How consumer behaviour is evolving because of mobile

How consumer behaviour is evolving because of mobile


On Sept 20th, Think with Google held a Facebook Like Q and A discussing the evolving consumer behaviour. Joshua Lowcock, EVP and chief digital officer at UM Worldwide and Bethany Poole, director of Think With Google discussed what these changes mean and the opportunities this is opening up for marketers.


Consumers are shifting more and more to mobile – we have become more research obsessed and this is evident in the huge growth in mobile searches for “best” of things – “best” searches have grown over 80% in the past 2 years (Source: Micro-moments Now: Why you should be the advisor consumers are searching for” Aug 2017) and there has been a significantly higher growth for the “best” in low-consideration products like toothbrushes and shower curtains vs high consideration products like cars.
Joshua Lowcock states that there is a desperate need for consumers to find authenticity and real genuine opinions and views on things. Consumers want to understand how they are getting value, and there is a growing skepticism when they see brand advertising or general messaging. People want to get to the truth about what’s a valuable product, and what’s the right decision for them – that need for personalization and relevance to them in the moment as opposed to “what are you trying to sell me or trying to tell me as a mass consumer”.
We really are an impatient, on-demand generation where we want things right now. The mobile side of things gets interesting – as marketers, we are seeing location playing an increasingly important role in consumers’ expectation that marketers know what they are searching for in that moment, which device they are onand where they are e.g. We will search for “Where is the nearest {store} to me.” The expectation is brands and companies know exactly where you are, and that you want to know the nearest location to you. As a result of this expectations on brands and marketers to know what they are looking for and where they are, consumers are also increasingly dropping that “near me” part of searches.
There is so much data available to us as marketers, and consumers are waking up to the fact that if this data is available, they except marketers to be using it to make their lives easier and simpler, and to answer their questions, and communicate with them in personal meaningful ways.

Q and A

How is this shift to mobile changing what you do on a day-to-day basis?

Mobile is a media channel as well as a source of data so one of the things we specifically are being very diligent on and passionate about it using mobile as an insight platform and not just a media platform for communication. More than half the time is now spent on a mobile device and what we can now understand is where people are at in their journey, where their location is, are they in store are they not in store, are they passing by the store? Marketing should be driving sales, and mobile can help determine if marketing efforts are driving people into the store, because if it is, and sales aren’t happening, it can help identify another problem in the organization that media cant control.

Which brands have done the best jobs at adapting to the needs of these micro moments. How do we create content that speaks to these moments without bragging about or touting your brand?

Find the right data to be personal, relevant and intimate without being creepy. The real power for brands comes from being personal, and relevant to reach consumers in that micro-moment, and there is a real trade-off between mass marketing and personalized marketing with dynamic creative. E.g. If you are doing programmatic spend without creative personalization, you’re not getting the value of all that data and being able to communicate with someone in that micro-moment. Serving an ad that is relevant to the time of the day, someone’s location, and also environmental factors will be far more effective than a generic mass message. We are in the age of assistance.

How do you reveal the key micro-moments? What are the key metrics to detect them on ecommerce for desktop and mobile users?

In micro-moments, what we are looking for, as a marketer is scale. So micro-moments are important, but in order to have impact from media, you need to be able to reach people at scale. E.g. in the US there are tens of thousand of people who have milestone birthdays a year, so that is a micro-moment that can also be scaled.

What are main challenges of working with omni-channel media in micro-moments?

The digital industry is obsessed with the fact that some parts of media are full of waste and that it’s a bad thing, but it’s not necessarily. There is value in mass reach audiences, but they have to be complimentary, to personalized interaction. TV, radio, out of home can drive great mass awareness and engagement – and then the micro-moments are intimate and personal, and relevant to the individual in that one-on-one time. It’s important to understand which touch-points are driving people from one channel to the next – all media interacts with each other, and it’s about taking advantage of personalization opportunities within each platform.

What’s the difference between micro-moment mentality for voice search vs. mobile search? How do brands think about those two things?

First, brands must get active and passionate about voice search. The biggest challenge in voice search micro-moments is there is usually only ever one answer, one result. If you’re not playing in that space, you’re going to miss out. You need to give people the right answer at the right time – there’s really no second chance. If someone asks in a voice search, “what is the best toothbrush” they wont be given 400 answers, there will only be one – the one that is determined to be the most relevant in that moment, and if brands aren’t figuring out voice search, they are going to have brand and marketing challenges in the future.

What should marketers be focused on in 2018?

  • Ensuring your brand is making authentic consumer connections. Work with creators, and influencers and look at the way you are communicating with consumers. It’s not a one-way communication.
  • Find the right canvas for mobile. Mobile is a fantastic platform for being in the micro-moment, but the creative environment on mobile is restrictive, and not great for “romancing” consumers and telling stories – brands need to discover better ways to tell stories on mobile.