Five ways marketers can win in mobile-first micro-moments

Everyone wants to achieve mobile success, but how do you go about it? Contributor Brian Solis shares analysis of Google's advice on how marketers can take advantage of micro-moments.

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Mobile has changed the game, and marketers have to change with it. Consumers aren’t just mobile-first, they’re pushing to become mobile-only. And as they do, their expectations, behaviors and preferences change. But that’s not all. How they find information and make decisions hacks traditional customer journeys and sets the stage for innovation in marketing that will shift engagement from selling to telling.

Marketers get that mobile is important. But it’s still largely an additive strategy that’s part of an overall digital initiative. Mobile apps, responsive sites and mobile ads are all bringing brands to the smaller screen.

But to mobile users, it’s all about the lifestyle, not the device. They’re learning how to get around existing customer journeys to find and get what they want. And now, the combination of smartphone and tablet traffic exceeds desktop for many brands. This has opened small windows of consumer engagement that Google calls micro-moments. These moments are driven by intent and happen when someone reaches for their smartphone to know, go, do and buy.

Micro-moments create countless opportunities for marketers. But what are these moments, and how do marketers better engage consumers when people turn to mobile?

To help, Google put together a list of five ways to learn from micro-moments. Following, my recap and analysis of the search giant’s suggestions:

1. Find the top mobile-centric searches

Look at consumer demand by search topic and device type. Then, examine mobile-centric searches for your brand or category. These searches reveal powerful consumer insights about what your audience wants when smartphones are their device of choice.

2. Learn more about your customers’ most common questions

Find out what’s most important to customers by learning what they ask of your brand (or your competitors). What are the most popular or common questions?

People don’t just search using keywords — they ask questions as if that search bar was a human being. Talk to your agency or SEO team to get help figuring out what people are asking when it comes to your product, brand or industry. Many customers ask questions that begin with  “what,” “when” and “how” (in fact, one of the fastest-growing question types starts with “how to”).

By understanding the questions people are asking, you can learn how to create content that can serve as useful answers.

3. Reframe consumer surveys

Sometimes you just have to ask consumers what they’re doing and why. Online surveys still work, and with the right questions, you can uncover useful micro-moment insights.

4. Go through the customer journey with your entire team

Consumers demand a fast and seamless experience as they move between devices and channels. As they jump from micro-moment to micro-moment, they expect everything to connect and be efficient.

If only part of the journey is optimized for micro-moments, you risk losing customers along the way. You have to meet customer expectations based on their behaviors and needs, not just based upon a touch point you’re pushing on them.

You have to get everyone involved in the end-to-end journey to work together. If you don’t, customers have a broken or outdated experience. Start by figuring out where to be and how to be useful in everyday moments.

Collectively, examine existing customer journey data from campaigns, journey maps and research studies. Role play examples of the four types of micro-moments: I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments. Your job is to design meaningful, productive and delightful mobile-first experiences within each of these scenarios.

Additionally, find where you’re missing opportunities for engagement, and prioritize those efforts to increase conversions. Then, find additional, value-added ways to increase engagement based on mobile customer behavior and expectations.

5. Experiment with customer interviews

Like with surveys, you can benefit by having real conversations with consumers to see how and why mobile is used in real-world scenarios, like retail, hospitality, entertainment or automotive.

Talk to people — ideally when they’re naturally using their smartphones — to learn what they were seeking in those moments, how satisfied they were with the results they received and what happened next.

As consumerism shifts to mobile, you must understand intent signals for micro-moments across the journey. It helps to also look at what similar companies are doing and analyze how existing content is performing. (Ask your agency to help or, if you’re in an agency, offer this service to brands.)

The goal is to build, moment by moment, an effective and agile mobile traffic and engagement framework to optimize your customer’s journey, both now and as times and behavior change.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Brian Solis
Brian Solis is Global Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce. He’s also a world-renowned digital anthropologist, keynote speaker, and 8x best-selling author. For over 20 years, Brian has studied Digital Darwinism to understand the impact of disruption on businesses, markets, and society. In his work, he humanizes emerging and disruptive trends to help leaders see new and more meaningful possibilities for digital transformation and innovation. Brian’s research explores experience design (CX, UX, BX), AI and the cognitive enterprise, and human behavior.

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