How to Shape Your Consumer Buying Process With Google Mini-Moments

The consumer buying process is forever evolving and changing.

In this day and age, we are completely consumed and controlled by what we read.

In fact, when the first few words that enter our mind, we have already come to a conclusion.

When we want to find the best place to eat, the nearest supermarket to us, or how to breakdance, it’s easy to find out in a matter of seconds.

Amazing, really.

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Just ten years ago, who would’ve thought that we would’ve been able to pick up a mobile phone, or a tablet even, and type in whatever we wanted to know and have the answer staring right back us?

Bill Gates, maybe.

But that’s so not the point.

Anything we want to do, anywhere we want to go and anything we want to buy can all be accessed on our mobile device.

And it’s the same for our consumers.

Anything they want to know, do or buy can be accessed so quickly that we might miss it. These are moments where, as savvy business owners, we need to take complete control.

What are mini-moments and how can we use these to our advantage as business owners?

These moments are so instantaneous, and as soon as consumers read the first few words of their results, they will have already made a decision.

These moments, situations, or occurrences, are what Google likes to call Mini-Moments (or Micro-Moments).

Google knows what people want – and it delivers. Every. Single. Time.

What about us? Do we know what our consumers want? And how can we create and dictate mini-moments that will shape the decisions of our consumers?

Mini-Moments occur when people automatically turn to their device with the intent of finding out information that they need right there and then. These moments are fast-food moments; they are instant.

Consumers are subconsciously impatient because of how fast-paced everything is nowadays. This means that, as business owners, we need to crank up the pace and deliver to our audience in a speedy manner.

There are 4 main mini-moments that all businesses and brands need to be aware of:

1. I-want-to-know moments

These are moments where someone is exploring or looking for information on a certain topic, as it were. They are not thinking about making a purchase or buying anything – they just have a question that they need an answer to. If it’s in relation to your brand, they may stumble across your website or social media accounts. You will have the opportunity to showcase your knowledge, allowing the reader to see that you may just as well be able to help them.

2. I-want-to-go moments

These are the moments where people may be wondering where the nearest restaurant is, or where they can go to buy a particular product that will focus on just what they need. These moments can lead to your brand, perhaps, where you then have the opportunity of shaping the consumer’s decision.

3. I-want-to-do moments

People are creating mini-moments in this way by searching how to do something that they don’t know how to do, or are not confident with it. For example, they may want to know how to cook a lasagna from scratch, but don’t even know where to begin or what ingredients they will need. They may find a website or blog that has just what they’re looking for or see a recipe on Pinterest that leads straight to your cooking blog.

When they learn from you, they will most likely search all the other areas you could help them in.

4. I-want-to-buy moments

Now, this is the moment that people search a lot. What should I buy? Where should I buy it from? What are the reviews? When purchasing a product, consumers want to be assured that it’s what they need, meets the specifications they are after and that it is reliable.

When they see that your products are in line with what they want, they will be searching your shop or site, all with the intent of making a purchase.


Review all these 4 types of mini-moments. Is there anything that you notice with all of them?

You may have spotted it straight away.

It’s every consumer’s favourite word: I want.

Consumers want the answers right in that very moment. And they’ll wave you goodbye if you don’t meet their expectations.

So how can you deliver your brand’s services to consumers in these moments?

What can you do to build your brand’s reputation with your audience and successfully create killer customer experiences?

Let’s look at the best example out there.

Google. How Google Does It.

Google completely owns mini-moments. It is the king of delivering to customers on the spot, in less than 10 seconds.

When you type in what you want in that search bar, it brings up the exact thing you’ve been looking for. In fact, it does more than that. All you have to do is just start typing, and it finishes your sentences for you.

That’s how it’s done.

Google knows what its consumers want, even before they start searching.

How so?

They are there for their customers.

They hold a grand hub of knowledge, and they work along with all the brands out there to provide timely information for every mini-moment a customer has.

They have gotten to know their audience, and have generated a relationship with them so that they can anticipate the moments people are after.

From a long back history of previous searches and the trends of today, Google can formulate information that they know their customers want.

Like a best friend, they are always there. Reliable, loyal and thoughtful.

They are useful to their customers, too.

Not only do they give one solution to their users, they give a multitude. They link to other related information that may not have been the original mini-moment, but by doing so, they prove useful to the user.

They basically go above and beyond for their customers, overlapping the expectations of their users.

And lastly, they create sterling customer experiences through all the interactions their users have with them.

In a nutshell, Google has blossomed and become one of the biggest brands out there because of its superlative use of mini-moments in their marketing strategy.

Well, that and their awesome products!

So how can you, as a business owner, skyrocket your brand and jump on the mini-moment bandwagon? How can you create and enhance your customer’s experiences and elevate your brand?

Think Like Google

To begin with, you need to be there for your customers. You need to know what they need – be what they need – in order to deliver.

To do that, you need to identify the mini-moments your customers have.

Ask yourself:

  • What do they need?
  • How will they look for it?
  • What services do I offer that will meet their needs?
  • What services can I create to meet their needs?

Once you’ve established this, you will be in a position to create instant solutions to their problems, providing them with the best possible outcome.

“The successful brands of tomorrow will be those that have a strategy for understanding and meeting consumers’ needs in these micro-moments.” – Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, GPI & Ads Google

Like Google, you will be able to produce what they are looking for before they even ask for it.

This will prove to them that you are interested in them; you’ll prove that you are dependable and reliable in providing an answer to their niggling question.

Then, you need to be useful to your customers.

When you create an answer to their mini-moment, you need to add at least two more choices for them at the same time. Give them options. That way, they will realise that there may be more to what they are after and you are the person that can deliver that for them.

Make them feel important, and show that you can do it in an instant.

When customers see that you are going above and beyond to help them, they will start to draw closer to your brand and spread the word about it. You will then see your customer’s experience from their point of view, helping you to interact and understand them more fully.

Like Google, you will be able to show your customers that you will, without fail, provide more than they actually need. They won’t even contemplate going somewhere else. Just as Google is where people go to get answers, you will be above your competitors when consumers choose you without even blinking an eyelid.

That brings us on to our last point.

Create sterling customer experiences throughout all your customer interactions.

Every marketing strategy you use, whether it’s on social media, your ads, website, products, or whatever – make sure you make each touchpoint a powerhouse.

Focus on building brand touchpoints that generate trust with your customers. And at each step of your customer journey, be there and be ready to respond in an instance.

Like Google, you will develop winning customer experiences and see your customers responding to you.

It’s Time to Embrace Mini-Moments

“For consumers and marketers alike, mobile has forced a rewriting of the rules.” –

We have all seen how smartphones and mobiles have reshaped the way people live, the way people behave and the things they expect. It even applies to us.

And we know that, because of this, mini (or micro) moments have been established and are now on the increase.

Think About Your Consumer’s Every Day and They’ll Take Care of You

As a savvy business owner, it’s time to take hold of consumer’s mini-moments and use them to shape and define their decisions.

Brainstorm ways in which you could use consumer’s mini-moments to your advantage. Be ready to be useful to your customers. Create golden customer experiences and reshape their decisions.

Doing so will enhance your brand and all its assets, and you will be able to create an undeniably strong relationship with your customers. The more you can interject your brand into solving those everyday problems, wants, or desires, the more you’ll build that brand loyalty that people come to expect from stellar brands today.

Amy Aitman is the owner of 8menCan, a content agency based in Toronto, Canada. She works to create content strategies and digital marketing plans for businesses around the world. Away from the office, Amy takes her team out for chicken tacos and martins, extra dirty, extra olives of course.


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