When people use their phones, they’re making split-second decisions based on the information in front of them. Think about your average morning: you roll over and check your email and the weather forecast for the day, and somewhere in between fumbling with the coffee maker and the front door you check the traffic for your commute. What happens if the strap on your laptop bag breaks on your way into the office? You instinctively turn to your phone to search for a new (and hopefully more reliable) bag.
These interactions with your mobile device continue all day - spanning lunch recommendations to shopping to troubleshooting. All of these interactions are opportunities for marketers. Interaction like these are what Google calls a micro-moments: “intent-rich moment[s] when a person turns to a device to act on a need—to know, go, do, or buy.” Traditional, interruptive marketing methods don’t work in this context. Consumers simply block or ignore them. Micro-moments require careful strategy and agile execution to succeed.
The Landscape Is Changing
"While demographics will always have a place in the marketing playbook, the brands that understand and respond to intent are better positioned to be there and be useful for all of their potential customers, not just those that fit an age and gender profile." -Lisa Gevelber, "Why Consumer Intent Is More Powerful than Demographics"
The introduction of the smartphone forever changed the way consumers interact with information and make decisions. Ignoring the ubiquity of mobile devices comes with a steep cost. While marketers have traditionally based their efforts on demographics, a study by Google noted that relying exclusively on demographics may cause marketers to miss nearly 70% of potential mobile shoppers. Demographics still have their place, but marketers need a new way to understand consumer behavior. The answer is found in analyzing consumer intent. The need a consumer has in the moment they reach for their mobile device and the context in which this moment occurs are essential to crafting a successful strategy for winning micro-moments.
Anticipate the moments.
To be there and be useful to our customers, we first need to start with customer intent. To find out what drives customer decisions, we have to analyze what they need. According to Google, there are four key moments that define this action: when customers want to know, go, do, or buy. Find out what your customers are searching for. How is your brand performing in those searches? Is your company present in all the stages of the consumer buying journey? What can you do to be present in all the stages? Find out what your customers need and position yourself to be present when the need arises.
It's also important to consider the context in which this need arises. Consumers are increasingly moving between devices as they search for information and move toward a purchase. How do a consumer's needs change based on their location, device, or the time day?
Factor in both intent and context into your strategy. This will help you find the key micro-moments your brand needs to capture and the most useful ways to "be there" for your consumers.
Simplify your message.
Working with micro-moments means that you don't have much time to make an impact. Your message needs to be short, impactful, and most importantly, relevant to the consumer. This is where customer intent comes into play. If you've done your homework, you know what your customer is looking for. Communicating that in a way that reaches them quickly and efficiently makes the difference between winning the moment and becoming so much noise.
Optimize the experience.
Creating a customer experience that is optimized for micro-moments requires some optimization. You will need to account for multiple-device behavior. Is your website responsive? Are your teams' goals aligned? Winning micro-moments is not just for the marketing department - it requires everyone's cooperation to create an experience that connects all the touchpoints and reduces the friction between them. But when you do accomplish this, customers are able to quickly find what they need. This means a happier customer and a better bottom line for you.
Analyzing the Results
Any good marketing effort needs analysis and feedback to improve. As you work to win the micro-moments that matter to your brand and your customers, take a step back and look at your results. Utilize tools like Google Analytics and customer surveys and stay on top of things like YouTube trends.
"[A]lthough the data that digital provides is unprecedented, some of the best insights come from good old-fashioned methods such as talking to your customers. Once you know the questions and needs they have, you can make sure you're there for them in those moments. If you aren't, the immediacy of mobile means that people will go to the brand that is there." - Lisa Gevelber, "A Micro-Moments Report Card: Are We Making the Grade?"
Is your brand successfully winning micro-moments? A micro-moments strategy requires constant evolution, but by asking the right questions, understanding your customer, and optimizing the customer experience you can start winning the micro-moments vital to your brand.