The power of small moments

The power of small moments

Monday, 7 january 2019 | Brenda Rodríguez López

The year has just started, so small merchants have already handed out all their free calendars, executives have changed their agendas, impulsive people have started to regret paying a gym for a semester and marketers have predicted all the trends that will triumph in 2019. Predicting the future in this volatile scenario is not easy. However, every year, thousands of experts try to foretell what will happen next year in the world of marketing: artificial intelligence, data use, social shopping, personalization, voice presence, mobile first, etc. Far from opening a debate about who has been more accurate in their predictions, our purpose is to analyze one of the trends that has been mentioned most by specialists this year: the significance of micro-moments. What do the strategies based on small moments consist of? Why is time now more important than ever?


It is not the first time that in this blog we have mentioned the growing interest in short-format content. The close relationship, almost symbiotic, between human beings and their smartphones has helped small moments become bigger and bigger. This theory is not new. Back in 2015, Google already mentioned the enormous potential of micro-moments. Nowadays, this is still a sound argument. In fact, as time goes by, more brands are betting on applying strategies based on short times. What is the reason?

Fast content, time is short

Today, there is a widespread use of mobile devices. Older people have approached this technology with shyness, but they are beginning to respond to the stimulus. Young people, who are digital natives, cannot imagine living without it. The rest of the generations cannot resist this change either. Increasingly, we spend more and more time in front of our smartphone screens. We have even invented a word to refer to that irrational fear of leaving home without them, nomophobia. A recent study carried out by Ikea, says that 65% of Spaniards would return home, if they realize that they forgot their cell phones. According to this report, which wants to offer an analysis of the behavior of people in relation to new technologies, one out of three Spaniards looks at their mobile phones more than a hundred times a day. It is clear that, for better or for worse, these devices are having a great impact on our lifestyle: personal relationships, work, access to information, purchases,...

The change of habits in relation to the use of cell phones is opening a world of possibilities in the sector. Anyway, the level of advertising exposure of users has been very high so far, and brands cannot longer attract the attention of consumers with traditional approaches. People use the mobile for longer, but also at shorter intervals, which means that awakening their interest is even more difficult. The old formulas do not work in the new times. If brands want to reach consumers, they need to use new strategies and carry them out in just a few seconds. They need to know how to take advantage of micro-moments.

One of the biggest challenges that the sector has to face is precisely getting to know how to respond to the frenetic pace and the discontinuous behavior of users. That is the reason why more and more companies are betting on concise content which is easy to digest, that is, what is called "fast content": strategies based on stories, bumpers, ephemeral content, live broadcasts, programmatic advertising and short videos.


The power of small moments

How to take advantage of micro-moments?

The  overexposure to advertisements to which we referred earlier has desensitized users. Brands need to resort to new alternatives to get their attention. Many companies have decided to combine strategies based on short times with emotions and the personalization of the message. Besides, it is not only key to have a good summarizing capacity or be concise to win over consumers at small intervals, it is also necessary to know how to approach them at the right moments. The theory of micro-moments is based on context, motivation and immediacy.

If brands do not take the context into account, when they get closer, they may be perceived as intrusive and annoying. It is about recognizing what are the time intervals in which users really need something from them. Google lists four strategic micro-moments:

  • When users want to be informed (I-want-to-know)
  • When users want to buy (I-want-to-buy)
  • When users want to go to any place (I-want-to go)
  • When users want to do something (I-want-to-do)

These are precisely the moments when users make decisions. The Californian company offers three tips to take advantage of these moments: anticipating and being prepared for them (be there), meeting the needs of consumers and help them find what they want (be useful) and offering a fast and frictionless experience (be quick).

It is essential to know what users want in order to get the best out of these small moments. Apart from developing the ability to listen, it is key for brands to be aware of how their target audience behaves. For example, if cell phones are one of their most precious possessions, it will be necessary to offer an optimized experience on these devices or brands may miss a great opportunity. Other strategies that can help boost digital marketing through micro-moments are: quick and personal response to comments on social networks, content based on the consumer's location, investment in local search formulas, help through video tutorials and research on what consumers want to know about the brand.

At The CEU IAM Business School, we provide a training that responds to the demands of this growing market. Our Master's Degree in Digital Marketing offers a current and practical approach based on a blended-learning methodology that enables professionals to apply the knowledge acquired from the first day. Ask for further information!

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