At my previous company, we delivered complex enterprise software that was meant for large companies and specifically, the employees of those companies, but we never wanted our users to sense that complexity and feel less important.
We focused on the idea that big software didn’t need to FEEL big to the user – it needed to be personal, and it needed to only surface what mattered right then and there for whatever that user was trying to accomplish in that moment. The rest of the solution’s breadth and depth didn’t matter. We referred to it as “moments that matter.”
The Rise of “In-the-Moment”
There is a ton of talk these days in our industry about what is happening “in the moment.” Google put out a research paper that focuses specifically on “in the moment” in reference specifically to the rise of mobile and local searches and how those use cases have risen to prominence. In fact, Google states that searches “near me” are up 34x (that’s TIMES, not percent) since 2011.
It’s completely logical in the context of what typically happens “in the moment” on a smartphone – in line at a store, watching TV at home, on the bus… Google highlighted the fact that 50% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store within a day with 18% of those searches leading to a purchase within ONE day.
Evolving Search Patterns
Almost 50% of people don’t even search for a restaurant until within an hour of going and amazingly that number jumps to almost 60% for millennials. The things that we do “in the moment” are beginning to drive marketers to focus on those moments themselves as much as any other element of traditional search marketing strategy. Just have a look at the popularity of “near me” searches on a Saturday morning (car wash, nail salon, post office) vs. Saturday night (pizza, hotel, bars) and Sunday morning (churches, breakfast, urgent care) and you get a pretty decent understanding of how most people spend their weekends…
What This Means To You
The net effect of the “in the moment” phenomenon is two-fold.
- The first is obvious – this is the new normal. The universality of the web and the borderless access to information has become so ubiquitous that what we are trying to do right now down the street has returned to the forefront.
- The second is that for all intents and purposes, people very rarely “plan” for things the way they used to.
Local businesses need to understand that at a strategic level to ensure they are spending their time (and more importantly their money) catching people when they are “in the moment.”
If not – all the other rules still apply: customer loyalty, reputation management, brand affiliation – all of those battles start with the user’s decision to engage on search to find out something “near them.”
So – are you going to make those moments that matter, or are you going to let someone else make them for your customers?