BY Natasha Heiberg 3 MINUTE READ

It takes only a simple glance around a room of people (be it in a business or social setting) to see how the smartphone has changed human behaviour. In addition to the physical actions, and more important to marketers, are the cognitive changes taking place. Most notably, instant gratification: a consumer behaviour that marketers need to heed now, as in present time.

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 on average encounter 150 micro-moments every day, and spend on average five hours on their smartphones. The number of smartphone users is forecast to grow to around 2.5 billion this year, with smartphone penetration rates increasing as well, according to Statista, The Statistics Portal.

Quick maths: That’s three hundred and seventy-five billion micro-moments daily! This means, roughly one third of the world’s population is currently being bombarded by ads, offers, push notifications, texts, e-mails, and more.

If we spoke of an information overload in the past, this is now a glut of information. And, just how much information can an individual absorb and then 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 with customers in a marketing journey that is no longer linear but dotted all over the place. In addition, how do marketers achieve this with consumers whose behaviour has changed to one that is 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 be able to 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/ billion rand difference. So, ascend to the throne and have your answers/ solutions at the ready! Feed instant gratification, with instant gratification.

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

Essentially, for a marketer this means enhancing the brand’s marketing performance during any or all four micro-moments experienced by consumers.

Google identified four moments when a person turns to the 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’ blatantly show that brands should have a presence in each step in order to satisfy consumers’ needs across the entire consumer journey and not only focus on the purchasing decision.

Consider these statistics from 65% of online consumers look up more information online now versus a few years ago. Interesting, is to note that 66% of smartphone users turn to their phones to look up something they saw in a TV commercial. These fall under the I-want-to-know moments.

Stats in the I-want-to-go moments reveal that ‘near me’ searches doubled in only one year, and a whopping 82% of smartphone users use a search engine when looking for a local business.

Climbing in the I-want-to-do moments is the mammoth 91% of smartphone users who turn to their phones for ideas while doing a task; and more than 100 million hours of ‘how to’ content has been watched on YouTube so far this year!

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

It really takes only a quick moment to realise that 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 between 5 and 6 June 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

For more info about #Madex2019, visit, or contact [email protected].
Please note that the entrance cost to Madex 2019 is R50, payable online, or R100 on-site at the show.