Micro Moment

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Coined by Google, ‘Micro Moments’ are instances when customers use their smartphone to respond instantly to an important need or want related to a purchase. There are unlimited examples of Micro Moments during any given day for an average consumer, and they’re so urgent that consumers expect their needs to be met with the appropriate speed. Therefore brands need a marketing strategy that allows them to do just that.

Where did Micro Moments come from?

Micro Moments have been around in some form or other for a while now, but the term only started gaining traction in 2015. That’s when Google put together a wide-scale resource pack on the Learn with Google website to outline what Micro Moments are. This allowed Google to own the term, while at the same time spreading knowledge of it, encouraging brands to follow its guidelines and create strategies based on its advice.

Why was this so important? Because at the heart of Micro Moments is Search. When consumers take to their smartphones to find what they’re looking for, they almost always go to Google. And, of course, if that’s where people go to find information, that’s where brands need to put much of their focus, marketing budget and advertising in order to capture that interest. By owning the term Micro Moments, Google solidified this journey.

What kind of Micro Moments are there?

Not all Micro Moments are the same. Different people have different needs at different times.  So in order to allow brands to tap into these different needs, Google has identified four distinct types of Micro Moment:

I Want to Know Moments: In which the customer is looking for a piece of information needed to learn something new. For example, “How much protein does chicken have?”

I Want to Go Moments: In which the customer is looking for a piece of information needed to go somewhere. For example, “What coffee shops are near me?”

I Want to Do Moments: In which the customer is looking for a piece of information needed to complete a task. For example, “How do I build a website?”

I Want to Buy Moments: In which the customer is looking for a piece of information directly related to a purchase. For example, “How much is a 48” TV?”

Whatever the customer is looking for, they’re sure to be looking for something that fits into one of those categories. So brands need to be on hand to take advantage. But how?

How can brands react to Micro Moments?

Google again offers insight into how brands can make the most of Micro Moments. The company identified three key metrics that brands need to achieve with their content or brand site in order to attract attention, engage consumers and ultimately convert them into customers. These are listed below:

Be There: Brands must make full use of SEO and PPC best practices to ensure that when consumers are searching for phrases they could rank for, they do just that. The further down the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) a brand’s website is, the less likely it is to win clicks.

Be Useful: Once the click’s been won, it’s important to prove to the consumer that the effort’s been worth it. By providing content that’s genuinely useful to the consumer – answering a question or providing some vital bit of knowledge – brands can ensure that they generate more than awareness: they get the engagement too.

Be Quick: Speed is essential to the whole Micro Moments philosophy; after all, moments are, by their very definition, fleeting. Brands need to ensure that their sites are quick to load and, maybe more importantly, have good UX that allows users to get to the information they need easily.

By satisfying these needs, brands put themselves in the best position to make a valuable connection with the consumers they attract.

How do Micro Moments work in practice?

Wrapping your head around Micro Moments in the abstract is tricky, so a couple of examples are needed in order to help flesh the concept out.

Example 1: Peter’s throwing a party

Problem: Peter’s on the bus home from work and thinking about the party he’s throwing that night. Everything is in place, but he suddenly remembers that he forgot to pick up some non-alcoholic beer for his teetotal friends. He hasn’t got much time, so he needs to act fast. What does he do?

Solution: Peter takes out his phone and searches Google for ‘non-alcoholic beer’. He comes across a well-known brand, which produces an alcohol-free version of its central product. He decides to drop into the local supermarket on his way home to pick-up a few packs.

How did this happen?: The brand has a marketing team that’s studied Micro Moments and decided to take special care of its product pages, ensuring they are properly optimised and feature the kind of nutritional and alcohol content information people tend to look for. By doing this, the brand was able to secure a high position in the Search rankings, gain Peter’s awareness and convince him to purchase.

Example 2: Lucy needs a new computer

Problem: Lucy’s an experienced developer and has very specific needs when selecting a new computer. She’s used to building her own PCs, but heard on a technology programme on TV that the machine she needs is available in some stores in the UK. She missed the crucial information on what that store is and so needs to find out. What does she do?

Solution: She takes to Google to find the place that was mentioned on the show. While the shop isn’t a mainstream tech store, it has a thriving website. Lucy learns more about the shop and orders the machine she needs online.

How did this happen: Again, it’s all about optimisation. By studying Micro Moments, the shop’s marketing team was able to get an understanding of which terms people are searching for, and how to attract them. By doing so, it gave the brand the best chance of gaining the engagement and making the sale.


Micro Moments are a critical part of the current digital marketing landscape. There are a number of ways to tap into them, both organically and through paid advertising (which can be boosted by mporium IMPACT). However you choose to do it, they’re here to stay and brands need to take notice.

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