Introduction

68% of Users Say They Check Their Phones Within 15 Min. of Waking Up
87% of Millennials Have Their Smartphone At Their Side Day and Night

Our Life with Mobile

That device in your pocket or sitting next to you on the desk: how would you describe its role in your life?

“I pretty much call my phone my lifeline. I use it all day, every day. If I ever leave home without it, I feel naked.” —Mary Kathryn L., 47

When we asked people this question recently, they used phrases like “attached to my hip,” “butler,” and “lifeline.” Let’s face it: those are not things we say about our toasters.

Over two-thirds of smartphone users 68% say they check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning. 30% are willing to admin that they actually get “anxious when they don’t have their phone on them.

Millennials? They’re really attached. 87% always have their smartphone at their side, day, and night. That little device by our sides is transforming our lives, whether we actively notice it or not. It’s enabling new ways of doing and learning things. It’s helping us discover new ideas and new businesses. It’s helping us manage our to-dos, tackle our problems, and inspire our plans.

Mobile search behavior is a good reflection of our growing reliance: in many countries, including the U.S., more searches take place on mobile devices than on computers. 4 Mobile is quickly becoming our go-to.

When we want or need something, we tune in via convenient, self-initiated bursts of digital activity. Take the oft-quoted stat that we check our phone 150 times a day. Pair it with another that says we spend 177 minutes on our phones per day, and you get a pretty fascinating reality: mobile sessions that average a mere 1 minute and 10 seconds long, dozens and dozens of times per day. It’s like we’re speed dating with our phones.

Behind these mobile bursts are countless interactions, like texting a spouse with a carpool update, dropping a quick work email while waiting in the ATM line, or posting a Bermuda vacation photo to make friends jealous. These types of moments are a common part of life, but they’re not moments when we’re necessarily looking to engage with brands. And if a brand tries to butt in with a distracting or irrelevant message? Swipe.

But in other moments, we’re very open to the influence of brands. These are the moments when we want help informing our choices or making decisions. For marketers, these moments are an open invitation to engage. And they’re the moments you have to be ready for.

At Google, we call these micro-moments. They’re the moments when we turn to a device—often a smartphone—to take action on whatever we need or want right now. These I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, and I-want-to-do moments are loaded with intent, context, and immediacy. Consider that, 82% of smartphone users say they consult their phones on purchases they’re about to make in a store. 91% of them turn to their phones for ideas in the middle of a task.

These micro-moments are critical touchpoints within today’s consumer journey, and when added together, they ultimately determine how that journey ends. That consumer journey looks a lot different than it did when your predecessor sat at your desk. And it’s not just a story of more mobile usage. Since we can take action on any need or curiosity at any time, the consumer decision journey has been fractured into hundreds of tiny decision-making moments at every stage of the “funnel”—from inspiring vacation plans to buying a new blender to learning how to install that new shelf. In the past year alone, websites in the United States have seen 20% increase in mobiles share of online sessions, 18% decrease in time spent per visit.

An increase in mobile sessions and a decrease in time spent might lead you to conclude that consumers aren’t fnding what they want on mobile. But actually, mobile conversion rates have shot up by 29% in the last year alone. 9 Think about it. We don’t just rely on long sit-down sessions at our keyboards to make purchases anymore. We reach for our devices and make informed decisions faster than ever before. 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. Consider what’s going on with retail stores today. Foot traffc has declined, yet consumers are spending more when they do visit—because they’ve done their research and made decisions before ever walking in. A similar thing is happening when consumers visit websites using a desktop or laptop. They typically spend less time per visit but convert more often. In many ways, micromoments have become the footsteps that lead people to your store or desktop site. So how do you win micro-moments?

The Moments That Really Matter: Micro-Moments

Succeeding in a Micro-Moment World

Be There – You’ve got to anticipate the micro-moments for users in your industry and then commit to being there to help when those moments occur.
Be Useful – You’ve got to be relevant to consumers’ needs in the moment and connect people to the answers they’re looking for
Be Quick – They’re called micro-moments for a reason. Mobile users want to know, go, and buy swiftly. Your mobile experience has to be fast and frictionless.

Today, you have to earn the customer’s consideration and action, moment after moment. Why? Because people are more loyal to their need in the moment than to any particular brand. Case in point: 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information.

That makes micro-moments the new battleground for brands. Here are three essential strategies that can help you win micro-moments:

Be There. You’ve got to anticipate the micro-moments for users in your industry, and then commit to being there to help when those moments occur.

Be Useful. You’ve got to be relevant to consumers’ needs in the moment and connect people to the answers they’re looking for.

Be Quick. They’re called micro-moments for a reason. Mobile users want to know, go, and buy swiftly. Your mobile experience has to be fast and frictionless.

The stakes have never been higher. Recent research that Google commissioned with Forrester Consulting found that companies that take steps toward becoming moments-ready reap higher ROIs in both mobile and overall marketing investment. The promise of that upside is driving change: they found that mobile has urged 70% of companies to begin transforming their businesses and experiences.11 To get started building your own micro-moment strategy, this executive guide offers what you need to know to be there, be useful, and be quick—and then to rethink your measurement and organizational strategies to know how to connect the dots.

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