According to eMarketer, global mobile ad spend is expected to double from $100 billion in 2016 to nearly $200 billion in 2019 — accounting for over 70 percent of digital ad spend worldwide.
This explosion in mobile ad spend mirrors the rapid growth of mobile, which has changed the game for advertisers and consumers alike. Mobile is now not just about the device; it’s a lifestyle. People are mobile, not just their devices.
Customers are making decisions based on mobile content that serves the right purpose at the right moment. Content, therefore, needs to address user intent and be accessible everywhere — across multiple device types, multiple platforms and multiple channels.
More searches now take place on mobile devices than on desktop computers worldwide. Because of this massive shift in consumer behavior, marketers have had to recalibrate their mobile strategies.
The key to mobile success lies in understanding this behavioral shift. Mobile has surpassed desktop in terms of searches performed, but it has not replaced desktop.
What are micro moments?
The proliferation of mobile devices means that consumers can now take action to address their needs immediately and on the fly. Google defines these instances as micro moments, when a consumer reflexively turns to a device (generally mobile) to fulfill an immediate need.
These micro moments are classified as one of the following:
- I-want-to-know moments
- I-want-to-go moments
- I-want-to-do moments
- I-want-to-buy moments
This concept of micro moments is a game changer for buyers and marketers.
If you’re like most brands, you probably have your marketing efforts planned out in a buyer funnel with dedicated content for the awareness, consideration, and decision stages.
But this linear funnel concept is going in the direction of the dinosaurs.
With our increasing dependence on smartphones, the consumer journey has been fractured into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments. Each one is a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.
When we act on our needs in the moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance, and usefulness of marketing more important than ever.
Since our preferences and purchases are shaped in these micro moments, the brands that do the best job of addressing customers’ needs in each moment – notably on mobile – will enjoy a huge competitive edge.
By being there at these “moments”, your brand has the chance to address consumer needs at the perfect time and help move them along their decision journey.
And though mobile is driving this change, this phenomenon has implications far beyond mobile. It affects the entire consumer journey across screens, devices, and channels.
Take consumer behavior at retail stores as an example: foot traffic has declined, yet customers are spending more when they do visit.
That’s because they’ve done their research and made decisions before ever walking in.
Same goes for consumers visiting websites on a computer. They typically spend less time per visit but convert more often. In many ways, micro-moments have become the footsteps that lead people to your store or desktop site.
Media Consumption Has Changed
With the rise of smartphones, there has been a fundamental shift in the way that people consume media. The old way of saving all your research ideas until you are at a desktop computer has been replaced by short bursts of digital activity throughout the day. In fact, according to researchers at Google over 91% of smartphone users would look up information on their smartphone in the middle of a task.
Consumer behavior has changed dramatically in the past couple of years. People now reflexively turn to their devices to obtain information. They consult their device to compare pricing when making a purchase, to decide what movie to watch or television show to binge, to communicate with friends and family, to read the news, etc.
To grab their attention, your business needs to reach them in these moments and provide them with something substantive. These quick, intent-rich moments are when decisions are made and preferences are formed.
Consumers are more receptive to marketing messages when they have a want/need and are seeking to address that need in the moment. Search marketers must consider this when designing and optimizing mobile content.
Mobile demand and customer intent
With mobile, brands must have the content in place to meet customers where they are in their online customer journey. They must be equipped to understand what prospects are doing online and what will motivate them to convert during micro-moments.
This is where marketers come in. In this mobile environment, marketers are tasked with helping brands identify customer intent using search data and addressing these micro-moments with useful content that is optimized for mobile.
Understanding search data and trends provides marketers with insights into the topics and types of content consumers are looking for. Identifying the demand for mobile content and understanding intent help marketers produce content (and formats) that resonates, engages and is mapped to conversion touch points (micro-moments) in the customer purchase funnel.
For example, at iEntrepreneur, we’ve seen brands obtain huge wins when they optimize their mobile experience with videos and imagery. There is a strong correlation between conversions and the use of video and multimedia content in certain industries, such as Media and Entertainment, Travel and Hospitality, eCommerce and eLearning.
The mobile explosion has significantly changed the way online marketers look at the customer journey. Using the micro moments framework is an excellent way to understand the online customer journey from search discovery intent through to purchase intent.
Furthermore, the introduction of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) highlights the importance of mobile content delivery and the need for marketers to ensure that content is optimized and delivered to consumers at speed as they quickly move from moment to moment.