Increasingly consumers want what they want right now. Google searches for “open now” have tripled in the last two years, while searches for ‘opening hours’ have actually declined.
Convenience matters. People are becoming impatient on a scale we’ve never seen before. And its creating opportunities for brands that can organise their marketing efforts to intercept these immediate needs.
Truly outstanding marketing campaigns manage to strike prospects at just the right time. Small windows of opportunity when prospective customers are particularly susceptible to persuasive messages from brands.
And it’s franchises that master these opportunities, known as ‘micro-moments’, that continually outperform the competition.
Identifying micro-moments to target
Google categorises micro-moments into four broad categories; I want to know, I want to go, I want to do and I want to buy.
The buyer behaviour behind each is critical in providing the right information. And providing the right information is critical to winning in search advertising.
From a franchise marketing perspective, this means providing helpful information and a pathway to a business opportunity.
Understanding intent and answering it appropriately
Each of the four micro-moments carries a different level of buyer intent, though all can be converted into a business opportunity. Whether you want to target all or some depends on campaign objectives and budget.
What’s important no matter which moments you target is that you are convenient and objectively useful.
“I want to know” moments:
Provide clear information in formats that aid comprehension. For example a one line answer might be the best way for a simple black and white question such as “How much does a 3yr service package cost for a BMW 3 series?”.
However, if we dig deeper into the searcher’s likely intent, we might see they are interested in purchasing a BMW 3 Series, but the servicing costs are likely holding them back.
This might be an opportune moment to put a BMW 3 Series ad in front of them, with a servicing cost assurance angle in the copy.
For more complex questions, a mobile-optimised diagram or infographic could be the best answer. For example, on a query such as “How do re-balanced superannuation funds work?” a diagram is likely to aid comprehension.
Having best answered the question, you are more likely to be rewarded by Google in their Search rankings. From there, you can offer a pathway to further discovery or ‘bridging information’ to take an enquirer from their initial query down a purchase path.
So playing the superannuation query through, having provided a great infographic, we can link to more key information the searcher is likely to need before considering switching their superannuation.
“I want to go” moments:
Convenience and location is a big part of winning the ‘I want to go’ moments. Provide location and opening hours and a carrot if people are on the fence when faced with multiple options.
Breaking down this micro-moment further, the “near me”, “close-by” & “closest” searches are on a massive rise. Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding about the things specific to where they are.
They want everything in an instant, at their own convenience. For example, a business traveller going overseas would want to visit the nearest gym to his location. This intent rich moment is incredibly valuable to advertise on, and the gym that advertises with “location extension” with bid adjustments will win!
“I want to do” moments:
These are often searches for help to complete a task when someone is stuck, but can also be someone looking to try something new.
Learning a new task used to be very time consuming. Now with our smartphones, we can easily learn how to cook, how to tie a tie, how to draw etc. These “how-to” moments should be spread across the entire customer journey, allowing a brand to devise a specific strategy around each of them.
As a simplistic example, a gym owner selling transformation programmes could look into his customer journey and identify searches like “how to lose weight” and go after these micro-moments with paid search ads.
“I want to buy” moments:
While the buyer is serious and ready to act in these moments, there may still be a role to play in advising exactly what they should buy and how they buy it.
Shopping around has become easier than ever in today’s world. With smartphones, a consumer can easily find comparison charts, reviews & any information about yours and your competitors’ products.
For example, a consumer in the market for a motorcycle often relies on reviews and motorcycle ratings to help him with the path to purchase.
This intent driven moment is where a brand should focus its marketing on if they want to beat their competition. Displaying search or display ads featuring the bike’s USPs is the best way to win in this moment!
Creating suitable customer journeys
Winning micro-moments with clever programmatic digital campaigns is a great start. But converting these opportunities into incremental revenue requires downstream customer experiences that deliver on the need for instant gratification.
Knowing someone has searched for a BMW test drive at a local dealership on a Saturday morning is one thing. Creating a search-friendly mobile landing page is another. And what about a frictionless mobile experience that lets them book a test drive in the next hour?
You can see how missing on one of these elements undermines any clever search advertising campaign.
It’s critical any downstream customer experience can deliver on their spur-of-the-moment need.
Identifying and intercepting micro-moments is an evolving digital marketing science with a lucrative payoff for those franchises willing to invest time in perfecting it.
By understanding the micro-moments that lead to purchase, including how they play out online and particularly on mobile, it’s possible to appeal to prospective customers in more compelling ways than ever before.