Google recently unveiled findings regarding micro-moments. These are defined as intent-driven moments of decision-making and preference shaping that can occur during a consumer journey.
A quick and easy example: I’m thinking about going out for a nice steak. Where should I go? How can I find out where to go? For most people, the first step is going online (most likely to Google) and searching for: “best steaks in NYC.” At that very instant, there is a fantastic opportunity for a high-end steak sauce producer to make its way into my mind by helping me in some form or fashion. This can be done numerous ways: a company could create short reviews of the best steakhouses or sponsor an ad on Yelp.
Why would this micro-moment matter? Well, if I enjoy steaks, you can bet that I like to fire up the grill at home come summertime. I’ll buy the best meat, since I’m into high-end steak restaurants, but I’ll also need to accompany my food. Bing: a micro-moment created and so is the opportunity for engagement by a steak sauce producer.
Going back to Google’s report, a few key statistics are worth highlighting:
• 73% of consumers say that regularly getting useful information from an advertiser is the most important attribute when selecting a brand
• 60% of web users say that thanks to online research, they make decisions more quickly now than they did a few years ago
• 67% will switch if it takes too many steps to purchase or find information
Why are these statistics important with respect to the luxury industry? It’s simple: we used to think it was just “experience” that mattered. Namely, greeting the customer in a very elegant store setting, handing the customer a glass of wine while they shop, making sure service is courteous and attentive.
Brands assumed, rightly until the advent of mobile, that it was mainly the relationship that mattered. With the advent of real-time and continuous mobile commerce, it turns out gaining customers is much more complex than building a relationship during privileged moments like when a customer is in the store. Now that purchasing decisions and brand loyalty are built through a combination of channels and mediums, how can luxury brands incorporate the concept of micro-moments into their business models?
Cadillac is working on some interesting projects: For $1,500 a month, a client can swap out different models of high-end sedans and SUVs beginning in New York, starting next month. The service will enable clients to use their phones to order (up to 18 times a year) an on-demand delivery of a high-end vehicle to a location of their choosing. Mileage is unlimited, while taxes/insurance/ maintenance are all included and a client can cancel at any time.
Cadillac has effectively understood that it isn’t the physical piece of metal that clients get excited about, but rather the technological service, the embodiment of a frictionless, smooth execution of the project and the gratifying way in which Cadillac is meeting their desires. If one had the capacity to drive a Cadillac SUV for their family of five and the very next day needed to be in the seat of a more performance-oriented vehicle for a special event or appearance, as some might, Cadillac would be perfectly poised to enter consumer top-of-mind by placing an ad or sending a notification to a prospect. This would replace a micro-moment of unrealistic hesitation with a decisive action representing large gains for the luxury vehicle manufacturer.
Let’s not get micro-moments confused with personalization and customization. Today, with modern tools, brands can orchestrate reproducible micro-moments by understanding how products and services fit into the consumer’s lifestyle and needs, without the need to overhaul the actual product. In Cadillac’s case, the cars stay the same but a new layer of service-delivery placed on top of micro-moment marketing has enabled the company to turn a one-time purchase into a long-term, directly monetizable relationship.