Why micro moments will require mobile magic


by Michael Della Penna

Micro moments collect and use data to predict consumers’ needs, delivering answers before one even asks a question. Here’s how to harness the power of magical mobile innovation.

This is the first in a series about magic moments via mobile, and what’s required to create them.

The concept of mobile moments came into vogue in 2013, when Forrester Research’s Josh Bernoff and team first highlighted the growth of mobile and its influence on consumers’ expectations. Subsequent reports from the research firm detailed how marketers would have to rethink marketing strategies and approaches to not only identify mobile moments, but to also take advantage of them.

Forrester then went on to coin micro moments – the quick reaction subset of mobile moments – as the new frontier for mobile. For marketers, micro moments are those split-second opportunities to deliver and fulfill consumers’ needs.

Done well, marketers who can deliver value in the micro moment have the opportunity to create exceptional experiences that differentiate brands, strengthening the bond that consumers will have with those brands for years to come.

This all sounds great, doesn’t it? Big data and advances in predictive marketing capabilities have made this once aspirational vision a reality.

We’ve all probably experienced a cool micro moment or two over the past year. New operating systems from both Apple and Android include bars on the home screen, where the system presents the app a user is expected to use next.

In iOS 9, Siri includes suggested contacts and apps based on usage patterns, time of day, and location. And if you’ve downloaded the latest version of Apple’s iOS, your phone can now even tell you the distance and time expected to get to your next destination as you enter your car, based on past travel patterns.


These innovations are based on your interactions with the device and your location. Now, imagine the opportunities marketers have enabled by the wealth of data and knowledge they have about their customers’ multi-channel behaviors and patterns received from mobile signals throughout the customer journey. GPS signals, app engagement, beacons tied to CRM, and multi-channel behavioral data are fueling triggers in an attempt to deliver against consumers’ needs in these micro moments.

Helping consumers in their micro moments is a first foray, but we can do much better. With the proliferation of IoT devices and signals, we will quickly find consumers getting inundated with micro moment messages, resulting in frustration and opt-outs in an already cluttered environment.

It’s time to get a step ahead of consumers and take predictive marketing to the next level. To succeed, we must change the paradigm to foster magic moments.


Magic moments take into consideration three major elements:

1. Timing and frequency

With thousands of micro moments across a typical customer journey, identifying the magic moment during a time that the consumer will be the most receptive to the proposition will become the new standard. Knowing the wrong time, place, and cadence of messaging will become increasingly important too.

2. Relevance

Yes – the message must be in context. And yes – the message should speak to what the customer is doing or is or about to do within their specific surroundings and in a personalized way. But the message is just part of it.

As mentioned above, magic moments must not only identify the best micro moments, but also what device and what channel to execute on in real-time. For example, you can get the travel time and ETA to your next destination as you walk towards your car. Doing so will dramatically increase conversion and deliver a customer experience that is unrivaled.

3. Value

Value is paramount – always has been, and always will be. Is your brand doing everything it can to provide your consumer with value in exchange for access to all of their data?

In Summary

There is little doubt that the mobile mindset among consumers is here. For brands, this means they must rethink how they market and evolve planning skills towards more predictive marketing and real-time execution capabilities. Marketers must hone their sense and respond skills so that they can not only identify what to send, but when to send it, and on what device and channel to communicate it throughout the customer journey. Though these advances will raise the bar for consumers’ expectations, as the new standard of mobile quality, consumers will be in awe of this “magic” when executed properly.