As marketing has evolved over the last few years we find ourselves talking about customer journeys a lot more. We’ve been pushing this idea for a while at Hot Click but we’ve definitely seen it become a more common topic in the community.

This could have something to do with the fact Google now pushes the idea as part of its focus on a mobile web. Instead of calling it a customer journey, though, Google coined the phrase ‘micro-moments’ to highlight the range of online interactions consumers have along the buying process.

Micro-moments don’t quite tell the whole story about customer journeys – but they are a great basis you can use to map them out.

 

What exactly are micro-moments?

As we say, the term micro-moments is entirely a Google thing – but it describe anything new. It’s basically Google’s way of saying people don’t simply decide to buy a product and then pay for it online. There’s a process involved; otherwise known as the customer journey.

So each micro-moment is one single interaction consumers make with the web. It could be a search for reviews, a price comparison, a local search or one of many other interaction types.

The goal is to capture users in these different micro-moments and turn them into genuine leads. But to do that you first need to map out a customer journey.

 

Turning micro-moments into customer journeys

Head over to the micro-moments page at Think with Google and you’ve basically got a library of free documentation on how to map out a customer journey.

The concept is quite simple: each online action consumers take has an intent of some kind, a reason behind it. The intent behind these actions tell you two things. First of all, how far along the buying process these users are (ie: how close to buying). And, secondly, what information they need to move onto the next stage.travel-micro-moments-download

Four micro-moments for travellers

That’s just about the shortest customer journey you could hope for. It also starts with a very high purchase intent because that user is looking to buy a specific product. So you would target this kind of user from searches like “buy [your product] in [your location]”.

There’s nothing particularly new here, though – we’ve been capturing leads like this in AdWords for years. Things get a little more interesting when you start targeting people at earlier stages of the buying process.

Let’s say you own a consumer electronics store. A low intent search from your target audience could be something like “best compact cameras 2016” or “best time of year to buy a digital camera”.

Now those searches show a genuine purchase intent – these are people who want to buy a camera but they’re happy to wait for the right deal. One search suggests they want the best product in their price range, the other that they’re looking for a good deal.

So, instead of letting these people go to somewhere like TechRadar for camera reviews, why not provide them yourself? Get your brand seen by this person, prove you’re there to help them make the right buying decisions and be there when the time comes. In this case, the customer journey you’ve mapped out could look more like:

 

Search à your blog post à email signup for camera buying advice à voucher for camera purchase à checkout à pay

 

That’s oversimplifying the process a little but you can see the strategy behind it. You’re connecting with consumers who show genuine intent to buy at a much earlier stage of the buying process. Your aim is to guide them along your customer journeys and bring them closer to the finish line. Every lead you close isn’t merely another customer, it’s also one that doesn’t go to your competitors.

So head over to Think with Google for more info on micro-moments and start using them to map out your own customer journeys. They’ll help you make better content decisions, give you new ideas for PPC campaigns and have you converting a wider range of consumers.