moment of truth (marketing MOT)

What is a moment of truth (marketing MOT)?

A moment of truth (MOT) is marketing lingo for any opportunity a customer (or potential customer) has to form an impression about a company, brand, product or service. Marketers strive to use moments of truth to create positive, customer-centric outcomes.

The concept itself is very simple: If every customer interaction has a positive outcome, the business will be successful.

Pros and cons of moments of truth

Although moments of truth can include mass communication, a MOT's power comes from those interactions in which the communication is personalized. The value of a moment of truth was first conceptualized in the 1980s by Jan Carlzon, the CEO of Scandinavian Airlines Systems and expanded upon by A.G. Lafley when he was the CEO of Proctor & Gamble.

Customers have an expectation that each moment of truth will provide accurate information and an effortless interaction with an organization. There is significant downside risk if moments of truth do not achieve a baseline level of an individual's expectations and customer satisfaction (CSAT) rankings are poor.

The challenge organizations face regarding moments of truth is to identify every possible customer touchpoint and optimize each one, whether it is a recurring experience, such as sending out a billing statement, or a one-time communication with a sales representative over the phone.

A chart of six customer touchpoints
Marketing moments of truth can occur at every touchpoint along the customer journey.

Different types of MOTs

The following list is an aggregate from several different sources:

  • Less Than Zero Moment of Truth (<ZMOT). An event occurs that inspires the customer to think about making a purchase.
  • Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT). The customer begins researching a product.
  • First Moment of Truth (FMOT). The customer is looking at a product.
  • Second Moment of Truth (SMOT). The customer purchases product.
  • Interim Moment of Truth (IMOT). The period of time from when the customer purchases a product to when he receives it. Sometimes called Absolute Moment of Truth (AMOT).
  • Third Moment of Truth (TMOT). The customer provides feedback about the product.

Editor's note: This article was written in 2019. TechTarget editors revised it in 2023 to improve the reader experience.

This was last updated in March 2023

Continue Reading About moment of truth (marketing MOT)

Dig Deeper on Customer experience management

Content Management
Unified Communications
Data Management
Enterprise AI