Madex 2019 takes place on June 5 and 6 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Picture: SUPPLIED/SPECIALISED EXHIBITIONS
Madex 2019 takes place on June 5 and 6 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. Picture: SUPPLIED/SPECIALISED EXHIBITIONS

It takes only a glance around a room of people, be it in a business or social setting, to see how the smartphone has changed human behaviour. The physical actions – and, more importantly to marketers, the cognitive changes taking place – are interesting to observe. Most notably, instant gratification is a consumer behaviour to which marketers need to pay attention now.

As defined by Google, “micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped.”

Consumers encounter 150 micro-moments and spend an average of five hours on their smartphones every day. The number of smartphone users worldwide is forecast to grow to about 2.7bn this year, with smartphone penetration rates increasing as well, according to Statista.

Quick maths: that’s 405bn micro-moments daily! This means roughly one-third of the world’s population is being bombarded by advertising, offers, push notifications, SMSs, e-mails and more.

If we spoke of information overload in the past, this is now a glut of information. Just how much data can an individual absorb and also act on? How do brands gain the attention of today’s consumers, stay ahead of competitors and ensure smooth sailing to the purchasing finish line in the new cutthroat “Game of Sales”?

Importantly, how can brands avoid the dreaded “hang-up” and engage customers in a marketing journey that is no longer linear but dotted all over the place? And how do marketers achieve this with consumers who are now curious, demanding and impatient?

The answers to these questions seem to lie here: by being tactical, by offering value and by being quick.

Marketers need to think strategically and anticipate their customers’ next move. They should also look at micro-moments as an exciting opportunity and not a challenge, because the early tweet really does catch the worm.

We’ve all heard it before, but being proactive rather than being reactive does indeed make that million- or billion-rand difference. So, ascend to the throne and have your answers or solutions ready. Feed instant gratification with instant gratification.

Brands must be aware that micro-moments marketing only allows for short, swift interactions. Messages must be clear and concise as opposed to vague and long-winded. Where to start? Use the tools available already such as data analytics and search-engine optimisation to find out who your consumers are, how they think, what they know and whether everything offered is optimised for fast and effective results.

Essentially, for a marketer this means enhancing a brand’s marketing performance during the micro-moments typically experienced by consumers. Google identified four moments that occur when a person turns to a smartphone, and categorised them as: I-want-to-know moments, I-want-to-go moments, I-want-to-do moments, and I-want-to-buy moments.

Statistics in each “moment” show brands should have a presence in each step to satisfy consumers’ needs across the entire consumer journey, and not focus only on the purchasing decision.

Consider these statistics from ThinkwithGoogle.com: by mid-2015 already, 65% of online consumers looked up more information than a few years before, and 66% of smartphone users turned to their phones to look up something they saw in a television commercial. These fall under the I-want-to-know moments.

Statistics for the I-want-to-go moments reveal that “near me” searches had doubled in only one year, and a whopping 82% of smartphone users used a search engine when looking for a local business.

Climbing in the I-want-to-do moments were a mammoth 91% of smartphone users who turned to their phones for ideas while performing a task. Also, more than 100m hours of “how to” content had been watched on YouTube in the six months to June 2015.

Natasha Heiberg, marketing manager at Madex. Picture: SUPPLIED/SPECIALISED EXHIBITIONS
Natasha Heiberg, marketing manager at Madex. Picture: SUPPLIED/SPECIALISED EXHIBITIONS

Then, thinking that purchasing decisions on smartphones are made external to a traditional store is incorrect, as 82% of smartphone users consulted their phones while in a store deciding what to buy. Added to this in the I-want-to-buy category was a 29% increase in mobile conversion rates in the previous year.

It really takes only a quick moment to realise now is the time to optimise your mobile content and presence. Above all, make every moment quick and easy. You never know who’s looking where.

Having a “moment” right now? Find out more about burning marketing issues at Madex 2019, with two seminar theatres - The Fundamentals and The Marketing Academy - focusing on the latest in industry content.

Madex 2019 takes place on June 5 and 6 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

For more info about #Madex2019, the ultimate marketing, advertising, design and all that good stuff expo, visit www.madex.co.za, email info@madex.co.za or call Natasha Heiberg on +27 11 835 1565.

Please note: Madex 2019 tickets cost R50 online or R100 at the door.

This article was paid for by Specialised Exhibitions.