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  • Pete Steege

The Marketing Moment of Truth

What is the single moment in your customer's journey with you that is the most important in determining your success - your ability to have a positive, profitable relationship with them?

If you were in B2C, I would say it's probably that point of purchase. It's because B2C is so transactional. It's when they put your product in the cart, or go through checkout, or when they actually pay for it. For B2B it's different, I believe. I think some B2B businesses might say it's that point when I get a request, I get a call from somebody that's interested. Or they reach out or they fill in the form, because leads are hard. It's hard to get those leads in. Other businesses might say it's that point of commitment. It's when they sign on the dotted line and, you know, we win the order.

I think people can think of those because for the company, they are really important in ensuring success. I would make a case, though, that the bigger moment of truth is at the point where your customer's first experience in your product and your company as a user. So they've paid, they've signed up, they're on the team. How do they experience you and your product?

The reason I think that's so important: up until then, there's been this purchase process where they have trusted you. They have faith in what you've said, they believe what you've told them. And it's only when they're actually a user - when the commitment has been made - that they see if what you said is what is true about your product and about your support.

Now there are two ways to improve that moment of truth. One is obvious. It's the operational side. Do a good job, have a product that's reliable, have a responsive support system, invest in that part of your business. That's one way to improve that.

The other way is to talk about what you're going to do for them realistically and authentically with integrity; have your marketing reflect what it is that you really can do for your customers.

It's so important that your marketing is transparent and realistic, and that you work to make sure your product experience matches what you say about it before your prospects sign up.

If you do that, and you have that positive moment of first use, what you'll find is your customers - that's the story that they'll share with their friends. They love to tell stories about when they were delighted. And that is the customer that will stick with you when there is a bump in the road and will sign up with you again. That's also the customer that will go out of their way to talk about you with their peers.

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