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Micro-moments in Digital Marketing

Friday, October 23, 2015

“Micro-moments” is a new buzz-word in digital marketing inspired by the rise in mobile browsing. Mobile changed the way customers interact with brands, so to use the same analytics approach as for desktop misses a huge amount of insight. By breaking interactions down into real-time, intent-driven micro-moments, businesses can gain a much deeper understanding about how people engage with their brand on mobile devices.

Unsurprisingly, it was Google that pioneered the idea, and they continue to promote it, adding to their wealth of research on the topic.

How to use micro-moments

Today we wanted to introduce the concept and show you how micro-moments are relevant to your business.

In a nutshell, Micro-moments are:

  • short,
  • frequent,
  • mobile (mostly smartphones)

The best way to respond to micro-moments is to give people exactly what they need – the answer to their current question or access to the most useful resources. Micro-moments can happen while waiting in a queue, commuting on a bus or even, despite the obvious danger, while crossing the road.

But, given the briefness of these moments, do you think customers are able to come to a buying decision? Likely not. Which is why we need to track each of these micro-moments to form the complete picture, rather than just lamenting the high abandonment rate on mobile.


Micro-moments for tourism industries

The types of micro-moments you can expect if you are running a hotel, for example, would be:

  • checking special offers and accommodation deals
  • search for room availability
  • changing booking details

What should you do with these micro-moments?

The key thing is to make sure that all of these sectors on your site work perfectly on mobile. If a mobile user struggles with finding the right page, page responsiveness, page load times, or anything else, then they will grow frustrated and leave the site without converting.

The next thing is to ensure that the user journey naturally flows into a booking funnel later. It would be a huge missed opportunity to have visitors trawling your site for information, find it, but then never return or make a purchase simple due to a lack of cross-device funnelling.


Micro-moments for e-commerce

E-commerce sites can expect the following types of micro-moments:

  • product comparison
  • product details
  • availability at a local store

What should you do with these micro-moments?

Your approach to micro-moments on your e-commerce site should be twofold: firstly, track customer engagement with products; secondly, give users an option to save or email their search results / product comparison. That way they can pick up where they left off on their desktop, where most customers feel more comfortable completing a purchase.


Micro-moments for B2B

Micro-moments still happen on B2B websites – look out for:

  • whitepaper requests
  • product/service videos
  • search on site
  • visits and signups to your blog

What should you do with these micro-moments?

When making a B2B purchase, people tend to be risk adverse in order to retain good standing with their organisation. By producing useful content that provides a high-level view and supports decision making you both assist with the user journey and create trackable touchpoints throughout your site.

Content might include: comparison of different products, feature overviews, and case studies, not forgetting to encourage emails signups in exchange for whitepaper downloads, for example.

Social Media

Micro-moments for everyone

Micro-moments are relevant for all type of business and should not be ignored by marketing. Some key tings to remember are:

  • Search and product comparison are more likely to happen on mobile
  • First purchases are more likely to be completed on desktop
  • Mobile is closer to offline than desktop, so it assists with offline shopping, last minute deals, quick communication, and saving products for later (e.g. adding a product to the cart now to review later)
  • Priority in cross-sell / up-sell on mobile should focus on returning and signed in users. New users usually just need to find the answer to a specific question or browse some high-level information.

Using micro-moments successfully

Key success factors are understanding customer needs at each micro-moment in order to:

  • Anticipate customer current question and provide additional useful information.

For example, if user is looking for the opening hours of your shop, provide the opening hours but also add an option to check product availability, or show nearby shops with extended opening hours, or something else that continues the user journey.

  • Get insight how each customer can be retained.

Let’s say a customer was doing a search on your website, viewed a couple of product pages and left. Is this the end? Or should we show them an ad later on her mobile with closest shops to her location? What’s the likelihood of them returning without a nudge from the ad? I leave you with these questions for now.

The next stage

Some of you might be wondering: Is it possible to track these constant cross-device shifts as continuous user experience?

This can be implemented with user-id tracking in Universal Analytics (which is never installed by default and requires additional implementation). But that’s another story for a different day.

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Alternatively, click the button below to ask our resident analytics experts, Yana, your burning questions…

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