Episode 175: Using is Believing… the 2nd Moment of Truth

Continuing our modern marketing plan series, we’re looking at the 3rd Moment of Truth — the immediate reaction of a customer actually trying your product or service. It’s the moment (or moments, for a complex product) that either keep your customer coming back for more, or see them heading for the exits.

See all Copernican Shift podcasts
The Copernican Shift on Apple Podcasts


Hear the sound of victory. Now we’re going to hear the sound of the Unified CXM Experience. Kind of excited about today, today’s going to be about second. We’ve been talking about how to write a marketing plan. We’ve talked about the zero moment of truth. We’ve talked about the first moment of truth. Now we’re going to talk about the second moment of truth.

But what else is the second? Let’s just have some fun here for a second. For a second, how about that? Like Mr. Rogers here. Yes, kids. Today, the word is second. And in a second, (see what I did there) we’re going to talk about second. It’d be the second thing on our agenda today. So I looked up second chances, just to see if there were some good quotes on second chances. Turns out there are some great quotes on second chances, not just good ones, great ones. I think I’ll start with Maya Angelou, who’s always extremely quotable. So here’s her quote, “I did then what I knew how to do, check. Now that I know better, I do better”. Love that. This concept of competing against yourself. Jill Davis, “Second chances do come your way. Like trains, they arrive and depart regularly. Recognizing the ones that matter is the trick”. I love that. Tia Mowry says, “Having a second chance makes you want to work even harder.”  There’s essentially a theme in these terms of working harder in the second chance. Lance Armstrong, potentially a rocky example here, but Lance Armstrong does say, “If you ever get a second chance in life for something, you’ve got to go all the way”, but drug free, right Lance? Dave Wilson, “Sometimes life gives you a second chance, or even two. But not always. But sometimes. It’s what you do with those second chances that counts”. Pete Rose, another awkward example. The people I’m quoting here, all disgraced sports figures, maybe there’s a lesson there; “If somebody is gracious enough to give me a second chance, I won’t need a third”. Unfortunately, Pete did not get a second chance. Nicholas Sparks, this is a good one, “Don’t think there are no second chances. Life always offers you a second chance; it’s called tomorrow”. I like that. Aquarius says, “Sometimes in life, you’re not always given a second chance, but if you do, take advantage of it and go out with a bang”. Again, you know, second chances, can’t burn those. Shinedown says, “Sometimes goodbye is a second chance”. Hmm, interesting. Jeffrey Fry says, “That is what life is about. We do not get redos, but we do get second chances”. And this is an interesting one actually. Ling Ma says, “A second chance doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. In many ways, it is a more difficult thing”, (This is this concept of difficulty in

second chances which will be themed into our second moment of truth today, too) “because a second chance means that you have to try harder, you must rise to the challenge without the blind optimism of ignorance”. You know, I do say I love the blind optimism of ignorance. I really miss that sometimes. I was saying to someone the other day, I was talking about careers, and dividing careers into three chunks. You know, there’s different ways of doing this. But I kind of like this and I didn’t invent this. I can’t remember where I read this, but I think of my career in three15-year chunks. And it’s not precisely but pretty precisely fallen into these three chunks. The first 15 years you’re learning. The second 15 years, you’re applying the learning and developing expertise. And the last 15 years is when you have excellence, and you can perform and it’s also where you probably make all your money. And so I was just talking to someone; this was a person who was kind of early in their second trimester, I’ll put it that way. And I said, “Oh man, I mean, I think about the first 15 years of my career; I was dumb as a bag of nails”. They sort of looked at me. And I was. I was dumb as a bag of nails.

Alright, let me finish one more. This is a little heavy, but it’s Russian. So probably in Russia this is light humor. But this is a little bit heavy, but I actually think it’s a good one to end on. Because it touches on my favorite topic, which is mortality. And mortality, of course, is what differentiates us from all the other animals and what is really the driver behind almost all human activity. So I’m a big fan of mortality and understanding it, because it’s the core DNA code of all selling. But anyway, this is from Aleksandr Sebryakov, “Thank God, you’re still alive. For many have died and are dying as I speak. You still have the opportunity to change and to make things right, whilst those that have died wish for that second chance”. Russians always have a way of handling that.

Alright, so let’s talk about the second moment of truth. And I’m going to kind of close these quotes for now and I might look at some of them later. And let’s chit chat a little bit about what the second moment of truth is. So just a quick recap. The zero moment of truth, or ZMOT is a concept that’s been championed by Google on the Think with Google pages, and they’ve been doing it for more than a decade. And they’ve got what the zero moment of truth is by many industries. It’s all free. It’s a fantastic resource. Go check it out.  I read it all the time. I’m always finding new things. I’m always learning new things. It’s incredible. And it’s an amazing piece of work that really is underplayed, I think, in the industry. I think Google’s done an extraordinary piece of work here. They sort of tip their hat to Procter and Gamble, who came up with the first moment of truth, which is standing in the grocery aisle, and the second moment of truth, which is using the product.

And it’s the use of the product that we’re going to talk about today, and how that generates interest in sales. I did hear something very interesting. I had a wonderful dinner the other night with somebody who was also from packaged goods. And I don’t remember who he was quoting, but he said there was a company maybe, another organization that had also used this zero moment of truth idea, but different from Google. Google talks about the context of online research. And this other company, what they had done is they defined it in a packaged goods way, which is at the zero moment of truth was when the buyer bought the product in order to put it on the shelves. That is powerful, and it’s an interesting note, because if you think about it, even when people say they’re in the B2C business, there’s often a buyer in the middle – a retail platform of some kind, you know, Walmart, etc. That buyer needs to be sold to as well so there’s a lot of B2B and a lot of B2C in everything that we do. But zero moment of truth as applied to the buyer is very interesting, so that potentially could make Google negative. No, no, I think we’re going to stay with what we’ve got right now. But it’s cool. I do think that I haven’t fully built out that buyer enablement and buyer journey in the model. And so as we go through this, we’ll do that together. It’s obvious because I’ve done it many times, but so obvious, I’d forgotten to think about it in a separate step. So we’ll figure that out a little bit together.

Anyway, so we’re going to have a second moment truth which is using the product. On some products, like say, food, you open the product, you try it, and you have an instantaneous reaction – good or bad,  I love these, I hate these, very strange. I flew back to my home in Florida last night. I was on a Delta flight. Excellent flight. Oh, they always are. Delta is the world’s greatest airline, without question. And I had a great flight, great crew. And they were serving … it was kind of a late flight, and they weren’t doing full meals, but they were doing good sandwiches. And they served pastrami sandwiches, turkey sandwiches, and I think grain bowl was the other thing. So I got the pastrami sandwich. Excellent, like excellent. Excellent sandwich. Excellent pastrami, really nice pickle. Really nice piece of Swiss cheese in there. Two delicious pieces of rye bread. It was great. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I loved it. Anyway, they nailed it. And that was a good example where that second moment of truth would be, I would definitely order that again, because I had a great product experience with it.

There are more complicated products, you know, products that you buy, like a car. The second moment of truth in a car is driving off the lot and experiencing it but it doesn’t happen instantaneously. It happens over the course of a week, two weeks, a month, a year. Often, you’ll talk to people about their cars, and they’ll say, “Oh yeah, it’s been a pretty good car, but I wouldn’t buy this again because blankety blank” or “Oh, it’s been terrible, I’ve hated it from the day I drove it off a lot”, or “This is the best car I’ve ever had. I hope I never have to sell it”. That kind of idea. So there’s that kind of experience.

Sometimes your second moment of truth could be a trial experience. So I’ll use Sprinklr as an example, just because I work there and it’s awesome. And we have a product, a light product in our research space and in our care space where you can play with it, use it, actually do care and research inquiries and work, and do it in a way that allows you to engage with customers and create a unified Customer Experience Management journey, that is a way for people to work with a product that then elegantly sort of can upgrade to something more enterprisey as you scale it. And this kind of product led marketing motion is now pretty common in the SaaS space and you see companies like Snowflake doing it a lot. Frank Slootman in one of his earnings calls, mid 2021, made a comment that their marketing engine, led by this NLP motion, was so effective that he could see a day when they wouldn’t need salespeople anymore, which I thought was amazing. So that’s another kind of second moment of truth.

Another second moment of truth would be using a service. I, for example, am an avid and enthusiastic subscriber to Orkin, who are also a fantastic company. I have the best Orkin rep, she comes around once a month, does a great job, unbelievably friendly, positive, easy to work with. If there’s an issue, call her directly. She’ll come in, take care of it right away. Amazing company. And so that second moment of truth is almost repeated. So with a service, often the second moment of truth is followed by another second most truth by another second mon truth. And then another second moment truth. The one thing is that kind of interesting is in services in particular, because it’s a repeat purchase over and over again, you are sort of always on parade, like every time you’ve got to perform. And if, for example, they were to change the person servicing our property, and that person came here and was rude or, you know, wrecking things or smashing things or smoking or yelling at people or whatever. I can’t even imagine that happening. But let’s imagine that happens, right? I’m probably going to cancel the service, but certainly complain.

I actually had another interesting example last night.  I use limousine service called Vincent, who I’ve been using for a decade, they do all the driving for my family and kids and all sorts of stuff. It’s been a great relationship over many years and many different adventures. Arrived at the airport last night, and there was no one there. I called the number; they text me just before. I called the number of the person who’s picking me up – Peter. And Peter’s like, “they screwed up and, you know, I got another job right now. Sorry, man”. I was like, “Sorry, man. What is that?” It was such a bizarre non-Vincent experience. I was standing there; I must have looked like someone hit me in the face with a with a big cod or something like that. I didn’t even know how to react. And I was like, “Okay”. And then I called the office and I said, “Hey, I’m standing here in the airport, I just called Peter. He says, You guys screwed up. And he’s doing something else. Any suggestions?” And she’s “Oh, my gosh, just a second”. Anyway, long story short, somehow, they found some other driver who skedaddled to the airport in record time. I don’t know how he did it and grabbed us and got us home. And it was great. And Vincent didn’t charge us for the trip. And they were all over it and they were apologetic, and I was like, “Okay, that was pretty cool”. So there’s a second chance that went wrong. And but then, then I’m okay, I’m going to totally be continuing to use them. If it started happening all the time, then that second moment of truth starts to become a problem.

So you kind of get the point of this second moment truth. I would say that where a lot of people don’t respect the second moment of truth as much is they don’t think through what that user journey is like. What’s it like to open the package? What’s it like to take the thing out? What’s it like to play with it? What are all the different aspects of enjoying, and sort of taking that product experience leap? And then how does that reinforce the research that they did in the zero moment of truth? And how does that connect to the decisions that they made in the first moment of truth, so they can keep a cycle of repurchase, recommendation, and enthusiasm and fanhood going forward.

So there we go. So that is a quick overview of the three pillars of the plan with a dot, dot, dot that somehow I’ve got to figure out where the buyer journey comes in. So stay tuned, there may be a decimal place in one of these, and then I’m going to be now drilling in more deeply. And we did do a little bit of a drill down already with the Marshall Kirkpatrick in the zero moment of truth on influencers. So we’re going to start; we’ll look at analysts, we’re going to look at review sites. So we’ll pick all that apart. And we’ll do the same thing in the other areas. And so, over time, we’ll actually build this out. Actually, I think at the end of the day, we’ll probably turn this into some kind of guide or reference guide that you can download and look at so that people can actually think about how to build a marketing plan around these truths and around the customer experience overall. So for the Unified CXM Experience, I’m Grad Conn, your host, and also the Chief Experience Officer at Sprinklr and I’ll see you … next time.