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How to improve
your personalized
marketing strategy
with micro-moments

Author: Nick Reese

There are 86,400 seconds in a day. For today's brands, you only need to capture one or two of those to make a sale. Micro-moments are one of the most important marketing opportunities that, when incorporated into a personalized marketing strategy, can generate a split-second sale that can generate years of customer value.

What are micro-moments?

Let's begin by thinking about all the times each day where you decide to pick up your phone to do something. Far from a thoughtful, intentional act like sitting down to watch a movie or read a book, these actions are spur-of-the-moment decisions to take a quick action, such as responding to a text, looking something up or scrolling social media while waiting in line.

In marketing, micro-moments come into play when a consumer picks up their phone to take a commerce-related action, such as booking a ticket, browsing prices, ordering food or making a purchase. Marketers that can identify and respond to micro-moments the instant they occur can potentially generate revenue at that moment. Or, even better—they may be able to capture a customer that comes back again on their own to repurchase or register for a subscription that can generate long-term revenue. When Google introduced the concept of micro-moments in 2015, they identified four key moments: "I want to know," "I want to do," "I want to go," and "I want to buy."

In these moments, Google says consumer expectations are higher than ever. Consumers expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what they are looking for, when they are looking. This is where your marketing strategy can help to position you to make the most of these moments.

Micro-moments and your marketing strategy

Understanding and mapping the customer journey is crucial to delivering a personalized experience. Knowing where various micro-moments might happen along that journey gives you the opportunity to target consumers along the way.

This can even include when customers are shopping in-store, either at your location or with your competitors. Over one-third of brick-and-mortar shoppers used their smartphones in-store in 2021, up from 28% in 2020. Some of the reasons included:

  • Comparing prices (14.7% of all shoppers) and searching for offers and discounts (14.1%)
  • Finding product information (14%), reading product reviews (10%) and looking up product ratings (7.4%)
  • Locating a product in store (8.2%) and confirming it is in stock (8.1%)

How personalized marketing can drive the impact of micro-moments

In 2015, 68% of people had smartphones. Today, that number is 85%. Not only do more people have access to smartphones, but brands have more consumer data at their disposal, along with better ways of using that data to understand their customers.

By using their consumer data platforms, brands can now understand their customers as a cohort and individually at a much deeper level. This allows them to make smarter decisions about everything, including the types of content to create and how to deliver the most appropriate upsell or cross-sell offer based on their shopping patterns.

Research by Deloitte shows that customers not only expect personalized marketing—they demand it:

  • 90% say they find personalized advertising appealing
  • 80% are more likely to purchase from a company that offers personalized experiences
  • 22% are willing to share some data in exchange for a more personalized service or product

Micro-moments can play a crucial role in the future of personalized marketing, and it's no secret why. Personal marketers compete for a greater share of the possibly finite amount of attention people are willing to give while on their phones. If users don't see what they need in an instant, they may not give you any more of their time. They may even click away to a different link or app before you ever have the chance to impress them with your personalized marketing content.

This makes micro-moments and personalized marketing inextricably linked; a micro-moment interaction with generic marketing is unlikely to generate a favorable action, while a personalized marketing experience that takes too long is likely to be skipped.

How technology can create a more personal marketing experience

While the need for speed has never been greater, retailers now have access to the retail-enhancing technologies they need to deliver the right message to the right customer at the crucial second where it can do the most good.

Data is at the heart of personalization. For example, you'll need a customer data platform that centralizes all your customer insights in one place, so your organization can deliver personalization at nearly every touchpoint. In addition, machine learning and artificial intelligence can analyze vast swaths of customer data to predict what type of content, deals and offers will inspire action on a customer-by-customer level.

In addition to collecting and harnessing data, you have to be able to deliver data to the right touchpoint at the instant it's required to enable a personalized marketing experience. Using customer insights to adapt your customer website experience or serve the right ad isn't where the road ends either. Your sales staff in a brick-and-mortar store or support staff in your contact center should also be able to leverage what the business knows about each customer to deliver a bespoke customer interaction.

Verizon's advanced networking capabilities can connect every touchpoint across your retail ecosystem, so you can get data where it needs to be in near-real time to deliver an engaging, personalized experience at the most crucial buying moments. Learn more about how Verizon is accelerating retail digital transformation.

The author of this content is a paid contributor for Verizon.