Making the Most of Marketing Moments
The science of reaching relevant audiences online often relies on a complex array of technology-enabled, data-driven tools and platforms to get in front of the right consumers. Marketers engage consumer segments and consumers based on many intertwined variables that signal possible intent, interest or profile fit. But while the role of technology is to "seek and find", the role of the content and messaging that technology delivers is engage, inspire and motivate; making the most of those moments when you manage to get a consumer’s attention.
Attention is precious. Marketers need to orchestrate all their messaging elements to support the strategic objectives appropriate to that unique consumer at that stage in the discovery or buying process, while also taking into account the consumer frame of mind, the device in use and the expectations around the brand relationship. That’s a lot to fit in a moment! It’s helpful to establish a strategic framework when planning to use an arsenal of different kinds of marketing moments to elevate consumer engagement and brand attachment. Authentic and memorable brand experiences can span a wide range of content types with the best marketing programs and campaigns using a carefully planned mix of micro moments, macro moments and guided journeys to create or deepen affinities.
Not every consumer touch point will be or need be a significant investment or the complete brand story. In fact, the accumulation of smaller impressions can work harder to make certain messaging memorable or evoke positive emotions.
Micro moments are about making a connection. Marketers can use those little gaps in the consumer day while waiting at the bus stop or while catching up on social media to make that connection. Things like social posts, ads or other small pieces of content can create overall favorable impressions if presented in an opportune and relevant manner. They can tell just a part of the brand story, punctuate a key point, reinforce brand imagery, introduce a grander content play and can even be sequenced to tell a larger story over time. These small moments have a cumulative impact.
Investment in the creation and delivery of individual micro moments should be commensurate to their value in the overall strategy. As they tend to be fleeting and may have multiple versions, be realistic about the investment (and return) on any single piece of content. The micro moment strategy relies on a series of contacts and the investment should be viewed at the portfolio level across all the planned micro efforts.
Immersive experiences like certain websites, interactive games, or apps allow brands the time, space and environment to tell a much fuller story. The complex messaging that can be supported in these macro moments provides brands the opportunity to romance consumers, appeal with different kinds of content (video, visual, infographic, games, etc..) or engage in more interactive experiences.
A macro moment requires a deeper investment level with more planning and time devoted to its development. That investment should be justified by strategic value, longevity of use or broad appeal, but could also include temporary but critical instillations with great operational value. Some examples might be a milestone anniversary website with a lot of brand history, or an interactive destination that supports a high profile multi-channel promotion or product launch.
Often task or goal oriented, guided journeys move consumers through an orchestrated experience that delivers a specific payoff or value at the end of that journey. Some examples might be apps or calculators that capture attention through a session that has predictable outputs of value to the consumer. Pick a paint color and try it on in a room, calculate your long term insurance needs, determine your best college choices or conquer some other task with the digital assistance of a helpful brand. Often these experiences have a gamified element to them to improve the experience of completing a taxing or difficult task. Brands benefit from the positive association with that accomplishment or completion. Guided journeys easily incorporate direct marketing goals and can lead directly to a lead or sale. The expected value of those direct returns would surely factor into the appropriate investment levels for those guided journeys.
The branded consumer experience is an accumulation of all kinds of brand exposures. If you deliver authentic and memorable branded experiences guided by the needs of the consuming audience you will likely use a mix of content and content types to get and keep your consumer’s attention. Having a mix gives you more tools, more learning over time and a greater chance of success in supporting your strategic brand goals.
With over 20 years of online experience Robin Neifield serves as the CEO of Netplus, a top interactive agency, and as the trusted digital guide for CMOs. She has been widely published and quoted on digital strategy and has been a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events like Search Engine Strategies, OMMA, Ad:Tech and others where her insights are sought on varied marketing topics such as digital strategy, behavioral targeting, social media marketing, search engine and conversion optimization, localization strategies and proximity marketing, mobile gaming and email marketing. You can find her on LinkedIn, or reach her by email or phone, (610) 304-9990.