Michael Ash
Michael Ash 2 July 2015

Are Micro-Moments Changing The User Journey?

Google's efforts to educate and advocate the art of selling through "micro-moments" is just the tipping point.

By now you must have seen Google’s efforts to educate and advocate the art of selling through "micro-moments." Essentially, Google wants everyone to know that spontaneous moments of curiosity fuel the evolved consumer on multiple devices, anywhere on the planet.


On the surface, there is nothing surprising about searches for "near me" increasing by 34X, or how 82% of smartphone users turn to their devices for product decisions. The real shock comes from understanding the shift in the user journey. With all the advertising options and algorithm updates Google is rolling out, users are experiencing micro-moments, without having an orchestrated conversation with your website at all times. And sometimes the only way around it is by building for the next moment with valuable content, which earns the permission of the user.


The Reality
Google is holding us accountable by flipping site architecture on its head. Creating general pages, generic content or broad ads to drive purchases will have limited results (I am making mental notes myself). In May, Google held a global livestream showcasing AdWords innovations and highlighting "I want-to-know, I want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments. "New search ad formats like Automobile Ads with large carousel images will help users who spend up to 15 hours researching and comparing cars, whilst new Hotel Ads will provide immediate details and booking options to users around the world.

Google is nudging all of us to reverse-engineer human behaviour and find the value we can provide to our customers.


Alas, all is not lost, a couple of things we can do include: checking the box next to the mobile preferred ads in Google AdWords, making our landing pages more relevant to our ads, and maximizing our Google Ad extensions whenever possible.

Creating value in my opinion is also about looking at brand lags (where consumer activity outpaces brand output). Whether you’re promoting a recipe, event or a new car, you have to realise one thing: Advertisers cannot force users into buying goods and services with irrelevant content. Advertisers need to find where the conversation is happening and provide value at every turn.


It’s a lot of work, but not investing the time to understand the consumer is nothing short of broadcasting to yourself. Some of it may involve SEO, PPC, content, social outreach etc. but almost all of it involves humanity. Because let’s face it, Google is becoming more human than human, and this is not a silly bot you can try to outsmart. We are now dealing with everyone’s mini personal assistant/oracle and with that comes emotional investment. With that comes the risk of selling too aggressively on multiple devices, and having people ignore messages at the final point of purchase.


On the plus side, everyone will have to put on a customer service hat and everyone will have to understand what the connection economy is all about. Micro-Moments have been changing the user journey since Google was born. The only difference between then and now is that according to Google "more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US."


What are your thoughts on micro-moments? What can we do to make them better? Make sure to comment, like or share.

Twitter: @TheMichaelAsh

Original Article

Find out more on the future of Content Marketing at our DLUK - Trends briefing on the 24th September 2015

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