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Did Google pay $12.5bn for Motorola or more ZMOT insights?

Posted 5 September 2011 10:45 AM by Jabir Salam

Motorola  ZMOT

Even though news broke out two weeks ago, the press is still hot about Google’s biggest acquisition till date, i.e. Motorola Mobility. Speculation is rife that the search giant isn’t about to pay $12.5 billion for just the MMI patent vault but stands to benefit from considerable tax savings that will turn a “good deal into a great deal”. Yes, I know Larry Page has divulged that the acquisition will strengthen the Android platform and just like you, I believe it certainly is a protective measure but not just of a platform as it obviously, safeguards a lot more future revenue through considerable ZMOT insights for Google Inc!

What is ZMOT?
  ZMOT stands for the Zero Moment of Truth. You can thank Jim Lecinski, Google's Managing Director of US - Sales & Service for the acronym. Coincidentally, ZMOT is inspired by the discovery of FMOT from his time at Procter & Gamble. Sorry, no prizes for guessing that FMOT stands for the First Moment of Truth. We all know that P&G amongst many other reputed FMCG brands values the insights derived from analysing the first few instances of customer behaviour when a customer picks up one of their products from a store’s shelves. The benefactors confess they wouldn’t have their shiny sports cars if they couldn’t translate their analysis of consumer behaviour into actionable insights for the retail giants to cash in on by changing their labelling, descriptions, colours, messaging or positioning on the store’s shelves.

 FMOT surfaced on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in 2005 but now it is definitely time for Lecinski’s ZMOT. Lecinski defines the Zero Moment of Truth as
“that moment when you grab your laptop, mobile phone or some other wired device and start learning about a product or service (or potential boyfriend) you’re thinking about trying or buying.”

The key here for me is “thinking about” and obviously, unless we all become mind readers, the only way an online marketer would know of prospective customers is by analysing the engagement with a digital property. Yes, in my books, you get brownie points if you are figuring out innovative ways to engage your audience while delivering a superior customer experience online. More points, if you are gamifying engagements!

Given that we understand the reasons for the “ Think Mobile First “ philosophy to be so well ingrained into the top marketing brains at Google, Adobe and other global giants, does it surprise you that Google Analytics doesn’t really offer much in terms of mobile analytics? No, I am not willing to make do with a basic devices report, as it really limits your understanding of the mobile user. Having said that, I do feel that only Google could provide so much for free in the amazing GA. However, at this point in time, Omniture’s SiteCatalyst takes the cake in providing detailed insights into how and by what devices, your mobile content is consumed.

Omniture SiteCatalyst Mobile Insights

Illustration: The options within Omniture SiteCatalyst for you to analyse mobile usage

I reckon Google will definitely invest more in developing a more comprehensive mobile analytics solution after this acquisition and will pave the way for a lot more publishers/ developers to benefit from comprehensive analysis of their So-Lo-Mo applications. I'm confident it will only be a matter of time before you get a lot more mobile insights from GA as Google Analytics v5 certainly is ramping up at an amazing pace and I'm sure you're pleased that you can now analyse multi-channel funnels through Google Analytics. Hmm, I feel that in due course, it may mean the Android marketplace will actually take on Apple’s Appstore (can't say if the Sony fanboys will go really crazy about the new Sony Android powered tablet devices and build the case for Android powered gaming devices). Of course, if you ask me, how much I think Google will share with us in the near future, your guess is as good as mine: but given what they paid for MMI (even if it's actually just $3.8 bn with all the Double Irish and Dutch sandwich benefits as the tax experts say), I can safely it is much more than a million dollar question!

Next, I’ll focus on the social media aspect of the ZMOT and how it seems to be catching up with the Financial Services world but till then, I'll leave you to ponder over Dina Howell's opinion on the ZMOT. For those who do not follow Saatchi & Saatchi X, Dina Howell is the Chief Executive Officer at Saatchi & Saatchi X and coincidentally, she was the first ever Director of FMOT at P&G). Here is an excerpt from her Foreword on the ZMOT -

“ The Zero Moment of Truth influences which brands make the shopping list, where shoppers choose to buy and with whom they share the results. It’s up to us to join the conversation at this new moment where decisions are being made, and to provide the information that shoppers naturally crave, in all the ways that they crave it”.

If you are pursuing an optimal ROI, can you afford to ignore the ZMOT?

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