Consumer Moments of Truth In the Digital Context: How “Search” and “E-Word of Mouth” can Fuel Consumer Decision Making

Gillian Moran and Laurent Muzellec

University College Dublin

Eoghan Nolan

Management slant

  • Consumer behavior is changing in light of advancing digital capabilities. The importance of electronic word of mouth (e-WOM) is aggrandizing as consumers turn to their peers—rather than marketers—for brand information.
  • Advancements in Web 2.0 technologies are enabling searchable e-WOM that amplifies the influence of these recommendations at the decision point, when consumers are most vulnerable to this type of information, the "Zero Moment of Truth."
  • Brands must focus on fostering positive e-WOM on social networking sites to leverage these moments of truth among connected consumers.
  • By facilitating the sharing of positive consumer experience (Third Moment of Truth), brands can exploit the network effects of social media marketing to build stronger, more sustainable customer-engagement relationships.