in reference to the way access to the internet has changed the way consumers interact with products, brands and services. According Google, “88% of US customers are researching online before buying a product.” Exemplifying this behavior, "when consumers hear about a product today, their first reaction is to search for it online, and so they go on a journey of discovery: about a product, a service, an issue, an opportunity. Today you are not behind your competition. You are behind the technology. You are behind your consumer." (Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Vivaki)
Today we recognize that life decisions' are evolving faster than ever, or at least we have the ability and the convenience to make decisions better informed and faster. We are continuously bombarded with information as part of the benefits of a digital evolution. In the first assignment of the course “Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals: Marketing Analytics ...” imparted by Professor Kevin Hartman, we were asked if the addition of ZMOT by Google had an influence in the 3-step model of marketing. ZMOT by Google
While pondering about this question, I couldn’t stop thinking about for how long would the Google's so called "Zero Moment" would remain feasible. For how long humans will still be in charge of making simple decisions as it would be buying a product; how long would it take before computers become capable of making such decisions, for us, in real time. It is already happening in others fields as we have observed in vehicle automation. It didn’t took me long to come to the conclusion that a new "moment of truth" has already arrived, and it’s just a matter of full implementation before among other things, computerized algorithms and applications completely decide how to react to stimuli from the external world. In that sense, I propose the addition of what can be considered to be the “Minus One- Computerized Moment of Truth" or we can call it the “EpiiC Moment of Truth” from the e^πi equation; in which Eulier's number to the power of pi, an irrational number and i, an imaginary number give us -1. This new moment of truth will occur after an initial stimulus gets going computerized algorithms "responding" or "reacting" to acquired data and computerized predictions making the decision about what product, brand or service we should acquire. The Internet of Things (IoT), the use of biosensors to acquired data, big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence/machine learning and related technologies will only further expedite the process. We are on the brink of a new era in which our recorded behavior and preferences, and AI/machine learning technology will predict and decide in no time the best option, or at least, what choices will better adhere to our recorded behavior. It’s certainly the evolution of an inter-relation or symbiosis between human and machine. For now, the "e^πi-c" or “EpiiC Moment of Truth" has arrived and you better be ready because it's alive!