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About a year ago, PCG Digital Marketing coined a term PODScore to help businesses understand how much “brand leakage” happened in a simple search for their name online. (you can find more about PODscore at www.podscore.org) We had a business type their company name into search and then count the number of listings they controlled. The result, through the PODscore formula, gave you a very simple numerical value of how well they dominated page one in search.
Our goal was two fold. First, get businesses to see what is online when they type in their name. Secondly, help businesses see that the more content they put out online, the more customer reviews they received, the more they were putting information out for their customers to see the more of the page they controlled and the better their PODscore would be.
Why I bring this up is I have been very inspired by reading Jim Lecinski, Winning The Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) and it made me think of how connected PODScore is in this pursuit. By no way am I saying that PODscore is the same as the zero moment, but it is a piece.
Statistics demonstrate that 70%-80%-90% of shoppers begin their search online to research not only WHAT to buy but WHOM to by from. Yet businesses spend less that 20% of their marketing budget online. Does this seem unbalanced?
I am a firm believer in using traditional marketing as a stimulus, but as the authors of ZMOT point out, this stimulus now drives people to the web to research your business or product. In the past it my have driven them to your store so they could rely on you as the expert, but now they can find out more online before they even set foot on your property.
Even though Google continues to rattle the search pages, I think bringing PODscore back to the discussion for businesses will help them understand how important ZMOT is for the future of their business.
Let’s use an example of a person looking for a car and assume they are not a brand loyalist. Even if they are, you can skip the first part and jump to the section dealing with “Where do I find it”.
First the customer decides on their price point. Then they search for vehicles that fit that price point. They will do their research on the vehicle using multiple websites to accomplish this task. Once they decide on what the vehicle is, then they move to the next step. “Where can I find it near me”
Next they type in the brand+dealer+geo-target location (ford dealer nj ). They are presented with options in Google Places.
In many cases you will find a multiple dealers listed with most having few or no customer reviews. Potential customers are looking for verification from your previous customers to help them make their decision. When you have no reviews, the potential customer moves on to another listing and you lose business.
If you dominate the Google Maps with reviews, then they should click through to your website to see what you have to offer. Understand that the more content you have online, the more listings you have in search for customers to see, this is an opportunity to reinforce with the customer that you are the place to shop.
If you are not dominating you give your competition a chance to steal that business away thanks to your advertising.
Winning the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) is something all businesses need to embrace. A quick way to get a jump start on this is by using PODScore to give you a baseline to build from.
Glenn Pasch is the COO of PCG Digital Marketing