Google Micro Moments SiteThanks to always-on mobile phones, we have distracted driving, distracted dining, distracted pushing the kids on the swing and now, says Google, distracted shopping. It’s an opportunity for local business, and a challenge.

In a new micro-site, Google makes the case that mobile has “fractured the consumer journey into hundreds of real-time, intent-driven micro-moments.”

For instance, Google presents the video story of Giana, who goes looking for a cold-sore cream, and has to decide in the drugstore aisle whether to pay $5 for a big tube or $20 for a small tube. A Google search tells her right away that the $20 tube works better.

And Erica, researching buying a new house in micro-moments. “Having those little moments where I can pick it up and search for it while I’m in line at the grocery store for me personally makes a big difference,” she says in a video interview.

And Cathy, who breaks her coffee milk frother and immediately voice-searches: “OK, Google, Bodum milk frother!” She explains that “I’m someone who has a huge to-do list and anytime I can check the box, it’s like ‘yeah, I got something done.’”

Now, this being Google’s show, none of the Real People in the videos ask the pharmacist for advice on cold sore lotion, return to the store where the last Bodum was bought or, heaven forbid, ask their Facebook friends for a recommendation.

And yet, it has the ring-tone of truth, from the consumer behavior we see around us.

Google concludes that

  • “Smartphones allow us to act on any impulse at any time. We take immediate action whenever we want to learn, find, do or buy something.
  • “When we act on our needs in-the-moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance, and usefulness of marketing more important than ever.
  • “Our preferences and purchases are shaped in these micro-moments. Ultimately, the brands that do the best job of addressing our needs in each moment will win.”

Clearly, there’s an opportunity for local businesses with consumers who want immediate action. What are the practical implications for local business marketing? Google’s advice is to “make a moments map” of your customer’s journey and make sure you get them the information or support they need at these key moments. It’s also a fresh reason to stay on top of all your mobile marketing, such as “nearby businesses” ads and local product inventory listings.

Learn more: 

Customer Journey Mapping for a Small Business

Customer Experience Maps on Pinterest

Customer Segmentation for Small Business

Touchpoints and Moments of Truth: Where Customer Loyalty Begins (or Ends)

Image: Giana from the Google Micro-Moments micro-site