Mobile devices are windows through which retailers can engage consumers in new, exciting ways. But these windows are getting smaller and smaller: Instead of long active sessions, smartphones are becoming platforms for short bursts of activity that can occur randomly throughout the day.
Whether in a check-out line, on a train going home, or on a walk around the neighborhood, consumers are using these small sessions to drive major decisions, including product purchases. There’s a name for these sessions—mobile micro-moments—and they can no longer be ignored by B2B mobile marketing experts.
There’s the obvious challenge: How do you target and reach a relative audience within these brief active sessions? But that’s not the only question to wrestle with. As wearables and other technology drive further innovation in content (and therefore in content strategies), these micro-moments are subject to even greater change.
In other words, marketers have a lot of work on their plates. But they also have options—and if they execute properly, they face a mountain of opportunity.
Recognizing the Mobile Impulse
A micro-moment can happen anywhere—it’s a reflexive response to a desire or need. But increasingly, those moments are taking place on mobile. Why? Simply because, in the heat of that impulse, consumers are eager to grab for the nearest outlet that can satisfy their needs. With smartphones typically within arm’s reach at any given time, they’re almost always the fastest route to instant gratification.
Consequently, brands face the challenge of positioning themselves for these moments of interest. That’s easier said than done, though, because traditional B2B mobile marketing isn’t built for such small windows of opportunity. Google has provided educational resources to marketers trying to win the mobile battle, and these can offer some direction in customizing a mobile approach that works for micro-moments.
According to Smart Insights, the best first step is to make a “moments map”—a set of consumer moments spread across the customer’s journey, all of which the brand considers very important to success. An obvious example is a restaurant trying to reach consumers when they are hungriest: Which moments preceding consumer action are most critical to the conversion? Brands likely have several telling moments they can target, although the obvious one for a restaurant would be the initial search for nearby restaurants.
From there, each point on the moments map should be viewed in terms of how to drive action in the quickest, simplest way possible. This also requires making an immediate impression on consumers, and capturing their interest within a span of seconds. That imperative shows why content design cannot be underestimated.
Building Content with Instant Appeal
There’s no long-term game with mobile micro-moments. For brands to succeed, they must deliver content that makes an instant splash. As noted by Search Engine Land, ads and other marketing content need to offer immediate value and be quickly understood. Visual imagery, along with videos, have proven very effective at this.
According to Search Engine Land, there is “a strong correlation between conversions and the use of video and multimedia content in certain industries.” Content needs to be eye-catching and respond to basic impulses.
Where search marketing is concerned, quickly addressing a customer’s primary pain points will prove crucial to success. In addition to content with eye appeal, mobile strategies including click-to-call buttons, one-click functionality, streamlined registration, and GPS-enabled driving directions can facilitate action from consumers.
Speed is key: Think With Google found that 60 percent of smartphone users will immediately move to another mobile destination if the content they’re viewing doesn’t satisfy their needs or address them quickly. It’s not enough to address their pain points—online brands now have to do this faster than ever.
Forecasting the Impact of Wearables
Mobile micro-moments are already becoming a force for marketing, and that trend will only continue upward as wearables enter the mainstream. Industry experts believe moment-based marketing will become far more powerful through wearables, which further facilitate immediate access to the internet and expand consumers’ options for conducting searches.
According to Forrester, brands building out micro-moment strategies for smartphones today will be laying the groundwork for similar strategies on the wearables front—which will inevitably became a key point of emphasis for those companies. In addition, Ad Age argued that brands should focus on their moments strategy rather than building out a wearables strategy, since micro-moment marketing will be easily applied to wearables.
Smart watches are a great example of how wearables could influence this trend. The Apple Watch, as Ad Age points out, is already a product built for both fashion and functionality. That makes it a great destination for innovative, engaging content designs. And the additional behavioral data drawn from wearables, virtual reality, and other engaging IoT technologies will make it even easier for brands to anticipate these moments and position their content accordingly.
Meanwhile, the accessibility of the Apple Watch’s touch screen is even greater than what a smartphone can offer. As smart watches and other wearables bring new digital touchpoints within arm’s reach, they’re only going to accelerate the consideration and decision-making cycles that consumers have already fast-tracked.
You thought today’s consumer was short on patience? Just wait until technology and marketers get the hang of giving them exactly what they want, exactly when they want it.
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