Micro-Moments! What the Heck are They? And How Can They Help my Business?


I know what the first question is going to be: what the heck are micro-moments?

“Micro moments” is one of the latest phrases in tech speak, coined by researchers at “Think With Google”, to describe recent phenomena in internet and smartphone usage.

Whatever you do, don’t let the lingo put you off, the term encapsulates some very interesting behaviour trends, and the research provides invaluable information for marketers and companies.

So, what are micro-moments? Here is Google’s Sridhar Ramaswamy’s definition: (don’t worry if this is information overload, I talk you through the steps below)

Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device - increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent rich moments where decisions are made and preferences shaped.

Now, what does all this mean? In increasing numbers, surfers look to their smartphones to answer specific questions and satisfy particular needs, whether it is a recipe for a spicy nacho salsa, opening hours for a pharmacy, or the release date of the Beetles first LP. This grabbing of the smartphone to ascertain specific information, a burning need to know something, need to buy something, or need to do something, is called a micro-moment.

So, that is what they are, now for the next question: how is any of this relevant to my business/work/hobby?

Well, this is new: here are revolutionary social and behaviour trends and marketers and companies need to adapt, need to adjust marketing strategies according, and need fresh approaches.

Current research suggests this is not happening, or at least not happening quickly enough.

Currently, 67% of people mulling a vacation abroad browse causally in their spare time - while on the morning commute, while waiting for an appointment, and so on. However, of that 67% a remarkable half eventually reserve their holiday on a different website, a different format and at a different time! This means companies and marketers are not converting that causal interest into a sale.

Ok, how do I fix it? There are some very sophisticated remedies for this - trigger emails, targeted banner ads and a subscription service could all dramatically increase the conversion rate - but they are simpler, more cost-effective solutions as well, one of which is to ensure your website is up to scratch.

What research into micro-moments proves without doubt is people want information fast – the typical smartphone user is a frenetic staccato browser, with very specific questions and queries, and he wants them answered fast.

The Luth research group did some fascinating research into micro-moments, behavioural trends and motor dealerhsips recently. For customers surfing the net looking to buy a new car, their micro-moments can be surmised under the following headings: ‘which car is best?’; ‘is it right for me?’; and ‘can I afford it?’.

Imagine you’re a customer interested in buying a new SUV for your growing family, and the Volvo XC60 has caught your eye. However, you have questions: how much does one cost? What is the best deal? Do SUV’s guzzle gas?

If that customer visits your website and they can’t locate the answers to those questions quickly and painlessly, then the website has not done its job. However, if your website directs the customer to the Volvo XC60 page, with pricing, deal details, and the reason why the Volvo is the most fuel efficient SUV on the market, then your website has did its job. Success! You have orientated your website towards this new type of browser.

Remember, one major difference between digital marketing and traditional advertising media, likes newspapers, radio spots and so forth, is while all that really mattered in the older medium was persuading and charming the customer, with digital marketing you have to prioritise ease of access and ease of use – put it right up your list you do!

Don’t make your website difficult and complicated. Prospective customer will come to you website with some very specific questions in mind, and you have to ensure they get the answer as quickly and easily as possible.

The new phenomena of micro-moments emphasises this all the more! Trigger-happy, frenetic and information mad: this is the new internet user, and marketers and companies must adjust accordingly, give the new type of customer what they want!!

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