For big companies that operate hundreds and thousands of locations--I'm talking about the Targets and Walgreens of the world--location marketing is the foundation of all marketing. And location marketing means a lot more than optimizing content for location pages to be found in search results.
This reality was underscored in a recent New York Times article, "Marketing in the Moments, to Reach Customers Online." Written by Robert D. Hof, the story discusses a fundamental shift occurring in marketing. Instead of launching static campaigns that reinforce a one-way brand message, many marketers are succeeding by creating content that resonates in those passing moments--called micromoments--when consumers are checking their mobile phones to figure out what to do, where to go, and what to buy.
Hof wrote, "As people flit from app to app online, they have little patience for any interruption, especially a banner ad or heaven forbid, a 30-second commercial. Moments, whether they come during a 10-second Snapchat video or Twitter’s new collection of real-time news bites—called, fittingly enough, Moments—increasingly are all companies have to market against."
For instance, Red Roof Inn created customers by tracking flight delays at major airports and offering promotions to stranded customers searching for nearby lodging. The hotel chain used flight data from FlightAware to track flight delays and Google's search and display ads to make its ads appear among the top search results when harried travelers Googled "hotels near O'Hare." The article says that Red Roof saw a 60% increase in room bookings from those searches.
If you're immersed in the world of location marketing, The New York Times story should sound familiar. Google has been publishing thought leadership about micro-moments for several months, including "Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile," a guide intended to help marketers understand how to build their brands through micro-moments.
In 2015 we watched as micro-moments made their mark on businesses of all types, as they looked to generate more in-store foot traffic and sales and to capitalize on micro-moments with mobile wallet offers that convert "near me" searches into purchases.
Based on our work with national brands, what truly makes brands stand apart is doing more than being present in those near-me micro-moments. They need to be creating "next moments," or the action that occurs after someone finds your business in a micro-moment. As difficult as it is to become visible in a search result--the near-me micro-moment--it's more challenging, but more rewarding, to create content and experiences that convert consumers into customers. Mastering that challenge is what next moments are all about.
The New York Times isn't the only major media outlet noticing micro-moments. Brian Solis--a one-person media force to be reckoned with--has been commenting on micro-moments often, as he did here on CMO.com a few weeks ago.
That Brian Solis and The New York Times are talking about micro-moments shows location marketing has more than arrived. Micro-moments are mainstream, and as Solis's column made clear, CMO-worthy. Buy why? One word: mobile.
The rise of mobile has changed everything. Mobile is more than a device. It's a lifestyle. Mobile consumers make decisions faster and more instinctively than ever before, accelerating the customer journey. As Hof wrote in his New York Times article, "The difference today is the rise of mobile phones as the consumers’ tool to find or do almost anything. That has introduced several wrinkles to the way marketers can influence and track how consumers decide to buy something. Global Positioning System navigation provides precise location data, apps track people’s every tap and swipe, and sensors such as accelerometers can even tell if people are sitting, walking, or driving."
Welcome to the year of the micro-moment--and the next moment.
See what the Twitterverse is saying about mobile marketing: