Micro-Moments: A Transformational Trend in Digital Marketing
As powerful a force of change as the Internet has been, it’s now clear that mobile will have an even greater impact on our lives. And this is very crucial for businesses and brands to understand.
Instead of distinct sessions of time dedicated to performing a specific task on their computer, consumers are now able to move in and out of content consumption quickly from a variety of devices, as their schedule permits. Think of a shopper standing in the checkout line at Costco. With her smartphone, she is able to easily continue researching an upcoming vacation that she started looking into the night before at home on her laptop. This is a fundamental change in the way people consume information and media. The Wall Street Journal put it very well when they wrote, “The old model was a four-course meal in the same restaurant. Today’s is a series of constant bite-sized snacks all over town.”
Google refers to these quick, task oriented engagements as “micro-moments,” and believes they are key to acquiring, nurturing and retaining customers in 2015 and beyond. Micro-moments are unique because smartphones allow us to act on any impulse at any time. Also, when we act on our needs in-the-moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance, and usefulness of marketing more important than ever. (Hint: Time for A/B Testing and Personalization!) Ultimately, our preferences and purchases are shaped in these micro-moments. The brands that do the best job of addressing our needs in each moment will win.
For a great visual representation of micro-moments, check out the first 1:40 of this video (:53 is pretty adorable).
This is profound, game changing stuff. Rather than the standard carefully crafted and scheduled marketing campaigns pushing “brand awareness” and direct response call-to-actions, we’re talking about taking the time to first understand your most common customer journeys and then using the skill of empathy to develop content and media that addresses their needs during these important moments – establishing a service-focused relationship with your customers. The payoff is that your brand will gain more mind share, loyalty and lifetime value with customers.
With these dramatic changes in consumer behavior, it is now a necessity to update your marketing program to address micro-moments, or risk being overtaken by brands that better understand and address their customers’ needs.
Here are three best practices to help get you started today:
1. Make a “Moments Map”
Look at your most common buyer journeys and identify a set of moments you want to win or can’t afford to lose. Creating a map of these moments will provide you with priority and focus. What moments should you start with? It will vary dramatically between businesses and industries, but a good place to start includes, “I want-to-know moments,” “I want-to-go moments,” “I want-to-do moments,” and “I want-to-buy moments.” Extra credit for all others.
2. Understand Customer Needs In the Moment
This is where empathy comes in. For each moment you want to win, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. Ask “What would make this easier or faster? What content or features would be most helpful for this moment?” Resist promotional messaging asking for the sale in this moment unless that is the direct need you are addressing, such as “where do I buy X?” This is one of the most under rated steps of the marketing process. Do it now.
3. Measure Every Moment that Matters
Measuring micro-moments is difficult. The tracking and reporting technologies are still very new and evolving. But, you cannot afford to under-serve your customers while you’re dealing with measurement gaps. While the return on investment for certain moments may not yet be directly measurable and tied to conversion, use credible estimates and directional data to ensure nothing has fallen through the cracks and you are maximizing results.
- “How Micro-Moments Are Changing the Rules.” Think with Google. Web. 14 July 2015. Web.
- Ramaswamy, Sridhar. “Outside Voices: Why Mobile Advertising May Be All About Micro-Targeting Moments.” WSJ. 8 Apr. 2015. Web.
- “The 2014 Traveler’s Road to Decision.” Think with Google. 1 June 2014. Web.
- “Consumers in the Micro-Moment.” Google/Ipsos. 1 Mar. 2015. Web.