What are micro-moments?

Today, brands integrating their customers’ needs into micro-moments will be the winners tomorrow.


Micro-moment is a concept developed by Google several years ago. The company defines it as “critical touchpoints within today’s consumer journey.” Concretely, they are moments where people turn a device on to engage a search. Google identified five immediate needs that motivate these searches:

  • I want to know…
  • I want to go…
  • I want to buy…
  • I want to do…
  • I want to watch…

The article will develop the notion of micro-moments and why brands must not ignore them.

Smartphone is the new ally.

Smartphones have entirely become part of lives and have changed how users behave and how they consume online contents. By looking closer, a consumer journey is split into hundreds of micro-moments and makes it essential for companies to be there when consumers reach for their devices. As we will explain after, the battle between brands is then won or lost in micro-moments that occur throughout the consumer journey.

To illustrate with some figures, 68% of smartphone users check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up in the morning(1) or 30% admit they get apprehensive when they do not have their phone with them(2). In many countries including Europe, 87% always have their smartphone day and night with them(3) and to finish, a more significant number of searches are via mobile devices instead of computers.(4)

Therefore, these facts clearly show how people are deeply attached to their device. If we add some figures to the previous ones, we have smartphone users checking their equipment 150 times a day(5) pair with another data saying users spend 177 minutes per day(6), and then we have average sessions that are one minute and twenty seconds long repeated a hundred and fifty times per day.

The reason to use a device during these micro-moments can vary. It could be texting someone, sending an email, posting on social networks, searching for a piece of information and so forth. All these moments have a personal value but do not necessarily engage the user with a brand. Nonetheless, it does not mean users exclude brands from micro-moments. On the contrary, they solicit them and companies should take advantage of those moments when they come.

An opportunity for brands.

As said, there are five needs (I want to know… / I want to go… / I want to buy… / I want to do… / I want to watch…) that matters for brands. During those moments, users are better opened to the influence of brands. These are the micro-moments where marketers must be ready and invite customers to discover their brand. Online companies will have to gain people’s consideration and loyalty moment after moment. According to a survey by Google/ Ipsos, 65% of smartphone users admit they privilege the most relevant information regardless the company providing the information.(7)

Some other exciting figures show that 1 in 3 users has purchased another brand than the one they had in mind because of the right information needed was provided at the right moment. At the same time, 51% of the users discovered a new brand while searching for information.(8)

Now we have the proof users are more loyal to their need rather than any brand, micro-moments become the new battleground for conquering customers. Hereafter are three essential strategies to help brands earning micro-moments.(9)

  • Be there: Anticipate the micro-moments and be ready to help the users when those moments will happen.
  • Be useful: Be relevant and connect the users to the content they are looking for.
  • Be quick: Micro-moments are very short so create a fast and frictionless website experience.

Missing one of the three elements is missing the idea of micro-moments and the opportunity to earn new customers.


This article pointed out the opportunities for companies to connect with customers during the micro-moments mainly done on mobile devices. Brands will captivate the competitive market share by being able to provide relevant information during those critical moments consumers need it most. By taking advantage of each knowledge gap from their competitors, little by little brands adopting this strategy will win this new battle.

NB: For accessing the sources, click directly on the concerned source numbers inside the paragraphs.