When the moment is right, it’s all up to you.

Gone are the days when consumers pondered the answers to life’s questions, conducting extensive, front-loaded research about the products that interest them.

In their place are moments of choice or discovery. When their trusted car breaks down, they need directions to the nearest coffee shop, or when they’re looking for a decent hotel nearby because they don’t want their vacation to end — a consumer is going to pull out their smartphones and search for answers.

They’re not hoping to find answers. They expect answers. They anticipate an effortless, immediate solution to their needs; sometimes, with only a website in which to base their trust.


That’s what Google is calling those touch-points that ultimately string together to determine a customer’s journey.

Acting Fast and Realizing Opportunities

Micro-moments are on the rise and can occur in a variety of contexts. They occur when a person turns to a mobile device in order to learn, buy, do, go, know —  and their decisions are influenced by what they immediately discover. Consumers’ questions can be answered almost immediately thanks to the small device that’s attached to their hand or comfortably resting in their back pocket. You’ll need to be ready for consumers in times like:

  • “I want to buy” moments
  • “I want to do” moments
  • “I want to know” moments
  • “I want to go” moments

According to research by Google, 91 percent of smartphone users will stop in the middle of a task and turn to their phone for ideas. And not because they’re distracted or uninterested, but because they can uncover another dimension of opportunity.

Texting a friend, checking social media while waiting in line at the grocery store, quickly looking for information about buying a new pair of shoes … These micro-moments spent on mobile devices have overtaken long periods of time spent online.

Last year, websites in the U.S. witnessed a 20-percent increase in mobile’s share of online sessions. Yet even with an 18-percent decrease in time spent per visit, mobile conversion rates went up 29 percent in that one year alone.

If a consumer wants to find a quick recipe for a chicken dinner, they’ll pull out a mobile device, find a satisfying answer, and act on it. It may not be a site they recognize, but the pictures seem appealing, and something about the home page feels respectable.

Google has found that people are becoming more loyal to their needs at a particular moment than to any particular brand.

While this may seem like bad news to marketers who are trying to establish brand loyalty, it’s an open door to those who have mastered other techniques.

Thinking in the Moment

Now that you know consumers aren’t as brand-loyal on mobile devices, you can tailor your marketing efforts to better meet those customers in the places and times they expect to find you.

First of all, you’ve got to consider your consumers’ intentions, and not just their demographic makeup.

When someone’s toaster breaks, they’re not going to pull out a mobile device and search: “Best toaster for a 25-year-old male with a $55,000 yearly income.”

They’re likely going to search: “Best toaster.”

It’s simple, really. If you’re solely focusing on demographics, it will impede your ability to connect with a mobile customer in those moments that matter. Additionally, the people who will be using the products and services you offer might not even be the ones purchasing them, if the product is received as a gift.

One hotel company conquered all three of these steps when it determined that flight cancellations were stranding passengers at an airport. Its marketing team began tracking cancelled flights and used targeted ads to reach those who needed a place to stay.

According to Google, 65 percent of smartphone users said when they conducted a search on their phone, they looked for the most relevant information, regardless of the company providing the information. That means you have to be at the top of your game when it comes to keeping consumers on your page. If you’re not present and not as quick, your competitor can easily take hold.