These days virtually everyone has a smartphone and they are being used by consumers more than ever to connect to the brands and products they like and buy. Consumers are using Google and social media to research everything from where to eat to how to get to their local stores.  Mediums like radio and direct marketing scale easily, and do still work, but without an integrated digital strategy to support them your marketing campaign will not be complete and you will be losing many customers while they are conducting their local search.

Turning to our smartphones when we need something — a forgotten word, a better price, a movie time — has become a reflex, according to Matt Lawson, director of search ads marketing at Google.  In a new article on Think with Google, Lawson says, “We want things right, and we want things right away. As a result, the consumer journey looks markedly different than it did just five years ago. Instead of a few moments of truth, it’s a series of ‘micro-moments‘ when we turn to mobile to act on a need.”


Google Zmot Study
Google Path to Purchase

To see how widespread these micro-moments are, Lawson analyzed Google data and conducted online surveys, exploring the behavior from a number of angles. He focused on I-want-to-go or buy moments — searches specific to location when users are trying to find something nearby.

Now when a customer hears an ad or views a direct mail piece, they run to phones and go to websites, social media, review sites and Google to conduct research.  This is a natural follow up activity to traditional ad exposure. You can spend thousands of dollars on a campaign, but if customers can’t find your nearest location in a Google search they’ll fall right out of the path to purchase and directly into a competitor’s shop.