How brands can leverage Micro-Moments into Macro-Successes

New research done by Google and Ipsos reveals that mobile buyers journeys are key for brands to leverage success. According to Google, brands should leverage key moments when people are using their phones to search for things to know do, go or buy. The I-want-to-moments or Micro-Moments.  This article summarises the recent published report by Google on Micro Moments and gives readers actionable take aways that they can utilize to leverage Micro-Moments into Macro-Successes.

One of Google’s latest reports on Micro Moments shows interesting insights into the way people use their mobile phones. Some thought-provoking key figures:

People check their phones over 150 times a day, 177 minutes in total.

Yes, that is quite shocking, at least when you divide those two numbers:





People spent an average of 1.10 minutes per session, over 150 times a day.


Let’s make sense of these numbers.

Your customers are quite likely to resemble this pattern, which stresses the importance for your business to fully understand the search journey on mobile phones.

These numbers are important for brands to understand and use in their strategy because they tell something about how mobile phones are used in daily life. Brands that use these numbers and interpret them as an advertising window of 177 minutes are going to miss out. People use their phones to browse news items while they stand in line at an ATM or send their latest selfie to their friends while waiting for the bus to arrive. These moments are very intimate and brands that needlessly interfere will be swiped away immediately. Google argues that advertising which misses any relevancy or context are least effective. More concrete, they say that on average 70% of mobile customers are missed when marketers solely target demographics. These broad targeting options were very cool when we just discovered analytics; but they seem to have an unwanted effect on customers because they are not relevant and targeted nor contextual enough.

Brands should interfere at the moments when people are using their phones to search for information about products or places.

The I-Want-To moments, as specified by Google’s research.

Moments when people decide to turn to their phone to discover things, or the I-want-to-know moments. When they decide to go places, the I-want-to-go-moments or to shop something the I-want-to-buy moments. You could come up with some more if you reflect on your daily life. These moments are short, but intended. And customers’ expectations and positive sentiment to receive messages are higher.

These Micro Moments are small windows of opportunity for brands because people are deliberately open to search for things or places they need or want to visit. Thus, the ideal moment for brands to offer them the best experience. Micro-Moments will become the battleground where brands are going to fight their way to the consumer’s attention.


How can brands leverage Micro-Moments?

Let’s say your customer is driving in the city looking for a place to shop for a vacuum cleaner. Her search query would look something like this: She would start her inquiry with a string that would contain search terms like “which-vacuum cleaner-is-the-best”.

This will take them to e-commerce websites, review aggregators or web forums.

The next phase involves price research. Does the vacuum cleaner I need and want, match my wallet? Price, in the end, still can be a decisive factor as most marketers would agree. Therefore, being visible during this phase can be an imperative for brands that are price competitive.

Okay, so now this is where it gets interesting. Your customer has taken their own decision journey and is now ready to make the purchase. The next step is locating the store. Consumers are increasingly making their buying decision on location. “Near me” searches have doubled since last year and purchases from location searches have a conversion rate of 67%, research suggests.


Therefore, being visible on the map is crucial to catch the customer in their pre-final phase of their decision journey. As you might’ve already guessed, people tend to use Google Maps mostly for searches. That’s a fact, but don’t forget about other possible channels. Apple Maps for instance, is still the second dominant used maps app for both Apple and Android devices. But make no mistake in thinking that, that is it.

There is an whole array of digital maps, apps and local directories on which people search for your business. Examples are maps offered by TomTom and HERE, navigation applications like Navmii or Waze and directories such as Yelp.  It is vital to make sure your business is listed correctly everywhere so customers can make no mistake in finding your business.

Proximity is a critical element, since people turn to their device more and more to buy their item of choice. No one likes to drive the extra mile for a product that was offered nearby.

The last phase of the journey is when the customer makes their decision. But, there is a caveat here. Make no mistake that this the end of the funnel. In most cases, brands are also able to influence decisions during the previous phases, when they offer content that is relevant for the search behaviour during that phase. However, brands offering content in the last phase probably have a higher chance of ending up in the final decision. They key is understanding the searchers’ intent and the format the content should have. Off course, local ads can achieve a lot in this phase but also think about positive reviews or keyword optimised local landing pages. Google clearly has indicated that both video and photo are content types that can attract and convert customers that are in the mobile funnel.


For marketers that are scratching their ears after reading this article, here is a short take away:


Be There: At what moment and phases is your brand interacting or influencing the customers journey? Be there for every step of the journey and don’t miss out on being one of the brands in the consideration set. For example, it makes sense to have videos to inform customers about products or places in the early phases of their journey while written content or pricing advertisements could leverage success in a later stage.

Be Useful:
Help your customer, answer their questions and give them the content they crave to read. Be careful not to think that every piece of content you put out is necessarily relevant for your customer. The swipe is only a finger away…

Be quick These moments are not referred to as micro-moments for no reason. They are tiny, tiny windows of opportunity which you as a brand can leverage into success. It’s an approximate 100 seconds of attention that your customer spends at looking at your content. Be out there with relevancy, but be quick!

To wrap it up, I’ll give some ideas about how to be relevant at the right moment.

I want to know moments.

It’s all about being there when the searcher needs broad information. Think of push messages when your customer is visiting your webshop with helpful messages, or in app pop-ups that appear in front of the customer when they are browsing in their app. On more general terms, look to your SEO strategy again and think of long-tail keywords that require little effort to rank on and that yield a lot of traffic altogether.

For I-want-to-go-moments.

Reflect on how people would find your store if they search for your brand name of main keyword. Are you there in every stage of the process? Have you optimised your location pages with “near me” keywords? Check this article by Andrew Shotland for more information on that. Or as mentioned, think of local ads in Google Maps or local landing pages that feed SEO.

I want to do-moments.

People search endlessly on the web and youtube for thing they can do or create. Have you checked your broad search term trends in Google? Maybe your customer is looking for your product or FAQ page but they couldn’t find it. Optimise your strategy for instruction guides,  youtube videos or video ads. Did you know that 100M people have been watching instruction video’s last year? That is how-to in the broadest way. Think of webinars, explainer video’s and simple tutorials that create buzz around your product.

I-want-to-buy moments.

Have you set up your notification messages when carts are abandoned? Have you promoted discounts on your mobile website or promoted them by push messages? These moments matter, and a proper content/copy/timing should deliver proper ROI results.