If you haven’t read Google’s recently released guide to ‘Micro Moments’ I suggest you check it out. The concept has implications for the way brands, including telcos, communicate with consumers, and should be taken into account as part of a broader marketing plan.
Google makes the case that there are times when consumers are very open to the influence of brands. They might want help informing their choices, or making decisions. For marketers these moments are an open invitation to engage. Google calls these ‘micro-moments’. ‘These I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, and I-want-to-do moments are loaded with intent, context, and immediacy. [They are] critical touch points within today’s consumer journey, and when added together they ultimately determine how that journey ends.’
The consumer journey has fractured from ‘sessions to spurts’, explains the paper; hundreds of tiny decision-making moments at every stage of the ‘funnel’ – from researching holiday destinations, to buying a new blender or teaching yourself how to repair a puncture. Success means earning the customer’s attention and action, moment after moment. That is why Google is calling micro-moments the new battleground for brands.
One interesting statistic from the paper really hammered this home: 65% of smartphone users agree that when conducting a search on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information, regardless of the company providing the information. In other words, consumers will respond to brands that are there when they need them.
Monetizing the Business Internet
We are obviously interested in this micro-moments development from a telco perspective, specifically how partners across the eco-system can collaborate to create relevant and timely offers that meet customers’ demands ‘in the moment’. The AsiaInfo vision for the digital future sees telcos playing a central role in the Business Internet, enabling cross-enterprise collaboration, and creating compelling customer experiences. This would include micro-moments.
Micro Moments could be the trigger to going to the Business Internet
The question is: when faced with a potential micro-moments task, does the Business Internet kick in?
It could do.
Imagine a customer is watching a YouTube video on their phone of chef Gordon Ramsay cooking a meal. The customer clicks on a button that shows up in the video and orders the recipe ingredients directly from Tesco, without leaving the YouTube app. The customer provides only his phone number as identity, uses PayPal to pay, DPD confirm delivery, and automatically receives Tesco loyalty points. The customer then exits the order and continues watching the video.
This scenario raises a lot of questions: For instance, how did the button appear inside the You Tube app on the customer’s phone? And how did the customer complete the order while providing only his phone number as his identity? The enterprises in this instance are clearly collaborating, but how?
The simplicity of this customer experience requires a lot of technical integration between multiple parties, each contributing part of the overall story (YouTube providing a front end channel, the mobile operator providing identity as a service, Tesco providing the goods and so on). This technical integration can be done on a case-by-case basis, but this approach does not scale – adding other supermarkets or front-end channels requires the integration to be done all over again. Instead, what’s needed is an operating system for the Business Internet to make such collaboration easy, and to enable great customer experiences to be created on the fly by multiple connected enterprises.
AsiaInfo’s Business Internet Platform is designed to connect enterprises to make it easy to offer customers these ‘in the moment’ experiences. Business processes are orchestrated in the cloud, across enterprise boundaries, and customer identity is federated in the cloud. Enterprises can plug their services in for partners to consume via the cloud.
Sharing this technology in the cloud helps us to establish diverse partnerships, and ultimately allows end customers to offer these enriched moments to their user base.