Skip to Content

Mobile has created more ways than ever for marketers to connect with consumers. But it can be a challenge to figure out which micro-moments are the best opportunities for your brand. Matt Lawson, Google's director of ads marketing, shares some ways to identify moments that matter.

While micro-moments create countless opportunities to meaningfully connect with people, many marketers have one simple question: Which moments are worth going after?

Identifying the critical micro-moments for your brand is an art and a science. It means figuring out why people turn to mobile and when your brand can be most helpful. There are a range of mobile marketing strategies—both quantitative and qualitative—that can help you focus on the most important moments. Here are five mobile marketing tips to micro-moments your brand can win:

5 Critical Micro Moments

#1. Find the top mobile-centric searches

You can start by asking your agency to look into the mobile-centric searches for your brand or category. These searches—which happen at least 75% of the time on a mobile device—can reveal powerful consumer insights about what your audience wants when they're using smartphones.

If you have a physical business, "near me" moments—when people are looking for a nearby business or product—are likely among your top mobile-centric searches. But you might find some unexpected ones, too. For example in the auto category, many of the most popular mobile-centric searches are related to the price of luxury cars (like "Audi R8 cost").1 Based on that insight, car brands could create mobile content that inspires people with big aspirations and big purchase intent.

#2. Analyze the most popular questions asked of your brand

Another clue to finding out what people want in the moment: Look at their questions. Ask your Google team or agency to find out the most common queries—beginning with words like "what," "when," and "how"—for your brand or category. Each of these queries is an opportunity for you to be there with useful answers.

You can also look at whether these queries vary by device. For example, say "how to apply mascara" is a top beauty search that also indexes particularly well on mobile. This might lead an eye makeup brand marketer to invest in mobile video content and advertising so their brand can be helpful in those particular "how-to" moments.

#3. Reframe consumer surveys

Surveying consumers is a tried-and-true technique that can generate useful micro-moment insights. And, with tools like Google Consumer Surveys, you can see responses to online and mobile surveys immediately. Instead of asking classic questions about brand perceptions and product features, zero in on when, why, and where your customers turn to mobile for help and answers in the moment.

The results of a hair care survey, for example, might reveal that a large percentage of women turn to their phones for how-tos while doing their hair at least once a week. If you're a hair care marketer, this would be a clear indication that there's value in creating mobile videos with styling tips.

#4. Get customer journey insights from your entire team

Consumers want a seamless experience as they move between devices and channels. To make sure your brand delivers on those expectations, encourage all members of your team to work together to think about how to be there and be useful in very specific, everyday moments.

Establish a series of guided brainstorms with team members from a range of disciplines—from in-store merchandising to customer service to e-commerce—to kickstart this moments-based thinking. Immerse yourselves in what you already know about the customer journey with data from existing campaigns, journey maps, and research studies. Then move on to what you hypothesize about the specific moments when consumers turn to their devices, especially mobile. It may be helpful to start with the four primary types of micro-moments—I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do, and I-want-to-buy—and brainstorm the more nuanced consumer scenarios that fall within those categories. After you generate these ideas, ask yourselves: Is this a moment we should be winning?

#5. Experiment with in-store interviews

If your brand has retail locations, you've likely seen people using their mobile phones in store aisles. Talk to these consumers to find out what they were seeking in those moments, and how satisfied they were with the results.

The beauty retail brand Sephora uncovered actionable insights through consumer conversations. Managers noticed that more and more shoppers were searching on their phones while in stores. At first this seemed like a threat; they assumed these consumers were comparing prices. But, shoppers said they were looking for product reviews or trying to remember which lipstick shade they bought last time. Eureka! As a result of the insight, Sephora created new app functions to make sure it was useful for consumers in these moments.

For more insights and ideas for your mobile marketing strategy and how to be there and be useful to consumers in their micro-moments, check out "Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile."