Two cents blog

Hell yeah, here comes part 2

by Steve Mair on 10 February 2016

OK folks, let’s get straight to it. Part two of what’s coming in 2016.

Live for the (micro)moment

Mobile devices have broken the paradigm that was the consumer journey. Once upon a time, we did things in order and succinctly, one task after another until our goal was reached. Think buying a TV. You were interrupted by the TV ad, did some research on the desktop computer at your desk, went to the store, asked questions and finally bought the TV. With the rise of search and social, Google disrupted the model releasing an eBook called winning at the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).

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The book offered insights to a series of key moments consumers are exposed to during and after transactions, starting with ZMOT. The strategy focused on brands becoming more discoverable and salient during the discovery phase while guiding consumers through subsequent purchase journeys. It was groundbreaking thinking at the time.

However, as I mentioned above, mobile devices broke the paradigm. Offering consumers access to instantaneous information, completely fragmenting the consumer journey. The first thing we as consumers do, is not search for the product or service, but search for a review of the product or service. We post a question, or ask a friend for their opinion, all of which in a moment can have us reconsidering our choice, all in an instant from our phone.

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Google has named these moments, Micro-Moments:

If we think about it, when we are in the moment, whatever that moment might be, we reach for our phones, jealously skipping through a friends holiday snaps on Facebook, searching for the perfect birthday gift, shortlisting coffee machines, looking up recipes or even videos on how to build the monster of a trampoline ‘Santa’ has delivered for your ‘little angels’! I could think of a hundred more. Each of these micro-moments are all high intent and/or high engagement. It’s during these micro-moments, brands need to be relevant, consumers are in control and expect information on their terms (channel, medium and time), if you are unable to deliver that information during these moments, someone else will.

Here are three key things to consider with 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.

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The importance of these moments can’t be underestimated, in some cases, immediacy and relevance to solving a need will even trump brand preference, possibly even creating a new favourite in the process.

For more info check out the Google insights report.

Don’t make me think!

Thinking is hard. It truly is. The brain power required to properly think is astonishing. The brain tries to avoid it at all costs. Yet year-on-year, as consumers, we have to make more and more of these brain zapping decisions. Which of the 32 different shampoos do I buy at my local supermarket? What shall I watch tonight? Which pair of pants this morning? The sheer volume of choice has meant it’s becoming more difficult to make a decision. In fact, the toll on our brains has meant we actually make poorer decisions, are less satisfied with our choice and, in some cases, just completely give up! Add in price as another factor and it’s enough to make your over-worked brain explode. It’s paralysis by analysis!

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Not unlike micro-moments, reducing the decision fatigue is all about right place at the right time. Design agency Fjord has coined the term ‘Thinking list’. Essentially a list of things consumers need to do, to get through their day! The more brands can help remove items from this list, the more likely they are to find favour with consumers.

Aldi has disrupted the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths, by offering significantly fewer options, the shopping experience becomes less mentally taxing. Amazingly on average we have to make more than 200 decisions on food alone, every day. Proctor and Gamble reduced the Head & Shoulders product line from 26 to 15 and saw a 10% increase in sales. Simplifying the line meant it was much clearer to consumers which line was right for them. Amazon’s innovative dash button removes one more thing from the thinking list, by allowing for re-ordering of clothes detergent with the tap of one button next to the washing machine. The detergent is then delivered express to your door. The Cannes-winning pizza anywhere from Dominos lets you order your favourite pizza with an emoji in a text message. Fashion subscriptions offer clothing selections personalised to your taste. While a boutique chain of hotels in Antwerp, Belgium has created a Mini Fashion Bar in each room. Clothes and accessories are chosen depending on the weather and local activities. These relevant items can be selected from the ‘mini-bar’ and purchased at checkout.

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Brands that create contextual omnipresence, whether through existing channels or by creating your own, can help consumers reduce the amount of decision-making required during their day, allowing them to focus on more important things.

Steve Mair is BCM’s Digital Creative Director

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