Mobile and Tablet MarketingSearch Marketing

The Impact of Micro-Moments on the Consumer Journey

A hot marketing trend that we’ve begun hearing more and more about are micro-moments. Micro-moments are currently influencing buyer behaviors and expectations, and they’re changing the way consumers shop across industries.

But what exactly are micro-moments? In what ways are they shaping the consumer journey?

It’s important to understand how very new the idea of micro-moments is in the digital marketing world. Think with Google leads the charge on researching the ways smartphone technology revolutionizes the digital marketing space.

Do a cursory google search on micro-moments, and you’ll find that they occur when people reflexively:

Turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences are shaped.

Now that we know what micro-moments are, how do we as marketers capitalize on this ubiquitous cell-phone searching and scrolling? What types of micro-moments should we be paying attention to? Like Douglas Karr mentioned before, there are four types of micro-moments:

  1. I want to know moments
  2. I want to go moments
  3. I want to do moments
  4. I want to buy moments

Keeping these micro-moment archetypes in mind when engaging with consumers presents savvy businesses the chance to distinguish themselves through personalized experiences that offer relevant information.

Let’s expand a bit on things every business needs to know to understand how to use micro-moments to their advantage.

Consumers Want to Find Information Quickly and Accurately.

Consumers have all the information in the world right at their fingertips. When they turn to their devices to learn, watch, or buy, they don’t want to take the time to dig around to find what they are looking for or have to question the validity of the source.

Don’t believe me?

Let’s use some of our employees at PERQ as examples. Our company is chock-full of competitive, active people who love to stay healthy through fitness and exercise. I have become more involved with weight lifting.

One day at the gym, looking at the weight-lifters around me, I realized that to increase my performance on overhead lifts, I’d probably do well to buy some wrist wraps. I took out my phone right then and there and started searching for the best types of wrist wraps for beginners. Many were simply advertisements for a certain brand or a certain type of fitness program, so I skipped those sites for more nuanced ratings and reviews by industry professionals.

It just goes to show that consumers want accurate information immediately. Your website’s content and SEO are going to be deciding factors of whether or not your website provides relevant results during a consumer’s micro-moment, and whether or not consumers will maintain prolonged engagement. It’s imperative to make sure the information you’re giving is accurate.

Businesses Need to be Present for Consumers when Micro-moments Occur

The consumer journey is being reshaped by new behaviors and expectations. This culminates in the need for new micro-optimized touchpoints and for digital marketing to connect with people on their terms when, where, and how they’re going through their journey.

Another one of our employees is an avid boxer and was in the market for a new trainer last year. Let’s say he searched boxing trainer, Indianapolis, and the results pulled up dozens of potential trainers. Given his hectic schedule, he’s not going to wait around to find a quiet moment to call every trainer on that list. People need the ability to filter the results. In this case, they’re filtering down to only coaches within a five-mile radius and only coaches who are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Once he finds suitable coaches, he may want the ability to take a personality matching quiz to see what instructors he would work best with; or, he may want to fill out contact forms with specific times he can be reached.

See how necessary it is that businesses provide an intuitive user experience for consumers in micro-moments? Past facts, figures, and statics are out the window when it comes to micro-moments. Consumer behavior in these moments is unpredictable and solely driven by their needs at that given point in time.

For a business to capitalize on these unique needs, website experiences must be engaging, intuitive, and easily found. Our friends at CBT News summed it up best when they urged their audience to create a website with clearly labeled pages, easy-to-find deals, special offers, and high-quality pictures of products with in-depth descriptions.

Things like static forms and live chat must have the ability for consumers to ask specific questions and receive timely answers. Even then, static forms rarely provide the ability for consumers to have a 2-way conversation with brands.

In a nutshell, businesses need to be able to fully engage with consumers to provide consumers with everything they need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Engagement Thrives When Your Brand Can Tell its Story

Micro-moments don’t always mean that the consumer wants to buy something. More often than not, consumers are simply looking for information.

When that’s the case, businesses and brands must recognize this as an opportunity to provide information and, simultaneously, showcase who they are and what their business stands for. They need to tell their brand’s story because storytelling is the most powerful way for a consumer to connect with a brand.

HubSpot frequently advocates the importance of storytelling when it comes to brands connecting with their consumers. Showcasing why a business does what they do through storytelling is playing to human nature’s innate need to look for stories in whatever they see and do. A brand that showcases their story well is providing an instant touchpoint for a consumer to connect with them and keep connecting with them through each stage in their buying journey.

By infusing their personality into the consumer’s experience with them, brands can make themselves stand out in the consumer’s mind. Making a good impression could ultimately lead the consumer back to their site when the time comes to make a purchase.

Storytelling increases the transparency and openness about a business or a brand. By getting their story right, brands build goodwill in their micro-moments.

Remember: Micro-moments are Actionable

If you give consumers a really good experience in their micro-moment, they may be swayed to immediately make a purchase. Speed with efficiency is the order of the day.

Here’s a good example: My co-worker Felicia was at the gym one day when she realized that to maximize her workouts, she needed a boost in her nutrition. She went online to a vitamin store while walking out of the locker room, and hit purchase on a canister of supplement powder.

Micro-moments like that happen billions of times per day, and businesses and brands need to stay relevant to capitalize on them. Because they are action driven, micro-moments provide businesses the opportunity to use different experiences to indicate where consumers are in their journey. See how micro-moments are shaping the traditional consumer’s journey?

They demand that businesses fully assess their digital footprint at all stages of the buying process so that they can respond to the consumer’s needs in real-time.

Micro-moments mean that businesses must be agile and proactive about the types of content and experiences that they put on their website, and that the content and experiences can forge meaningful connections between businesses and consumers.

Brooke Kovanda

Brooke Kovanda is an Orr Fellow & Marketing Coordinator at PERQ, an engagement technology company in Indianapolis. There she drives content and design creation for advertising products, and provides support for new market research and exploration. Outside of work, Brooke enjoys to read, travel, listen to classic Rock ’n' Roll.

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