With mobile search overtaking desktop, “micro-moments” are now where customers start and finish their buyer’s journey. Consumers see, think, and do their online shopping with their phone in hand as they go about their day . Google’s micro-moments campaign urges marketers to start thinking more broadly about their customers’ buyer’s journey.
We spoke with Mike Grehan, CMO & Managing Director at Acronym, about Google micro-moments, the buyer’s journey (See. Think. Do.), and how one brand in particular – Scotts Miracle Gro – excels at capturing valuable micro-moments along the buyer’s journey
What are Google Micro-Moments?
Mike Grehan: I recently had the opportunity to attend a discussion about micro-moments at Google’s offices. They explained it this way: micro-moments happen anywhere and everywhere.
Imagine a man standing in line at the bank, waiting to cash a check. He suddenly remembers, “Oh, I wanted to book a romantic weekend with my wife.” He starts the research right there on his smartphone (in the early “See” stage of his buyer’s journey) – until he is interrupted and called up to the banking counter.
Hours later, now home after work, he resumes his purchase path, sitting on the couch with his iPad. He is looking through travel sites, reading reviews of local hotels and attractions. He’s in the “Think” stage where he is gathering information about the trip. Later, maybe in front of his desktop computer, or laptop, he is in the “Do” stage of his buyer’s journey, where he makes that purchase.
The current state of the buyer’s journey is very fragmented; it’s made up of micro moments on different devices, in different locations, throughout the day.
Why should marketers think about the buyer’s journey in terms of “See. Think. Do.”?
Mike Grehan: See. Think. Do. is a framework for the buyer’s journey that Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist (and my friend) Avinash Kaushik created.
The concept came around before his Google days, back when Avinash was working on paid search for Intuit. At some point, he realized that paid search was limited to just one very small phase of the buyer’s journey – the transactional. Intuit was completely missing out on early-stage opportunities to connect with its audience.
Currently, as the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, Avinash spends a lot of time sitting with the CMOs of the largest companies in the world. Typically, those CMOs are not too close to the digital marketing aspect of their business, so he simplified the concept; Informational. Navigational. Transactional. became See. Think. Do.
Why is the “See” stage of the See. Think. Do Framework so important?
Mike Grehan: As marketers, we get fixated on creating transactional moments, for obvious reasons.
But when you only focus your efforts only on the transactional aspect of the buyer’s journey, you’re ignoring this fact: 80% of all queries that Google receives are informational queries; that number is even higher for YouTube. There is no transactional aspect to them. These people are not shopping; they are not holding a credit card in their hand. They are problem-solving. They want how-to’s and explanations.
Not only that… it just doesn’t make sense for brands to ignore the early stages micro-moments. Imagine you’re a B2B that sells enterprise-level software. The software costs millions of dollars… it would be absurd for your prospective customers to arrive on a transactional page that requests credit card details immediately after clicking on a link on the SERP.
At that stage, content, such as an informational video about how the software will help the buyer do their job more effectively and more efficiently, would be much more appropriate and better received. You must create a relationship and build trust before you try win their business.
What brand or company does a good job of capturing those “See” micro moments?
Mike Grehan: Scotts Miracle Gro really understands and intelligently capitalizes on the concept of micro moments.
For example, a micro-moment Scotts Miracle Gro can capture during the “See” stage, goes something like this:
A man decides: “I’m going to have a barbecue. I want to impress my friends.” He’ll think about the food, the wine, what he’ll wear… and then he suddenly realizes, as he looks at his backyard: “My lawn looks terrible.”
He’ll reach for the closest device, be it his mobile phone or tablet and opens an app – YouTube for example — to help solve this problem. He’s in the “See” stage of his buyer’s journey. He’s not ready buy anything yet, he just wants to research potential solutions.
He searches for “How to fix bare spots on your lawn.” Scotts Miracle Gro has developed content that solves his problem and ranks number 1. With its educational video, the company captures that important micro moment and sets him on the path to purchase with a bias for its brand.
Even if you were a professional gardener, you wouldn’t simply run down to a store and buy something. You go online and start looking for information. And when you do that, Scotts has already created the content for people who are looking to solve that problem.
“We realize that a consumer isn’t thinking about our products as much as we do and that they are juggling multiple life events from everything to buying a new home or planning an outdoor party. We simply want to be part of those life events and help them express themselves on their own piece of the Earth – their home, lawn and garden.” –Larissa Livingston, Digital Marketing Manager at Scotts Miracle Gro
Does capturing “See” micro moments really lead to more customers?
Mike Grehan: Not only can you reach far — far more people by creating content for early-stage micro moments (5 to 50 times the audience, depending on your vertical) — the competition is far less intense for those queries. While your competitors battle it out for transactional “Do” stage terms, you can capture this wide-open playing field and create relationships with your customers during the early “See” stage of the buyer’s journey.