This post by Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Ads & Commerce at Google, is the first of a two-part look at the concept of “micro-moments.” Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a smartphone to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something or buy something. Understanding the concept of “micro-moments” is important to small businesses—especially those that serve a local market—because micro-moments often relate to the desire to find something nearby. Understanding how your business can be a part of the micro-moments can help you lead a potential customer into your place of business is going to be critical to your future marketing success.


As mobile has become an indispensable part of our daily lives, we’re witnessing a fundamental change in the way people access and use media. What used to be our predictable, daily sessions online have been replaced by many fragmented interactions that now occur instantaneously.

There are hundreds of these moments every day—checking the time, texting a spouse, chatting with friends on social media. But then there are the other moments—the I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments—that really matter. At Google, we call these “micro-moments,” and they’re game changers for both consumers and brands.

They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever.

The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect those who can provide us with goods and services to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking. We want things right, and we want things right away.

Consider these findings from some recent research Google conducted:

  • Of leisure travelers who are smartphone users, 69 percent search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.
  • Of smartphone users, 91 percent look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task.
  • Of smartphone users, 82 percent consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy. One in 10 of those end up buying a different product than they had planned.
  • Of online consumers, 69 percent agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.

The successful providers of services and goods of tomorrow will be those that have a strategy for understanding and meeting consumers’ needs in these micro-moments.

(Photo: ThinkStock)


Sridhar Ramaswamy is Senior Vice President, Ads & Commerce, Google. This article first appeared on Think With Google. Used by permission.