What The Heck Are Micro-Moments?

Mind and MetricsBrand Experiences, Client Engagement, Customer Acquisition, Inbound Marketing, Lead Generation, Mobile Marketing, Online marketing

People waiting at the East River Ferry

Everybody seems to be talking about Micro-Moments. What the heck are they? And why are they so important to advertisers all of a sudden?  To understand why advertisers are scrambling to get ahead, (and what some have already described as a ‘band-wagon’), we need to take a quick look at advertising history.

Advertising has changed a lot in the last hundred years and exponentially so in the last ten years. Radio was well established when television made its debut in the 1940s. TV commercials gradually became the advertising channel of choice over radio commercials and by 1948 television’s spreading popularity merited the formation of the American Association of Advertising Agencies to regulate commercials. Television was so popular during that era that even the movie studios feared that television would dominate all other media! In the early days of TV ads, “the jingle” and sound effects were believed to play a major role in the effectiveness of an ad.

Before the advent of the videotape, most television commercials were broadcasted live. However, with advancing technology, commercials would be produced either on film or on tape. The programming was intended to capture the attention of the audience, keeping viewers glued to the television set After World War II, the pace of life quickened and this was reflected in the TV commercials. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the average length of a television commercial was one minute. As the years passed, they became 30 seconds long, and today a majority of commercials run in 15-second increments (often known as “hooks”).

Television had a long history of being the quickest way to get your message across to the largest possible audience. Whether airing ads during the Super Bowl or before the night’s Evening News, advertisers realized that they could ‘probably’ reach their largest target audience in these highly watched television moments. It was in these moments that brands could win over the hearts of the viewer and ads could make big impacts for their brand.

Then the internet came along and advertising changed once again. Advertisers could now track exactly how many people saw their ads, how many people clicked and landed on their website, how many people interacted with their content and with the onset of remarketing, advertiser could get more granular in both ad spend and ad content, spending just the right amount of money with the right messaging to get their biggest returns on ad spend yet.  The Super Bowl is still a big draw, but unlike before, the internet has allowed marketers to harvest large amounts of data that can prove the effectiveness of their ads.  It’s for this reason that advertisers frequently attach an online marketing campaign to their Super Bowl advertising efforts.

When mobile searches surpassed desktop searches in 2014, it signaled a new shift in advertising.
Mobile has forever changed the way we live, we consult our phones on impulse at any time. We take immediate action whenever we want to learn, find, do or buy something. Just like advertisers have outgrown the habit of trying to reach the masses through the radio, advertisers have outgrown trying to reach  the masses through the stationary desktop computer.

Consumer behavior and expectations have been forever changed and therefore, advertising is experiencing a huge shift again. With powerful phones in our pockets, we do more than just check the time, text a spouse, or catch up with friends. We turn to our phones with intent and expect brands to deliver immediate answers. It’s in these I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, I-want-to-buy moments that decisions are made and preferences are shaped.

Google has called these moments, micro-moments and for marketers, these moments are an open invitation to engage and the new emerging battleground for brands.

Advertisers have always obsessed over “being there” for their consumers. Whether it was share on the radio, share at the store shelf or share of a brand  voice on TV, these metrics  have traditionally been used to judge how present a brand actually is.

Ultimately, showing up gets your brand in the game to be chosen, not just seen.

Is your brand showing up at the right time, with the right message in these new mobile moments?

Are you ready for micro-moments?

If not, we can help!