Is your smartphone within an arm’s reach? If so, you’re not alone.
Roughly 92 percent of American adults own a mobile device, and 46 percent of smartphone owners say their smartphone is something “they can’t live without,” according to a Pew Research Center report.
With mobile use on the rise, it’s no surprise that consumer behavior has shifted. The consumer journey has become one fragmented into micro-moments, defined by Google “intent-rich moments that occur when people reflexively turn to a device to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something.”
People engage with their screens throughout the day more than ever before. As a result, the new frontier of digital marketing is one based on real time, where brands must meet consumers where they are and when they’re there, or be left behind.
Here are five ways to thrive in a micro-moment world:
Understand Why Micro-Moments Matter
Think about it. You’re exploring a new city and have a craving for pizza. What’s the first thing you do? Pull out your smartphone. People turn to devices in moments of need, and these decision-making scenarios provide winnable opportunities for brands. Worldwide, more than half of Google searches happen on mobile.. Because mobile is where people can be reached, it’s become the new battleground for brands. Global mobile ad spend is expected to double from $100 billion in 2016 to nearly $200 billion in 2019 — accounting for over 70 percent of digital ad spend worldwide, according to eMarketer. If your brand doesn’t compete, it’s likely that another will take home the prize.
Consumers expect brands to be there. By anticipating needs and showing up across all stages of the consumer journey, companies enter the running for selection and also enhance brand perception. For example, when Sephora noticed its customers standing in the aisles searching their phones for product reviews, they developed an app to serve customers in those moments, thus delivering a better in-store experience.
With 69% of online consumers agreeing that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their opinion of the brand, useful content paired with the right timing has the power to drive results. Consider Unilever’s* strategy – when the company realized that online demand for hair information wasn’t being met by beauty brands, they used search term data to predict trends, and then created a YouTube channel with content that answered consumers’ questions. In just ten weeks, Unilever’s channel became the #1 hair brand channel.
The race is on – can your brand keep up? In an age of instant gratification, consumers want things five seconds ago. Google reports that 70% of smartphone users who switch to another site or app did so because load time was too long, and 67% switch if there are too many steps to get information. To beat customers to the finish line, brands need to anticipate needs, simplify processes and create sites and apps that load like lightning.
Develop an Integrated Strategy
As consumers move seamlessly across multiple devices, integrating marketing efforts and connecting the online and offline world becomes essential. For instance, Sears used digital strategy to drive in-store sales. By running local inventory ads, they showed mobile users how far they were form the nearest store that carried the product they were searching for. The result: Store visit rate increased by 122%.
Curious to know more? Use your smartphone and begin your search – and keep an eye out for the savvy brands that meet you in the moments to follow.
* Edelman client.