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How To Make Ads Perform In Micro Moments

Intent, impulse buys, being in the moment. Search marketers are very aware of these buzzwords, but as consumer behavior shifts, search will no longer start in an oblong box in a Chrome, Firefox or Explorer browser window from a desktop computer. We're already seeing the shift to handheld mobile devices, and soon wearable devices such as the Apple Watch, and Google's collection of Android running watches. Better yet, conductive materials women into fabric through a partnership between Google and Levi's.

These huge shifts in behavior and advancing technologies continue to fracture the consumer journey into hundreds of short decision-making moments, Matt Lawson, director or performance ads marketing at Google, recently wrote in a post.

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Micro moments -- those got-to-go or got-to-know-right now moments -- will mean more on wearable devices than on desktops and mobile, when it comes to search marketing. Smartphones allow us to act on any impulse, loyalty and need, but wareables will do much more. Research from Google suggests 62% of smartphone users are more likely to take action right away toward solving an unexpected problem or new task.

Lawson tells us that Google has seen a 20% increase in mobile's share of online sessions across the Web in the past year, as well as an 18% decrease in time spent per visit across the Web. Another insight is that as mobile accounts for more sessions, sessions get shorter, but there are many more things happening in these sessions, per Lawson. In the past year, mobile conversion rates rose 29%.

Do you remember when marketers were concerned about interrupting consumers? Now 60% of smartphone users report having stopped in the middle of a conversation to look up something they just heard, and about the same percentage say they now make purchase decisions more quickly because of online research versus a few years ago, per Google.

Marketers have not seen mobile media's full potential for search engine marketing in terms of capitalizing on "in the moment" or real-time campaigns, and they will not for another few years. Marketers first need to overcome a reluctance to use location-based ad targeting. Second, the execution behind some of the search campaigns needs to mature with the technologies, which in some cases also need to advance.

Google also released guidelines to help marketers be in the moment for consumers.

1)     Make a moment map by identifying a set of moments in the consumer journey and mapping those moments to when you think people want to find inspiration, learn about your products, make a quick purchase, or anything in between.

2)     Understand customer needs in the moment by putting yourself in their shoes and asking what would make this easier or faster, or what content or features would be most helpful for this moment.

3)     Use content to deliver the perfect experience by leveraging contextual signals like location and time of day to deliver experiences and messages that feel tailor-made for the moment.

4)     Optimize across the customer journey as consumers move seamlessly across screens and channels.

5)     Measure every moment as to not under-serve customers while dealing with measurement gaps. Return on investment for certain moments may not yet be measurable, but train the team to use credible estimates to ensure nothing’s falling through the cracks.

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