When it comes to mobile research, no decision is too small. Micro-moments are now the very foundation for modern consumer engagement.
In today’s mobile-first era, consumers are increasingly becoming pocket detectives, using their mobile devices to research products and seek advice in real time.
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These critical “micro-moments” are fundamentally changing the entire dynamic of decision-making. Consumers aren’t just searching for products; they’re seeking “the best” solution. As they face an overwhelming array of brands and choices, they’re expecting brands to offer useful and quick information to guide them. This is setting the stage for a new genre of “adviser brands” that proactively engage mobile-first, investigative shoppers with helpful advice.
This is great news for marketers. Whether consumers are searching for their next washer and dryer, or toothbrush or anything in between, all brands and marketers are faced with new opportunities to influence customers in each moment—or risk falling out from consideration altogether.
Advancing mobile behavior necessitates new marketing approaches for engagement. Up until now, marketers have emphasized the creation of promotional or instructional content and supported it with media buys, SEM/SEO, and frequency.
But that’s no longer enough. Mobile has changed everything. Marketers must now study how people search in micro-moments, understand the context of each search, and design for their intended next steps and outcomes.
So what are consumers doing differently?
With advice at their fingertips, consumers are more committed than ever to seeking out “the best.” In its research into how micro-moments are evolving, Google found that mobile searches that include “best” have grown over 80 percent in the past two years.
Additionally, Google learned that searches for “best” are growing faster among traditionally “low consideration” products over those that are generally “high consideration.” This is interesting because, traditionally, consumers invested greater time and resources on higher-ticket items. Now, because of the instantaneity and ubiquity of mobile access, consumers are researching, well, everything.
As an example, mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100 percent over the past two years. Toothbrushes! Other high-growth categories with growing “best” searches on mobile include umbrellas (over 140 percent in two years) and shower curtains (over 120 percent growth).
The ultimate moment of truth
As mobile consumers identify options, there’s still nothing like human experiences and advice to help take the next step. More and more mobile users are narrowing and validating their choices with the help of peer- and expert-driven advice and reviews. While this isn’t new, searching for reviews and advice, especially via mobile devices, is growing fast.
Indeed, Google saw that mobile searches for “product reviews” have grown over 35 percent in the past two years. Furthermore, mobile consumers are progressively flocking to video reviews. For example, videos with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years’ worth of watch time on mobile alone, Google found. In the past two years, over 150 million hours of review videos have been watched on YouTube on mobile.
The questions for you to consider are:
- What do consumers find?
- Is your brand part of the results?
- Who is guiding their next steps?
Calling all adviser brands
Micro-moments are no longer just the hot new thing. They’re now the very foundation for modern consumer engagement. Consumers are not only mobile-first. They’re increasingly relying on their mobile devices to guide them through every decision of the journey — @regardless of purchase size. Moreover, they’re looking for the “best” and most personalized options, then relying on reviews and others’ advice, especially via video, to take their next steps.
This is a time for adviser brands to step up, meet their customers in their micro-moments, and help guide them on their journeys.
1. Observe, listen, and learn: Explore search data for your own category and understand what people want to know. What are the questions they’re asking and where? Use first-party data to examine how your customers shop and how you fit into their decision-making process.
2. Be present, quick, and useful: Create and position relevant information, reviews, and advice in desired formats. The goal is to answer their questions and move them along in ways that cater to their context, preferences, and intentions.
In micro-moments, utility is the new viral. Adviser brands that understand mobile customers and their real-time needs will attract more than attention. They’ll earn reciprocity, and, these days, that’s priceless.
This post is part of our contributor series. The views expressed are the author's own and not necessarily shared by TNW.