Micro Moments: Capturing Their Hidden Potential

Last month our Executive Creative Director Karl Escritt spoke at DMF in Dubai. The Digital Media Forum brought together Industry Experts from across the globe, under the theme of ‘Digital Transformation: Own It’. Focusing specifically on transformative innovations, panels and presentations ranged from the head of Facebook for the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan speaking on future trends, to a talk about digital PR, to a group discussion about the challenges that traditional business face in this new tech era.

Karl joined three other industry leaders on a panel discussing how to win in consumers’ micro-moments. This is an omni-channel world where brands seek to stay ever-present and available to their consumers; thus the challenge of maintaining consistent relevance across all channels is continual.

This leads one to ask: how are you capitalising on your consumers’ micro moments?

Gaining the Macro through the Micro.

Is your vision far enough and strategy sharp enough that you have a plan for the micro? How are you seizing the in-between, those liminal moments that, when you put them all together, compose the user journey of the modern consumer?

In today’s fast-paced consumer environment, where immediate gratification is the norm, and consumers wait an average of three seconds for a page to load before switching to another site or app, it’s time to grasp the micro moments.

A term coined by Google, micro moments are “the critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends.” Think for a moment about how you shop or search for information. Most likely, you have an initial question or thought and pop onto your phone to do a quick search. You are likely in a hurry (aren’t we all!) Maybe you have a go-to site, or you just plug some general keywords into the search bar. You do a quick read, a few sites attract your interest, and you bookmark them for later. Maybe you make a decision right there and then. Or, you get distracted, so a few days later you are back, reading reviews, shopping around, comparing prices. Are there stores nearby that you can pop into and see the item for yourself? Do they have click and collect? Maybe their Instagram has inspiration, or Twitter account that will give you an idea of their customer service in case you want to return it. Whatever your route to making a purchase, you are likely popping in and out on various platforms before making a decision. And, once you’ve made it you want it– quickly.

On the other side.

Let’s take a step back for a moment and look at this from the other side of the screen. Are you where you need to be in order to connect with your consumer in that moment– in those moments? Have you positioned yourself to be useful, to answer that question that is behind their search? And, are you quick, are you optimised to provide a fast and seamless experience, with no friction dragging you down?

It’s all about empowerment.

As consumers, none of us want to feel like we are at the mercy of ‘the system’ or whatever organisation it is that should essentially be designed to serve us. It sounds self-centred when put this blatantly, but if you as a brand don’t provide the best service when and where your consumer needs it, they will go with a competitor who is. Loyalty as it was traditionally known within the brand-customer relationship doesn’t exist anymore. People live in the moment, and will be loyal to whoever or whatever meets that need right there and then. They may have a tendency towards a certain brand, but have no qualms about going somewhere else if that brand doesn’t get what they want when they want it. According to a US survey by market research institute Ipsos in collaboration with Google, “65% of smartphone users look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information.”*

Furthermore, let’s remember that we are talking about this primarily in the context of mobile. Smartphones have overtaken desktop searches, 87% of users have their phone on them 24/7, and over two-thirds of users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning.** If you aren’t thinking mobile first, then perhaps you aren’t thinking. Harsh yes, but true.

You need to ‘be there’ – which necessitates perfect timing, strong placement, and informed decision making. Capitalise on your consumers’ intent-rich search moments to help win them.

To break it down, you need to achieve four tasks:

— Be Easily Digestible
Don’t make things complicated; keep it snackable, easy to interpret and apply. There is value in simplicity.

— Be Relevant
So you are providing information–hurrah! Now ensure it’s actually useful to what the user needs at that moment. Consider the user’s context and the intent behind their search, and make certain that the content provided is appropriate.

— Bring Value
Take the time to be intentional with what you are providing. Add value to the consumer journey, and they will keep coming back. This doesn’t just have to be with information you provide, but also show that you value their time.

— Be Human
Have some personality. Don’t be afraid to show your human side, give your consumers something they can relate to. And be consistent within this.

After all of this, you may be thinking “how on earth am I going to do all this for my consumers? It’s too complicated.” But it doesn’t have to be confusing. Micro moments are simple, uncomplicated bits of engagement. You as a brand are entering into a conversation with your consumer, being helpful and providing what they need, when they need it. It just takes some intentionality, an awareness of who your consumer is and where they are. Then position yourself to meet them where they are at with ‘the best of you’, meeting their needs and answering their questions.


*Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3, Google/Ipsos, U.S., August 2015, n=1291 online smartphone users 18+
** Google Consumer Surveys, August 2015, smartphone users.