Better outcomes = Managing the Entire Customer Experience. ZMOT, UMOT and the Patient Journey

Change brings out the best, worst and everything in-between in both people and companies (after all, according to Citizens United, companies are people.)

Pharma, health care in general, hospitals, ACO’s, all are now forced to share the same overarching objective: patient outcomes. This shared objective has become the single greatest stimulus for panic, opportunity and innovation I have ever seen. Many among us thought digital changed everything! (It did.) But “outcomes” and “Meaningful Use 2/3” are seminal moments of change that are radically altering the landscape of how we think, how we sell, how we create and keep our customers.

So consider the simple yet confounding formula everyone is wrestling with:  better outcomes = managing entire customer experience. This post is  focused on the idea of ZMOT and the newer idea of UMOT and how we think about the health care journey.

For many, the concept of ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth), as posed by Google in 2012, is a simple, yet declarative reality of how people make purchase decisions. The path can be easily applied to health. Stimulus = diagnosis.

ZMOT Google 5.3.14

Google asserted that the average shopper connects with 10.4 sources of information before making a decision. The path, as illustrated above is their version of what was once called the Sales Funnel and it was linear.

Psatient Journey linear 5.4.14

As most of us know, the Sales Funnel now looks more like an Escher painting…everyone seems to be going wherever they want.


For the typical patient the Journey is buffeted with questions and decisions. Essential, endless questions we as marketers need to get-ahead of. As one oncology marketer said to me recently, “We’re trying to get how to manage side effects brochures in patient’s hands!” That is an understatement. That kind of information is best served up by peers and personal interactions, offline and online and the earlier the better.


Patient Journey questions British student

Sad to say, all these questions, decision, new questions, new decisions, are book-ended by some sad behavioral consequences of poor ill-formed decisions and questions never answered: at one end, upwards of 25% of new Rx not being filled, due to a myriad of fears, not-asked-or-answered questions and other factors;  to the other pillar of over half of all patients stop taking their meds after 100-200 days.

But the futurist, Brian Solis ( post on LinkedIn on UMOT (Universal Moment of Truth) is a sound evolution of ZMOT.

It is about tearing down walls. Let’s show how Brian describes UMOT (Universal Moment of Truth, from his new book #WTF. Kudos to him!)

Solis UMOT 5.3.14

Let me interpret his idea for health care.  His Truth is simple: a shared experience = better outcomes. 

Sometimes, explaining the need of understanding, planning, measuring the complexity of the Patient Journey is not enough. The final piece is the galvanizing the human connection and doing your best as a company, as individuals, in getting to these Escher Moments for Patients and helping them get to that UMOT.

I leave you with what I consider a great example of a company galvanizing it’s employees to Share, connect, inspire. True, the YouTube Comments are turned off, but Mr O’Neill (no relation) is compelling and human and it has always made me feel better about BiogenIdec that they put such authentic content out there.

Biogenidec employee videos 5.4.14