The popularity of mobile technology has had a significant impact on eCommerce and marketing lately. Brands today find themselves in a unique situation as they are expected to be able to respond to consumer needs at any given moment in real-time.
This is a direct result of ubiquity and portability of smart mobile devices that are connected to the internet. Whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, consumers can now experience micro-moments at anytime, anywhere.
As its importance grows in digital marketing, brands can’t afford to ignore the value of hybrid marketing that can elevate multiple strategies within the marketing funnel.
What are Micro-Moments?
Micro-moments can be defined as critical touch points within the modern consumer’s journey. When all the variables are put together, they will finally determine how that journey will end.
According to Google, these internet-rich moments take place whenever people “reflexively” turn to their device to do any or all of the following:
- Buy something
- Discover something
- Do something
- Learn something
- Watch something
Think about it for a minute. What device are you using to access this blog post? Is it your smartphone? If not, is your mobile device within reach? If you answered “yes” to the last two questions, you are just like the rest of us (most of us anyway).
According to the Pew Research Center, 95% of American adults own a mobile device, 77% of them own a smartphone. Further, 46% smartphone users basically state that they’re addicted to their devices as they can’t seem to be able to live without it.
It’s also good to note that 87% of millennials stated that they always have their smartphone by them day or night. This is not really a big surprise as rising mobile use has changed consumer behavior. People (including myself) engage with these devices throughout the day. As a result, the buyer’s journey is now fragmented between devices in micro-moments.
So if you want to succeed in this new frontier, brands must be able to meet consumer needs in real-time or get left behind. Here are some tips to help you succeed in this micro-moment world.
1. Understand the Importance of Micro-Moments
To succeed, the first step is to understand the importance of micro-moments. In today’s smart world, we don’t call our friends for recommendations anymore, we pull out our smartphones.
For example, if you are in a new city and want to look for a hotel to spend the night, what do you do? You turn to your smartphone to help make a decision. The same is true for food, travel, and entertainment.
So whenever people pull out their smartphone in their time of need, it creates a great opportunity for brands to engage and convert. This is reflected in Google searches as more than half take place on a mobile device.
As a result, mobile ad spend is expected to double from $100 billion in 2016 to $200 billion in 2019 (accounting for 70% of digital ad spend worldwide).
So if your brand isn’t ready to compete, you will have to accept the fact that it will be quickly replaced by another. With 82% of smartphone users stating that they consult their phones before making an in-store purchase, this phenomenon will also have a direct impact on your business in the “real” physical world.
2. Anticipation is Key to Visibility
Before you start to anticipate these micro-moments, you’ll have to first understand the user path or the structure and adapt it to your specific vertical.
Google’s micro-moment structure looks like this:
- I want to know
- I want to go
- I want to do
- I want to buy
But these can only be categorized and mapped out properly when classified into different types of consumer journeys that are supported by additional research. Whichever way you choose to go about it, the consumer’s intent has to be segmented appropriately.
The keywords will play an important role in this phase and will allow you to plan your future strategies and develop them accordingly.
As consumers have grown to expect a real-time response from brand to fulfill their needs, brands need to anticipate these needs to ensure that it shows up across all stages of the consumer journey. This also means that brand perception needs to be enhanced by delivering better in-store and out of store experiences.
3. Deliver Real Value
Brands must strive to consistently deliver real value because 69% of online consumers stated that timing, quality, and relevance of the brand’s messages influences their personal opinions. So if the content is paired with the right timing, it will be able to drive conversion rates.
For example, when Unilever figured out that they were not meeting the demand when it came to information about hair, they took advantage of search term data to predict trends. This, in turn, led to the creation of a YouTube channel that was able to provide answers to consumers’ questions.
This turn of events led to Unilever’s YouTube channel (All Things Hair, UK) becoming the number one hair brand channel within just ten weeks.
4. Be Quick or Be Dead
The race is going to be fierce, so will your brand be able to keep up?
With consumers who have grown used to instant gratification, slow load times will be a killer. In fact, according to Google, 70% of smartphone users reported that they switched to another app or site because of slow loading times. Another 29% switched to another site or app if the information didn’t immediately satisfy their need.
Further, 67% stated that they switched because of too many steps to get access to the information that they wanted. As a result, user experience (UX) will also play an enormous role in making the experience fast and acceptable.
So the key here is to anticipate needs and enhance the UX with apps and sites that load at the speed of light (or something very close).
5. It’s Imperative to Develop an Integrated Strategy
Let’s face it, consumers are seamlessly switching between multiple devices. So an integration of marketing strategies will be important to “connect the dots” between their online and offline worlds.
It’s also important as 57% of smartphone users who use mobile search to help make a decision will likely visit a store. A further 51% are also more likely to make a purchase.
So what’s happening here is that consumers are seamlessly moving across screens, marketing channels, and your marketing teams. For example, Shutterfly used cross-device insights to boost conversions by 15%. They did this by measuring cross-device conversions in AdWords and that enabled them to learn about how often a mobile device played a part in the customer’s buying behavior.
The company responded by enabling 100% keywords for mobile which resulted in a first round optimization conversion of 15% in less than a year.
Another great example is Sears and their integrated strategy to drive in-store sales. They did this by running local inventory ads that communicated to the mobile user how far they were from the nearest store that carried the product they searched for. This resulted in in-store visits rising by 122%.
Of course, doing all this isn’t going to be as easy (and will take time), but it’s a must if brands want to remain relevant in a micro-moment world.
Managing micro-moments successfully requires reliance on secure and well-thought strategic technology solutions, either deployed effectively and tailored to your branding needs or built from scratch. At Intersog, we build ROI driven software solutions to ensure your top line growth and bottom line savings. Our proprietary code library allows us to deliver nearly 2x faster than our competitors, and our access to a vast cross-border IT talent can significantly shorten your time to hire and time to market, and save your budget without compromising with product quality.