Engineering mobile moments

As part of a recent report about the customer journey in Asia-Pacific, Econsultancy asked nearly 1,000 marketers about their ability to insert their brands into ‘mobile moments’.

The results indicate that around half of respondents felt that they did, in fact, engineer these ‘mobile moments’ which showed their brand in a positive light. But what exactly does that mean?

According to Forrester, a ‘mobile moment’ is a point in time and space when someone pulls out a mobile device to get what he or she wants immediately, in context.

And, it follows, that if brands want to engage the increasingly mobile consumer then marketers are going to have to position themselves into that moment and provide the value that consumers are looking for.

Below are a list of five mobile moments and what brands can do to be a part of them, and win their customer’s love and attention.

Before we start

Econsultancy Asia-Pacific has two events currently which may interest you:

  1. WebinarMobile: Trends, Data and Best Practice – on Thursday April 27th in the Asia-Pacific timezone.  Sign up here.
  2. Survey – We are looking for marketers in Australia and New Zealand to take part in a survey about marketing automation.  Click here to participate – and get a free copy of the report when it is published.

1) I want to know

The first mobile moment is when a consumer suddenly needs some information, either out of interest or perhaps as a first step on the customer journey.

According to research conducted by Google, two out of three (66%) consumers use their mobile to look something up that they have seen in a TV advert.

Additionally, according to Nielsen, more than half (56%) of consumers in Asia-Pacific use their mobile to look up product information when shopping and a similar amount use their smartphone in many other similar ways as well.

How can brands win this moment? As nearly all searches for information on mobile start with Google, brands should ensure that their sites are high in search results for the things consumers are likely to search for on mobile.

While this can be accomplished through good SEO, marketers should also review their AdWords keyword strategies to ensure that they are not losing the top of the page to competitors.

2) I want to go

Another mobile moment occurs when consumers are thinking of going somewhere, or even on the way, and they need to know more about their destination.

Google’s Consumer Barometer data indicates that 82% of consumers, globally, look for local information on mobile. While numbers are quite as high as that in Asia Pacific, in most Asia Pacific countries at least half of all consumers use their mobile devices to find local information.

For brands to be a part of this mobile moment, they should ensure that:

  • They are on Google Maps (if they have a physical presence)
  • Their website is mobile-optimized
  • Their site has easily-accessible locations and opening hours

3) I want to buy

Perhaps the most obvious, and most-coveted by brands, mobile moment is when consumers are ready to buy something.

Google reports that 82% use their smartphone in-store when deciding what to buy and Nielsen indicates that 60% use their mobiles to compare prices when shopping.

According to the Consumer Barometer, many consumers also use smartphones to actually make a purchase in Asia-Pacific. The percentage varies considerably by country, but all brands in Indonesia should know that more than two in three consumers buy using their mobile device.

There are countless suggestions for how marketers can improve mobile ecommerce, but perhaps the most important suggestion is that brands should avoid forcing their mobile customers to create accounts or do any typing of any significance. Point and click is the way to go on mobile.

4) I want to do

Smartphones are not, however, only used out-of-home. Many consumers also use their mobiles as the most convenient way to get information while they are working on projects in their homes.

These moments are classified as ‘I want to do’ and brands which offer products or services which help people with cooking, DIY, homework, or other in-house tasks need to be present at these times.

Google’s data indicates that more than 9 in 10 (91%) of consumers use their smartphone to find ideas when ‘doing a task’ and so marketers can consider this mobile moment as pertaining to just about everyone.

To be a part of the ‘doing’ moment, brands should consider search terms which consumers use when trying to accomplish something – “How can I…”, “fix …”, “best way to make …” – and produce appropriate content to satisfy the consumer’s requirements.

5) I want to show

And finally, another emerging mobile behaviour which brands should be a part of is the moment where consumers want to share something with their friends or followers.

According to research by travel site Kayak, more than half (54%) of travelers from Singapore use their smartphones on holiday (70% for those aged between 18 and 24), and the most popular reason is to share photos showing what they are doing while vacationing.

For brands to be part of these mobile moments, marketers should consider doing experiential marketing in areas where people are on holiday or in crowded city centres.

One excellent example of this is a recent experiential campaign dreamed up by Catalyst for The Economist. To encourage subscriptions, the agency set up stands in urban areas which offered insect-flavoured ice cream.

Intended to be a thought-provoking exercise about using bugs as a source for protein for a growing global population, the event also provided many memorable images which were surely shared extensively on social media.


In order to stay relevant on mobile, marketers need to break out of the habit of looking at the customer journey as steps along the buying funnel and instead consider the consumers’ new, mobile behaviours.

These mobile moments offer brands an opportunity to move beyond interruption-based advertising and become relevant to the tasks which matter most in the lives of their customers.