Micro-Moment Marketing: Google knows it, Anheuser Busch & Subaru have already done it

This morning, surrounded by the smells of bacon and coffee, I sat and listened to an Agency Development Manager from Google talk about the future, i.e. mobile. But it wasn\’t the mobile aspect that struck a chord with me. It was the concept of \”micro-moment marketing.\”

Watch the video from Google on YouTube!

Marketing has always been, and always will be, about reaching and connecting with the customer as he or she ventures along their consumer journey. Awareness. Knowledge. Consideration. Selection. Satisfaction. However you define your consumer\’s purchase cycle, one thing remains absolute – we are trying to catch a customer with a specific goal in mind.

 What is Micro-Moment Marketing?

Micro-moment marketing breaks this cycle down and accounts for the new buying psychology of today. In short, micro-moment marketing is changing digital marketingToday\’s customers want immediacy and accuracy, regardless of where they are located or what they are looking for. We aren\’t just online anymore. We are living online. Micro-moment marketing moves away from the overly generic categories of Consideration, Selection, Satisfaction and pushes us to look closer…to look at the WHY.

Why are consumers looking for your product?

Why did they feel the need to search for wedding rings and engagement gifts at 9 p.m. while at DFW Airport?

The answer? Something sparked a moment, an idea, a thought. And the spark built into a desire or need, which because the new buying atmosphere is all about. Immediacy, prompts the consumer to whip out their smartphone, open Safari (or yell at Siri) and search for that random item the moment sparked.

Example 1: I\’m sitting in DFW airport at about 8:50 p.m. killing time on Facebook as I wait for yet another delayed plane back to Minneapolis. While scrolling, I come across a friend\’s sudden engagement and stop. Shock. Surprise. Slight jealousy.  And then,  oh I should probably get her something.  Boom! Facebook app is closed, Safari is opened. Google is located and in the search box goes the ultimate wedding keyword \”engagement gifts.\” Now, I will spend time perusing wedding gifts, though not too long because I probably already have something in mind based on the closeness of the friendship and the amount of money in my bank account. In short though, the spark (the Facebook engagement post) inspired a moment (friend gets engaged) with emotions (shock, jealousy, happiness, compulsion to celebrate) that influenced me to SEARCH, SEEK and even potentially (though highly unlikely) BUY something.

Whatever gift I decide I like best, whether I buy it or not, that company has reached me not because they were targeting consumers in the consideration phase, but because they connected with my \”micro-moment.\”

Micro-moment marketing plays off consumers thoughts, emotions and impulsivity. It connects with their need for immediacy and relevancy, and it thrives off the day-to-day randomness of desires and needs. For example, think about all the emotions and feelings you experience in a given day, the thoughts they inspire and then where you go first to satisfy them.

  1. Hungry: Search for restaurants on Google, use GrubHub app for delivery or Jimmy Johns if you\’re just really craving that sandwich.


  1. Bored: If it\’s the end of the day and you\’re looking for something to do, you once again end up on your phone, perhaps looking for a bar to drink at, movie theater times and tickets on Fandango or even sporting tickets.



Micro-moment marketing is driven not by the consumer\’s buying stage but by a consumer\’s immediate needs and wants. So if this new buyer philosophy is defined by NOW not THEN, how do you plan for it?


Using Micro-Moments in Marketing: AB/Inbev & Subaru

Fortunately, there are micro-moments that each group of consumers go through relevant to a given product or service. It is your job as marketers to define what these micro-moments are and then determine how best to satisfy them, especially on mobile. Why? Because 90% of consumers start their buying process online before converting to another device.

One company has already been doing micro-moment marketing, whether intentional or not. In fact, they\’ve been doing it for a long time. Anheuser-Busch/ InBev is well known for its iconic puppy Super Bowl ads and it\’s \”Whatever, USA\” ads.

But what you may or may not have missed while distracted by the puppy\’s fluffy cuteness and the carefree appeal of \”Whatever, USA\” is that the campaigns are actually built upon common micro-moments beer drinkers may go through.

Example 1: Budweiser Puppy Ads

Over the last few years, AB has played to our love for furry, cute creatures with tiny labrador puppies. Those ads have also embodied the following micro-moments for beer drinkers:

Example 2: Whatever, USA

While the puppies tugged our heartstrings, the concept of \”Up For Whatever!\” tugs at the other micro-moments beer drinkers have: Fun, Partying, Chaotic Randomness and Enjoying the Moment! In short, \”Whatever, USA\” is like college spring break on steroids and with no end in sight.

Finally, the newcomer to using micro-moment marketing, is Subaru. It\’s \”Dog Tested\” campaign uses micro-moment marketing to appeal to families.  The ads use various moments families feel (road trips, noisy kids, driving in the neighborhood, dad distracted and then punished by wife) and exhibit the same emotions humans we want to associate with those moments (safety, love, closeness, adventure, memories and laughter), thus creating a desire for us to want a Subaru. Why? Because if a Golden Retriever can make us feel that way then we want to drive that car!

Micro-moment marketing is the future, and it\’s here today. It\’s time to adapt marketers.

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