Outside Voices: Why Mobile Advertising May Be All About Micro-Targeting Moments
Our industry prides itself on attention to detail – scrutinizing even the little things that matter.
Unfortunately, we are often focused on the wrong ones: the hot new app, the empty buzzwords, the alphabet soup of advertising “solutions” that don’t really add up to much.
And, while we’re ooh’ing and aah’ing, we’re missing the details that really matter: the billions of small moments that happen every day that are revolutionizing the way consumers behave and choose and live and, with it, the way we need to reach them.
Let’s say you have guests coming over any minute and you want to whip up a quick bowl of guacamole. Do you go to a bookshelf and look for a recipe somewhere in the stacks? Do you call your mom on the phone (she makes a mean guac, I am sure!)? Or, do you pull out your phone, hit a few buttons, and quickly pull up a how-to video?
Well, assuming you do the latter, you’re far from alone. Our research has found that 91% of smartphone users would do the same thing–look up information on their smartphone while right in the middle of a task. Getting guac tips from your phone may seem like a very small moment, but add all these small moments together and you’ve got a major shift, with profound implications for people who are trying to reach that harried cook and the billions more like her.
Our research has uncovered a fundamental change in the way people consume media: the old days of predictable, periodic media sessions have been replaced by numerous short bursts of digital activity throughout the day. The old model was a four-course meal in the same restaurant. Today’s is a series of constant bite sized snacks all over town.
Some of these hundreds of moments per day are when people are checking the time, texting with a spouse, or catching up with friends on social media. Seeing your friends’ photos, or messaging your partner to pick up milk on the way home from work may be very common moments, but they may not be when consumers are actually most receptive to brands’ messages.
But then there are those moments that really matter—the I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments. They matter to consumers and they matter to brands.
These moments, or “micro-moments,” are when we act on a need—to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something. They are intent-rich moments where decisions are being made and preferences being shaped. We see them constantly, across billions of monthly searches, billions of hours of videos watched every month, billions of interactions with various sites and apps. These aren’t just people inattentively tapping things into their phone; they rather are the new battleground for hearts, minds and, with them, the dollars their attention brings along.
This is a pretty seismic change for advertisers. There are no longer just a few sporadic “a-ha!” moments of truth; now there are countless moments that matter. For example, we’ve seen that 69% of leisure travelers use their smartphones to search for travel ideas during spare moments like standing in line or waiting for the subway. Then nearly half of those travelers go and book through an entirely separate channel (like their work laptop). As a travel brand, if you don’t win that first moment, you don’t have a shot at the second.
Retail is another example where we’ve seen a massive shift in behavior thanks to mobile. One in three consumers report using a mobile phone in a store versus asking a store associate. Overall, 82% of smartphone users consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding what product to buy. One in 10 of those end up buying a different product than they planned.
In these micro-moments, consumer expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to deliver exactly what we are looking for – the moment we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away. In fact, 69% of online consumers agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influence their perception of a brand.
The successful brands of tomorrow will be those that can meet these demands. They’ll understand all of these moments and then deliver on them – in a way that speaks to people, connects with them, right where they are, right when they need it.
We’re focused on these micro-moments…and believe marketers should be as well. The more our whole industry can infuse these moments with meaning for people everywhere, turning to their various screens, the more success we can all have together.
Sridhar Ramaswamy (Google’s senior vice president of ads and commerce)
Source : The Wall Street Journal (8 avril 2015)