The year 2016 promises to be a year of great innovation in the advertising industry driven by how customers use their mobile devices to discover, learn and share. This rapidly evolving in-the-now and on-the-go behavior gives way to what Google refers to as micro-moments , when customers increasingly rely…
The year 2016 promises to be a year of great innovation in the advertising industry driven by how customers use their mobile devices to discover, learn and share. This rapidly evolving in-the-now and on-the-go behavior gives way to what Google refers to as micro-moments, when customers increasingly rely on their mobile devices to inform and make decisions in their personal and professional lives.
At any given point in time, customers will reach for their mobile device and set out to “go, do, buy, learn, and watch” turning to the small screen based on what’s transpiring in real time in their lives (e.g. their situational need and context). Understanding their intentions, context and their expectations for immediacy and relevance, will help marketers more effectively reach their connected customers. But who are these customers and how do marketers reach them in these micro-moments of truth?
While many marketers are investing in multi-channel campaigns to reach customers on multiple fronts, mobile is still largely under appreciated. Whether you’re developing digital campaigns or buying media in relevant touch points, one area of immediate opportunity is shifting how you identify and group customers.
A More Powerful Way To Segment And Target Customers For A Mobile World
Historically, marketers have placed great emphasis on demographics and they should continue to do so. They still play a role. In a micro-moment world however, intentions and interests allow marketers to understand and reach customers in a new light. For example, Google found that marketers who try to reach their audience based solely on demographics risk missing more than 70% of potential mobile shoppers.
What’s the difference between demographics and intent?
Demographics use statistical data relating to the population and particular groups within it. Intent on the other hand focuses on the context, intentions and device in specific moments based on the customer’s desired outcome.
I remember watching an informative and entertaining presentation by Dr. Peter Gentsch, founder of the Business Intelligence Group (B.I.G.) in Berlin a few years back. While on stage, Dr. Gentsch presented the audience with two seemingly similar profiles.
They were described as follows…
Both individuals were born in the same year as the other and in the same country. They were both married for the second time with two children. These individuals were successful, wealthy, vacationed in the Alps each winter, and they also shared an affinity for dogs.
Dr. Gentsch then demonstrated an almost comical nature by revealing the identity of the two individuals. On one side we see Prince Charles. The other? Ozzy Osbourne.
While it’s a pretty funny comparison, it’s also an amusing way to see where demographics are limited.
Now, let’s say you’re watching your favorite cooking show and the celebrity chef pulls out a gourmet blender as part of a delicious gazpacho recipe. You are eager to try the recipe but don’t have a blender, so pull out your phone. There are so many choices these days! When you search, what would you actually type? It wouldn’t be, “what is the best blender for a 30-35 year-old person with a college degree and above $150,000 annual income.” Of course you wouldn’t search that way. Your intent would be much more specific. For example, you might search “Best blender for making gazpacho.”
The reality is that decisions these days are made in micro-moments based on intentions, not demographics, framed in context and played out on the small screen. Solely focusing on demographics hinders marketers from connecting with mobile customers in the moments that matter.
Gaming, for instance, tends to elicit imagery of young adults. According to Google however, when you study intent and context behind micro-moments in this space, data shows that only 31% of mobile searchers are males 18-34 years old. Research shows that solely investing in content and media buys based on these demographics means that marketers are missing 69% of mobile users who are explicitly conveying interest in buying the next big game.
Now, let’s jump from video games to baby products. It’s a given that marketers should create and buy media reaching moms 25-34 years old. With research into search intent however, Google learned that 40% of baby product purchasers live in households without children. That’s because many times, customers of baby products are family members or friends. And, search is their preferred method for finding the right products. Overly or solely relying on demographics will miss a large number of buyers.
These are just a few of a wide array of examples that span every market in every industry.
Investigating and grouping by demographics is still important. At the same time, mobile and search data expand and refine your ability to reach a critical group of would-be customers. They help you to capture those people who are raising their hands for information or products you can help with–regardless of whether they are 18 or 58, male or female, from Iowa or India.
This changes the field of play and the rules of the game. Not only can you identify groups of relevant people based on intent and context (time, place, screen, intention, state/stage, expectations, etc.) you will also be inspired to rethink the landscape for advertising and marketing, where and how you connect with customers, the content and messages you use to convey and more so, how you contribute to decision-making in each micro-moment (that matters).
Here are a few things you can do to broaden your reach and increase engagement in micro-moments…
When your customers grab their phone in their moments of need, make sure you are there.
To help understand what customers are looking for, use Google Trends to explore the search queries consumers are increasingly using.
When you know where to be, then find ways to be useful in each moment. Otherwise they will simply move on to another brand.
Consider interesting, tangible ways you can answer questions, solve problems or offer solutions based on intent, such as…
- Provide local inventory information so they can see what’s in stock nearby.
- Develop how-to videos.
- Offer the ability for consumers to seamlessly check out with an “instant buy” button.
To see more tips on being there and being useful, learn what other brands are doing in the Micro-Moments Playbook.
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