Earlier this month, PRSA Dallas hosted Martin Waxman, APR to speak at a well-attended social media workshop. He provided strategic insight that was easy to both understand and implement, but I was particularly interested in the concept of “PR by the micro-moment.” Google describes micro-moments as “a critical opportunity for brands to shape our decisions and preferences.” Where are we turning to in these moments? Presumably, our iPhones.
During the discussion, Waxman referenced an interesting article by Scientific American on how the Internet is beginning to replace a friend or family member as a companion in sharing the daily tasks of remembering things. Because of our dependence on mobile devices, we are increasingly turning to Google or Siri to give us the answer we want NOW.
What does this mean for marketing and public relations? Everything has changed. Waxman posits brands are looking at audiences the wrong way. Throw demographics out the window and instead understand that the immediate need of a consumer supersedes any brand loyalty.
Remember Google’s mobilegeddon? Website rankings are now penalized if not optimized for mobile. They did that for the convenience of their consumers, who could be your consumers too. Lisa Gevelber, vice president of marketing at Google, writes “When someone has a want or need, they turn to their smartphone for help—whether it's a karate newbie watching an expert do a move on YouTube or a mom looking for the best deal on a pair of sneakers. When a need arises, people turn to search and YouTube to look for answers, discover new things, and make decisions.”
Life imitating art yet? Here’s the takeaway:
First, you need to be there when the customers arrive in these micro-moments. This means creating a web presence that straddles search engines, social media networks and wherever else your audience may be lurking. Brand strategy also needs to incorporate more than just mere presence to win over a potential customer. The content available needs to be useful to the consumer. The information needs to be offered clearly and in an easily digestible way. Think DIY videos or short, practical case studies—whatever best meets their need. Finally, the strategy needs to incorporate a real-time component. How many times have you closed an Internet tab or exited an app because the load time took too long? Work to create a desire path making the user experience seamless and quick.
Micro-moments are completely changing the game and the opportunity is palpable. Whether you’re working with a corner store or Coca-Cola, shifting your focus to enhancing the consumer journey through these micro-moments will surely elevate your marketing success.