Customer Experience

Making the Most of Micro-Moments in the Customer Journey

The mobile advertising race is on. Google has to scramble to stay ahead in the volatile mobile ads market, because it has been losing ground to Facebook, suggested Pace University marketing professor Larry Chiagouris.

Google is “valued at a high multiple, based on its current market share, and cannot afford to give away any market share,” he told CRM Buyer. “Any drop will likely result in a drop in the stock price and, more importantly, a fall in confidence in the Google vision.”

Perhaps with that in mind, the company recently unveiled a slew of new products for AdWords.

“Google has to do this,” Chiagouris said.

Seize the Moment

However, Google put a slightly different spin on the introduction of its new tools.

Consumers are conducting more Google searches on mobile devices than desktop computers in more than 10 countries, including the United States and Canada, said Jerry Dischler, vice president of product management for AdWords, at the AdWords Performance Summit held earlier this month.

Ninety-one percent of consumers look up information on their smartphones in the middle of other tasks, Dischler said.

This has fractured the customer journey into a series of moments that Google calls “digital reflex micro-moments.”

“We all have these moments,” Dischler said, when our focus is on the task at hand. “In these moments, we’re far more loyal to our needs than to any particular brand.”

Marketers who focus on those micro-moments will win out, he added, and the new AdWords Connect products tap into that phenomenon.

Google’s New Consumer Offerings

The results that pop up when consumers search Google for a car now will include a carousel of internal and external views of vehicles and specs accessed by tapping on an image, in Google’s new Automobile Ads search ad format. Tapping a “Dealers” link takes consumers to a page listing dealers nearby.

Hotel Ads also have been revamped, and results now will show globally for hotels in more than 100 countries. Searchers will see ads displaying hotels’ current room rates and amenities, and they can click to book a reservation.

As for shopping ads, Google introduced an expandable product cart that contains rich information about the products shoppers are looking for.

Google is adding ratings to its auto insurance rate comparison site, along with a feature that will let searchers call local insurance agents.

A mortgage rate comparison feature will let consumers apply directly with approved lenders or call advisers for more information.

Also, Compare, introduced in California in March, will be expanded to Texas, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Stuff for Advertisers

Google introduced a new reporting dashboard for automated bidding, and new simulation tools that show the tradeoff between volume and cost at different CPA (cost per action) levels.

The Dynamic Search Ads tool has been redesigned from the ground up, Dischler said. In addition to targeting and organizing landing pages, DSA automatically organizes advertisers’ websites into recommended categories that can be sorted and refined.

For each recommended category, DSA calculates a suggested cost-per-click based on the performance of existing keywords. It also will show examples of the queries advertisers are targeting, the ads that will appear, and the pages where customers will land.

The DSA enhancements will be rolled out globally over the next few months.

Google now will automatically resize ads based on the website and the device they appear on when advertisers provide ads in three different sizes.

The new tools for advertisers must be compatible with the interfaces on websites, Chiagouris pointed out. “Those sites that accommodate them will win.”

Two other new features are AdWords attribution, which lets advertisers select an attribution model for each of their conversion types; and data-driven attribution, which uses advertisers’ own conversion data to calculate the contribution of each keyword across the conversion path.

Google also introduced new tools to help marketers measure the incremental impact generated from their Google Ads.

“It’s important for marketers to be present when micro-moments occur,” said Andreas Scherer, managing partner at Salto Partners.

“Google is competing against Facebook, which made a major push over the last few years in this field,” he told CRM Buyer. “Mobile ads are their new battlefield.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

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