The inflation of micro-moments

The inflation of micro-moments

82% of smartphone users resort to their mobile phone when taking a purchase decision. 90% use their phone to make progress towards reaching a long term goal. A similar amount turns to their phone for ideas when they have to complete a task.

This was the outcome of a Google/Ipsos research in the US in March 2015, amongst nearly 5,400 internet users. Bottom line, it means that if you want to engage or influence someone in a decision-making process, you have to be where they are: on their smartphone. Whatever you offer them has to be perfectly timed, absolutely relevant and easily digestible.

A micro-moment is commonly defined as a mobile experience that requires only a short moment to identify. In that moment, you consume and act upon information immediately.

Are micro-moments new? Not at all. Animals and humans have processed and responded to micro-moments for ages in the natural world. Think of a fresh footprint of a predator animal, that instantly raises awareness of an imminent thread that triggers an immediate response.

As attention is becoming increasingly scarce, marketeers need to grow their understanding of human psychology to grow their competitive advantage. Discovering with precision what triggers the ‘butterfly effect’ that eventually leads to, for example, a customer buying a product, may well be the holy grail in marketing.

The desire to ‘own’ even the shortest of moments while using our trusted digital companions – moments in which we may have lowered our defences – raises questions about what is the ethical limit for marketeers. One possible outcome of gaining full understanding of consumers’ conscious and unconscious decision making process may be that eventually, we have no more control over what we do and buy.

Fortunately, such doomsday scenario is unlikely to unfold, as customers also grow their awareness of the tricks that are being pulled to make them buy. Whoever wants to benefit from modern-day micro-moments has to be quick. In a few years an inflated amount of micro-moments may have made us immune to them.

Photo courtesy of Igor Miske. This article also appeared on

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