Mobile has changed the way we consume information and how we make decisions about almost everything in our lives. Brands that engage customers and prospects with only traditional marketing strategies are missing huge opportunities to meet customers exactly where they are in the customer journey. According to research by Google, the typical customer journey is made up of fragments of real-time, intent-driven “micro-moments.” These micro-moments occur instantaneously, up to hundreds of times a day — most often on a mobile device.
The 4 types of micro-moments
Here are the 4 ways Google categorizes micro-moments:
- I want to know. In these moments, a consumer wants to learn or discover something. Example: A man is on his break at work and happens to remember his 10-year wedding anniversary is coming up. He pulls out his phone and does a Google search for “10-year anniversary gift ideas.”
- I want to go. In this micro-moment, someone has decided they want to go to a physical location for a good or service. Example: A mom just picked up her kids from baseball practice and needs to stop and pick up something for dinner on the way home. She pulls out her iPhone and says, “Siri, find pizza places near me.”
- I want to do. This type of micro-moment occurs when someone needs some help or instructions on how to do something. Example: A high school junior is getting ready for his prom, and is wearing a tux for the first time. He opens his laptop and searches YouTube for “how to tie a tie.”
- I want to buy. The name says it all about this micro-moment; the consumer is ready to make a purchase, and Google found that 82 percent of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision while in the store. Example: A woman is in a home improvement store to buy mulch, but she isn’t sure which kind to get. She pulls out her smartphone and searches: “the difference between rubber mulch and wood mulch.”
Stop trying to be the best and just be there
Many brands (understandably) want to create the slickest, most creative marketing campaigns, spending lots of time and money on the best and most impressive ways to reach customers. But according to Google, the least sexy stuff is often the most important — like getting new products in the hands of video bloggers, or making sure the brand ranks high in relevant searches. In fact, many top brands are missing the mark when it comes to being present in customers’ micro-moments. If you do a Google search for “best curly hair shampoo,” ads for the top 3 shampoo brands don’t show up 90 percent of the time. (Perhaps those brands are too busy creating TV commercials with celebrities flaunting their luscious locks.) This isn’t just a problem for retail brands; there are gaps in every industry when it comes to Google and YouTube searches — the 2 places people most often flock to during those crucial micro-moments.
Include micro-moments in your customer journey map
If you haven’t yet created a customer journey map, that should be the first place you start. A customer journey map is a diagram that illustrates the steps customers go through when engaging with your company. These interactions include online experiences, in-store experiences, and/or experiences with your products or services. By mapping out these specific customer interactions, your Customer Experience team can better understand customer needs, and can cater your processes to better serve them.
Identifying the micro-moments in which consumers engage with your brand can be challenging, but with tools like Google Trends, Google Consumer Surveys, and YouTube Trends, you can discover what your customers are looking for and and the types of content they’re consuming. It’s also important to listen to customer feedback and create buyer personas that paint a more detailed picture of who those individuals are and what’s important to them.