Windows of Want

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I recently had the opportunity to attend training at the Googleplex in the heart of Silicon Valley. This modern-day Willy Wonka factory was just as amazing as I dreamed it would be and was overflowing with great content about all things digital marketing. One session in particular focused on “micro-moments” and how brands should be leveraging in their on-going marketing efforts.

So what exactly are micro-moments?

Think about a time where you’ve reflectively turned to your device, more than likely a smartphone or tablet, to find something you needed or wanted right away. Perhaps you had a long day at work and rather than cook dinner, as you originally planned, you instead would rather pick up food from a restaurant on the way home. Maybe your favorite pair of running shoes have seen better days, and you realize it’s time to buy a new pair. Perhaps you’ve had enough of the sweltering Texas heat and decide you want to travel somewhere cooler. These “I Want” moments (I want to eat, I want to buy, I want to go) are windows when consumers are open to influence by your brand. As marketers, we have to be ready for them because if we’re not, our competitors certainly are.

How to win micro-moments

To earn the trust and consideration of your customers, brands need to do three things: be there, be useful, and be quick.

Brands have to be there

Being there means more than just having an online presence. Being there means understanding your current and prospective customers and their needs. You can begin by defining who your customers are, how they are searching for you and your competitors, and what is their journey to decision/purchase. This information will ultimately help you identify customer micro-moments for your brand so you are front and center when customers are searching.

Brands have to be useful

Once discovered, brands have to act as a valuable resource for their customers. How do you do this? Start by looking at your website content. The information you’re providing should be relevant to customers’ needs at the moment. Provide customers with helpful and valuable information in snackable chunks that ultimately guide them in their consumer journey. This could be a how-to video explaining your product or service or providing local inventory information so they can see what’s in stock nearby.

Brands have to be quick

If your website doesn’t allow customers to accomplish their goals quickly, then they’ll move on to another brand that will. This is why it’s vital to optimize a website for mobile. You’ll also want to take a look at your purchase process and ensure it is simple and seamless. Today’s customers also expect brands to quickly respond to inquiries, so you’ll want to make sure you have a communication plan in place for when customers reach out to you.

The days of the linear consumer journey are long gone, and the brands that are there during customers’ micro-moments will ultimately come out ahead. While the ideal may seem daunting, you’ll find these small changes can yield greater rewards.

Daniel Ramirez is director of public relations and marketing at South Texas College in McAllen. He has more than 17 years experience in various aspects of college marketing, including integrated marketing, advertising, branding, digital strategy, publications, media relations, social media, and strategic communication.