Walk a mile in your consumer’s shoes to discover the pot of gold!

I’ve been in a few meetings over the years where it became very evident that a lot of teams, whether public relations, creative agencies, media agencies or even in marketing, are just not familiar with the mindset of the very consumer they are trying to reach.

It’s not always necessary to work through piles of paperwork and do in-depth research to achieve this, however there is a need to put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. A little bit of understanding, compassion and awareness will go a long way to delivering a wealth of insights.

For that reason alone, mapping the consumer’s journey from the moment they open their eyes in the morning to when they close it at night should be a prerequisite when developing communication and media strategies! Within this, certain touch points will become evident which provides multiple opportunities to connect with the consumer on a deeper level within a specific mindset, offering a natural fit for a specific brand.

Take a minute and quickly run through your routine on an average day, think of certain touch points that brands can use to connect with you. Then take another minute and go through the same process with the petrol attendant that filled up your car this morning, or the cashier at your local supermarket. By doing this, I’m sure you’ve already noticed that there’s one touch point that remains constant throughout, no matter who or where you are. Mobile – it’s the last thing you look at night, and the first thing in the morning.

So let’s think of the different moments we use our mobile devices. The first thing that comes to mind is phoning, Whatsapping or texting, then we move onto social media, photos, emails, listening to music/radio and perhaps playing games (there are definitely some closet Candy Crush addicts out there). Then there’s the even more functional use for mobile, and that’s where the ‘Google it’ phrase comes to life.

Find the moments where consumers are looking for information to help them make decisions – whether that’s finding a dinner recipe or helping with a child’s 3rd Grade maths problem. Google has coined these as ‘micro-moments’ where consumers are more open to interacting with brands as well as looking for help in making decisions. Micro-moments are the new battleground for brands according to Google, these are the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy and I-want-to-do moments.

It’s all about relevancy in these moments, consumers today are less brand loyal but more open to brands that address a specific need at a specific moment in time. Google highlights three strategies that can help brands win micro-moments.

 Be there: This is especially important on mobile. Brands need to be there throughout the consumer journey, not only when they’re ready to buy. So how can brands ensure that they are ever present in micro-moments that really matter to consumers? One exercise that Google recommends is to think about the most searched for topics that relate to your brand or category. Search these topics on your mobile device. Is your brand there and do you like what you see?

 Be useful: This relates to being relevant and satisfy a consumer’s need in a specific micro-moment. To check whether your brand scores high on usefulness and relevancy, Google recommends you answer these questions. What do consumers want to learn about the brand’s category, product or service? Does your brand have ‘snackable’ or bite sized content that answers the consumer’s question?

 Be quick: It’s all about instant gratification and consumers are making decisions faster than ever before – especially on mobile. If your site takes 5 seconds to load it’s already 3 seconds too long. What are the key actions you want consumers to take on your mobile site? If this takes longer than a few minutes, Google recommends that the interaction be more streamlined.

By mapping the consumer’s journey and identifying different touch points that brands use to connect with consumers will lead to insights as to what mindset or moment consumers find themselves in. Utilising the above example and recognising micro-moments within a certain touch point will add an additional layer of richness to strategies that might be lacking.

So let’s get out of our boardroom mind-sets and walk a mile in our consumer’s shoes to gain an understanding of those micro-moments ­‑ whether on mobile or any other medium. It’s an exciting time for brands to leverage micro-moments and create truly memorable experiences with your target markets.

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