If you’re like me then your phone isn’t often out of arms reach. And we’re not alone. Shoppers today are attached to their mobile devices, checking their phones an average of 150 times per day.
When we combine this with the fact that people spend around 170 minutes per day on their mobile devices it illustrates an interesting truth: shoppers have hundreds of very brief interactions with their mobile device every day. And that’s where micro moments come in.
Within all of these brief interactions there are moments when people may or may not be open to brand influence. Chances are you aren’t looking to engage with a brand while texting a friend or posting a selfie from your latest vacation. That said, there are plenty of instances throughout the day in which people are open to and appreciative of brands that help them to make informed decisions quickly.
These are the moments we’re interested in.
Google has identified four key types of micro moments that make up the customer journey: I-Want-to-Know moments, I-Want-to-Do moments, I-Want-to-Go moments, and I-Want-to-Buy moments.
For Google, these micro moments “are critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.”
Given these four types of moments, the question for marketers and retailers then becomes - how can I use micro moments? In order to win at micro moments, brands need to cater to all varieties of moments with relevant and useful content or promotions. This means being present throughout the entire customer journey rather than simply showing up when someone is ready to buy. It’s too late in the process to try and capture customers just as they become ready to buy - chances are they have already made up their mind on what to buy, who to buy it from, and where.
But not only do tactics need to change, content does too. You only have just a few seconds to capture the attention of a potential customer before they swipe on to the next thing. In short, content made for micro moments needs to be present, relevant, and brief.
Brands need to anticipate when and where in the customer journey these micro moments occur and commit to being present at those times and places. Customer loyalty isn’t as strong as it once was and many shoppers are happy to use whatever brand can help them right here, right now. By being actively present throughout the customer journey, brands can help to capture customers in the earlier, I-Want-to-Know stages.
One way retailers can identify the key micro moments in their customer journey is by diving into search data and identifying any trends or patterns. For example, Home Depot noticed that a lot of DIY-ers were using their phone to search “how to…” for their next project and typically ended watching YouTube videos. This realization lead Home Depot to adjust their marketing strategy and create a “how to” page on YouTube in order to help customers in these early I-Want-to-Do moments. And the collection has been a hit among viewers, attracting over 43 million views in total.
Consumers have an unprecedented amount of content at their disposal. The digital world is constantly bombarded with ads, pop ups, articles, memes, and viral videos. This means that brands need to provide contextually relevant and valuable content to consumers in order to stand out from the noise and keep consumers from swiping on to the next ad, meme, video, etc.
Being relevant for people in the early moments may require a different style of content than you’re used to making. For example, workout and fitness companies are probably used to making content for people that are looking to buy their next supplement or instructional DVD. But being present and relevant for shoppers that are still in the early stages may require creating content that is inspirational or educational rather than content that pushes readers towards a product or service.
One difficulty with leveraging micro moments is that they are necessarily brief. The challenge for brands is then to craft marketing materials and promotions that are not only relevant and of interest to the consumer, but can be consumed quickly.
Best Western has embraced micro moments and started creating a “snackable” locally relevant mobile experience. Their mobile experience allows customers to go beyond macro-level destination information and provide neighborhood-specific content. This focus on being present, relevant, and brief, combined with an improved mobile site design has helped Best Western to quadruple mobile revenue in the past year.
As micro moments further fracture the customer journey, the challenge and opportunity for retailers is then to connect micro moments across channels, devices, and departments. How will you use micro moments?