MicroMomentsDecisionMakingIn 2016, the smartphone replaced the laptop as the most common Internet device, and we know how the trend has developed since then, right? Well, then you know why online advertisers must embrace more than ever the challenge of aligning their strategy with the smartphone in mind. Since mobile overtook desktop as the main technology for search, brands simply had to find a new way to connect with consumers who don’t just have a shorter attention span, but also a narrower engagement span.

As a search engine provider, Google tuned its ear to the so-called micro-moments very early on, since a micro-moment is basically nothing more than an everyday situation that can lead to an interaction with a brand, especially via smartphone search queries as for instance: “Where is the nearest supermarket? What to do about dandruff? How to bake a cheesecake?”

The micro-moments approach from Google is above all an appeal to advertisers to deal intensively with the new conditions in the market. Nowadays, a user almost always pulls out his smartphone to actively search, whereby the search can be both informal (I-want-to-know-moment) and transactional (I-want-to-buy-moment) in nature. However, the credo remains the same for all micro-moments, which is “be there, be useful”. And that’s in fact the main challenge of intent-based marketing; namely to always provide the user with relevant content for his/her search. Whoever succeeds can make for a lot of positive user experiences with the brand and thus, build a relationship with the user that pays off in monetary terms earlier or later.

Ultimately, the micro-moments strategy solves a problem that is widespread in online marketing, which is the loss of the user in the consideration phase, which means the phase in which the purchase decision is made.

Branding measures via video advertising, banners or social campaigns ensure a large reach within the target group and increase brand awareness. However, they do not prevent the user from switching to another brand when it comes to the decision-making phase right before closing the deal. It’s the risky moment where competitors are lurking and trying to be more present in the described micro-moment. Considering that a Google study once revealed that 90% of searchers intending to buy are not sure which brand they will buy from at the beginning of their search, should give cause for serious concern.

Interestingly, the German digital marketing agency, eProfessional, absorbed Google's idea of micro-moments and expanded it across channels, since micro-moments do not only take place in the Google universe, but in channels outside of search such as display and social media, too.

“With the plan of approaching your own target group through their micro-moments, you get a completely new perspective—away from the product, towards the intention of the target group—which changes a lot, especially in the SEA. You start to set up the keyword set much more generically and move away from a purely performance-driven view”, the company explains, and gives Pampers as a good example.

Although, as we all know, Pampers is primarily known for diapers, the brand appears in a search query made for “nutrition during pregnancy” and offers recipes for pregnant women on the following landing page. Pampers has understood that it is important to approach the target group very early on, namely all those who will later buy Pampers diapers. And the brand implements it with a very suitable text ad and an equally suitable landing page. Obviously, Pampers is not concerned with sales here, but primarily with establishing a contact to the target group and ensuring a positive experience with the brand. This will later have the effect that Pampers is the chosen brands when it comes to the decision to buy diapers.

For the success of the micro-moments approach in the SEA, it is important to provide a separate KPI set for measuring success. In contrast to hard sales, key figures such as CTR, length of stay, or page impressions per visit apply. Ideally, a customer journey analysis tool is available with the micro-moments’ strategy so that the effect of the advertising measures can be precisely tracked.

In a nutshell, the advantages of the micro-moments’ strategy are preventing to lose the target group to the competition between branding and performance, the fact that thousands of positive user experiences can be created with your brand, which puts you in pole position in the relevant set of your target group when it comes to a purchase decision. Not to mention that micro-moments work both cross-channel and cross-device.

To get in front of the consumer, brands must be able to shape demand by continually adapting what they offer, when they offer it and at what price for each consumer, in each micro-moment.

By Daniela La Marca