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August 18, 2016

For all the data surrounding consumer behavior, and the increasing strength of predictive analytics, brands still struggle to ensure they're in the right place at the right time—that is, meeting targeted consumers in the tiny "mobile moments" sprinkled throughout any given day.

These moments are easy to see as innocuous—standing in line at the post office, riding the bus, or taking the train home from work. As Think With Googlepoints out, consumers check their phones an average of 150 times a day, with an average session lasting one minute and 10 seconds. The fleeting seconds in which consumers pull out mobile devices to quickly get online have tremendous value when leveraged the right way. Unfortunately, it's only getting harder for brands to hit the target. As the Search Engine Land points out, these moments remain as important as ever, even as they shrink, sometimes earning the moniker "micro-moments" for their disconcerting brevity.

To reach consumers, brands only have a few seconds to make their case. That requires calculated timing, and content designed to make an immediate splash.

Everything Rides on That First Impression
Mobile moments must offer immediate value. An effective ad shouldn't take a consumer more than a glance to understand its value and urgency. A single mobile session may last less than a minute, and the time spent on a page featuring a display ad or related content may only amount to seconds. It's not much different than trying to flag someone down as they drive by you. They only have moments to recognize your form and process your solicitation, so you have to persuade them instantly, and with little more than a glance. Well-crafted content is the best way to do this, ensuring that your message is clear, your design is eye-catching, and your value is evident.

Wielding Urgency to Drive Action

As Think With Google points out, a key element of mobile moments is the urgency of the user search—and, consequently, the content they find. TWG found that 91 percent of smartphone users conduct research on their phones during a task. Eighty-two percent consult their phones to conduct research when in a store, and 10 percent of those consumers end up choosing a different product to purchase.

Mobile influence can't be denied. But in both of those scenarios, user behavior reveals one glaring consistency—consumers are turning to mobile in the heat of the moment, on the precipice of making decisions, and in the small breaks throughout their day. In-depth research and well-considered purchases aren't happening on mobile at any significant scale. Instead, mobile is a supplement utilized close to the point of conversion. The recommendation is clear for marketers. Build content that not only makes an immediate splash, but also taps into that urgency. Offering a limited-time promotion or emphasizing limited supplies can motivate consumers to take action right away.

When you're designing and formatting your content and its presentation, it's important to consider the user experience, as TheNextWeb points out. While content needs to be clear and engaging, the customer journey in a mobile moment needs to be quick and efficient, speaking directly to the intent behaviors they displayed at the start of the session. A hardware store, for example, might deliver a one-day coupon to shoppers to use on a store visit in progress, in hopes of motivating a purchase. It's a safe assumption that mobile consumers are already on the brink of making a purchase. You can put aside the rest of the sales funnel in favor of providing one final push toward a transaction.

Taking Aim at Local Moments

It's a boom time for local mobile searches, and these moments can leverage location for even better results. According to Think With Google, 82 percent of smartphone users turn to search to find a local business. The number of "near me" searches, meanwhile, has doubled in the past year.

People are using these moments to seek out local shopping options. Raising awareness of your store's location is a critical goal of marketing toward these moments. Build mobile marketing ads and content that emphasize your proximity, offer directions via a mapping app, or provide a push-to-call button in the content. Gear your mobile ads toward promoting this presence, and track your effectiveness at driving in-store traffic. Mobile moments may be a small target, but smart marketers can find a way to position their brands for success.

≥≥ Need a Shortcut?
1. When designing ads, keep in mind that you may only have your consumer's attention for seconds.
2. To make the most of mobile moments, focus on the end of tail-end of the sales funnel.
3. If your business has a physical location, its presence should be a focus of your campaign.
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