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Consumer behavior has changed forever. Today’s battle for hearts, minds, and dollars is won (or lost) in micro-moments—intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference-shaping that occur throughout the entire consumer journey. Read more about this new mental model for marketing.

As mobile has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, we’re witnessing a fundamental change in the way people consume media. What used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously. There are hundreds of these moments every day—checking the time, texting a spouse, chatting with friends on social media. But then there are the other moments—the I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments—that really matter. We call these “micro-moments,” and they’re game changers for both consumers and brands.

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 when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away. Consider these findings from some recent research we conducted: •Of leisure travelers who are smartphone users, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.1 •Of smartphone users, 91% look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task. 2 •Of smartphone users, 82% consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy. One in 10 of those end up buying a different product than they had planned. 2 •Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand. 2 The successful brands of tomorrow will be those that have a strategy for understanding and meeting consumers’ needs in these micro-moments.

Mobile has forever changed what we expect of brands. New to micromoments? Learn more with an overview of this new consumer behavior.

Mobile has forever changed the way we live, and it’s forever changed what we expect of brands. It’s fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments. Each one is a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.

What we’ve learned.

After researching and talking to real people, with real needs in real moments, we have some insights to share.

People evaluate purchase decisions in-the-moment.

82% of smartphone users turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision while in a store.

People solve unexpected problems in-the-moment.

62% of smartphone users are more likely to take action right away toward solving an unexpected problem or new task because they have a smartphone.

People pursue big goals in small moments.

90% of smartphone users have used their phone to make progress toward a long term goal or multi-step process while “out and about.”

People try new things in routine moments.

91% of smartphone users turn to their phone for ideas while doing a given task.

What you can do.

Be there when your customers need you. Here are some ideas to start taking action.

1
Make a moments map.
Identify a set of moments you want to win or can’t afford to lose. Examine all phases of the consumer journey to map moments when people want to find inspiration, learn about your products, make a quick purchase, or anything in between.
2
Understand customer needs in-the-moment.
For each moment you want to win, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. Ask “What would make this easier or faster? What content or features would be most helpful for this moment?”
3
Use context to deliver the right experience.
Leverage contextual signals like location and time of day to deliver experiences and messages that feel tailor-made for the moment. For example, let customers searching nearby your stores know when the products they’re looking for are in-stock or available for pickup in-store.
4
Optimize across the journey.
People move seamlessly across screens and channels. Does your brand deliver seamlessly in return? Don’t let competing objectives or department silos stand in the way. To account for today’s complex, fractured journeys, anchor completely on the consumer and organize around moments.
5
Measure every moment that matters.
You cannot afford to under-serve your customers while you’re dealing with measurement gaps. While the return on investment for certain moments may not yet be directly measurable, train your team to use credible estimates to ensure nothing’s falling through the cracks.

Sources:
https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-micromoments-are-changing-rules.html
https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/micromoments/intro.html

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