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As part of Icon's ongoing commitment to being at the forefront of changes in digital marketing, our digital marketing team recently attended the 2015 Google Partners Masterclass in Sydney. Once again, Google did not disappoint with their extensive research into consumer behaviour in our digitised society. This year, it’s all about the micro-moment. Here’s what we learnt.

What is a micro-moment?

Labelled as the “new battleground for brands” by Google , the micro-moment is all about those in-the-moment actions that consumers take during their day. Statistics show that consumers don’t wait until they’re at a desk to start product research or commit to a purchase – they’re committing right as the need arises on their mobile devices. If you’re not there in their moment of need, then you’re missing the opportunity to sell before you’ve even delivered your sales pitch.

The smartphone has truly driven the rise of the micro-moment. The ability for consumers to research a product, solve unforeseen problems, or work towards a goal via a device in their pocket has attributed to a fast-paced consumer lifestyle in which purchases can be settled within seconds. For businesses, that means more opportunities but less time to be found and less time to impress. In fact, according to research conducted by Google:

  • 91% of smartphone users use their smartphone to acquire inspiration while undertaking a task.
  • 90% of smartphone users make progress on their long term goals on-the-go.
  • 82% of smartphone users use their smartphone to gather information or compare prices while in-store.
  • 62% of smartphone users take action to resolve a problem.

These are automatic actions that make up part of our everyday actions - micro-moments where consumers don’t even think twice and just grab a smartphone and go. Businesses need to be a part of these micro-moments to thrive.

Become a part of a solution.

A large component of the micro-moment is becoming a part of a solution for the consumer. By doing so you’re capturing the audience that needs it on-the-spot and if the research is any indication, that’s a large audience. Often-times, it’s the moments that businesses overlook that can become your biggest champion. For example:

  • A group of friends catch up for a movie and decide to get dinner afterwards. What restaurant do they go to?
  • A parent is baking a cake for their child’s birthday party but they discover that the cake mixer is broken. What brand of mixer do they choose? Which store should they buy from?

In both of these scenarios, the smartphone will help to influence the consumer’s next purchasing decision. If you’re not on the map for that group of friends looking for a close-by restaurant, they’re not considering you. If you’re not on the first page for those parents looking for a new cake mixer, you’ve lost an opportunity to gain some new brand loyalty. If you’re the store and you don’t have a compelling offer that puts you above the competition, there’s no reason that the consumer will choose you.

It’s a vicious battleground to navigate through but the victors here will enjoy a new stream of customers who know exactly what they want. You just need to provide.

Being in the micro-moment

Being in the moment with the consumer is where savvy businesses are seeking to be but it’s easier said than done. It requires a strategy and a unique understanding of the position in which your brand sits in the context of these micro-moments. Are you on Google My Business or Bing Places for Business? Are you using paid search to put yourself upfront for competitive terms on mobile devices? Are you tailoring your offers to new and returning customers? Are you leveraging news, viral content, product launches, and more? Are you receiving a steady stream of positive reviews? If you’re not, the chances are that your competitors are.

There’s a lot to consider and it can be difficult for businesses that are already struggling for time. But you can’t ignore the effect of mobile on the customer journey otherwise you’ll find yourself on the back foot. For more information regarding Google’s micro-moment research, check out their dedicated webpage or contact Icon Visual Marketing on 1300 138 984 for help discovering where your brand sits on the ever-changing customer journey.