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Google In The “Micro” Moment

Mobile has changed consumer behavior forever more. It’s now the primary channel used by people to interact with media. What were once predictable, daily online sessions seated before desktop or laptop PCs have been superseded by frequent, unpredictable, instantaneous, on the run, need-based interactions with smartphones – palm up, face down. “We’ve hit an inflection point,” says Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management for AdWords, “where more Google searches are taking place in mobile than desktop in 10 countries, including US and Japan. We think it’s a real turning point in digital adverting and we have been investing in mobile-focused initiatives,”.

What were once conventional “moments of truth” in a consumer journey have since fragmented into hundreds of micro-moments, those intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping, where today’s battle is waged for a share of the hearts, minds, and wallets of consumers.

google micro moments

It’s a micro-moments when you turn to your smartphone to fulfill a need or answer an “I want…” question, such as:

I want to learn…

I want to buy…

I want to know…

I want to go…

I want to do…

I want to make…

Recent Google research shows how micro-moments have changed the Rules of the Game:

  • Of leisure travelers using smartphone, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.
  • Of smartphone users, 91% look up information on their smartphones in the middle of a task.
  • Of smartphone users, 82% consult their phones while they’re in a store deciding which product to buy. One in 10 of those consumers ends up buying a different product than planned.
  • Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand. (This is a critical finding.)

FACT: “Near me” searches are sky-rocketing: Google search interest in “near me” has increased 34X since 2011* and nearly doubled since last year. The vast majority come from mobile—80% in Q4 2014. **

Source: *Google Trends, Data pulled March 30, 2015. **Google Data, Q4 2014

google data

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The Multi-Billion Dollar Question

How to capitalize on these micro-moments?

Identify your target audiences’ micro-moments: Engage with your consumers at points of sale, forums, social media, through surveys and focus groups to understand when and how they research and make purchase decisions. Understand the why, the where and the how of a consumer’s search for information. And don’t overlook the why not.

Deliver the right product or service at the right moment: Research and identify unique patterns of intent. Use search insights to uncover new trends. Then, incorporate search, social, video and display in your marketing strategy to reach consumers at home, in stores, in offices and anywhere in between – any time of day — based on your research.

Deliver context appropriate messaging: This cannot be overstated. Create ads and content that provide custom solutions and answers for the questions people ask. Personalized ads have 10x higher CTR compared to traditional display ads. No one wants to look at or hear conventional, generic advertising on their smartphones. Or, put another way, don’t make smartphones dumb.

Make purchasing easy: Make seamless the transition from research to purchase. Give the consumer multiple ways to buy. Examples: Facebook CTA buttons on ads, Twitter or Pinterest buy buttons or link to a local store “Near You”.

Measure every moment that matters: It’s no longer enough to simply measure the online conversion. With the mobile fragmented path to purchase advertisers need to measure results online, across devices, in apps, and even in stores. Audit your current efforts then test and iterate using new approaches, KPIs and methodologies.

Team Position2

June 9, 2015

By Team Position2