I’m speaking at a Google conference on mobile marketing this week and came across their recent study on the shift to mobile and what it means for brands. This takeaway jumped out at me:
“People are more loyal to their need in the moment than to any particular brand.”
The insight may sound obvious, but marketers don’t naturally operate that way. Marketers often follow the Lovemarks model of brands that Kevin Roberts defined as “loyalty beyond reason.” The emphasis sometimes gets placed on heart-string pulling ads and misses the importance of genuine utility.
Many brands fail at being there in useful ways when consumers are navigating the moments in their lives with their mobile devices. A well-loved brand that isn’t optimized for mobile may not be well-loved for long.
Google frames these opportunities as “micro-moments” and urged brands to find the micro-moments that matter for their consumers. The study summarizes their advice as be there, be useful, and be quick.
The Red Roof Inns hotel brand discovered that flight cancelations were stranding 90,000 passengers every day. Their marketing team decided to go after these micro-moments. They developed a way to track flight delays in real time and used that data to geo-target ads with messaging explicitly for people stranded at the airport. This prompted a 60% spike in bookings.
Optimizing for mobile is becoming table stakes for meaningful brands. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this shift.
6 CommentsJoin the Discussion
Ori Pomerantz says
Marketers really care about brands, because that is their job. It is easy for them to forget that for most of us a brand is just a mental shortcut. I don’t necessarily love Taco Bell. I just know that if I am hungry they have something I want for cheap, saving me the effort of choosing (which is good, because I have more important things to worry about).
The idea of micro-moments is great, imao. Be there when I need you, not when it is convenient for you to be there. To be blunt, the relationship is not an equal one. I can choose between multiple providers, each with excess capacity.
Ehud Shavit says
It is not “just a mental shortcut”, it is a mental shortcut to somthing you can rely on (as described in the example); and there is a very big difference.
When I was in Sales, I was taught to ask basic and blunt questions:
1) What are you looking to accomplish?
2) What are you doing (about that goal) now?
3) Why are you doing it that way?
Congratulations to Red Roof for applying newer technology to fundamental business practices.
Optimizing for mobile is great (Marketoonist does it well for me) and the Red Roof example is very smart. But what’s not helpful is when people dumb down desktop. As Hatallica suggests, consider what the user is looking for. When I’m using my computer I expect a richer experience; I don’t want a giant graphic and 50 words per screen. Optimized for mobile shouldn’t mean minimized for desktop.
Avi Liran says
Great insights Tom, well done. Good value.
Having recently been stranded at the airport with my partner and 4 teenage stepchildren I can attest to the power of a micro moment. As the airline announced that they were cancelling our flight and would not be providing overnight accommodation I moved quickly to my smart phone and onto well known hotel booking app. While everyone was shouting at the ground staff I was booking rooms nearby.
Importantly at that moment I was indifferent to brand of hotel what I needed was rooms nearby. The challenge for marketeers is that there is a middleman between you and your ‘customer in need’, and that middleman has a damn good mobile app.