The Internet has grown up.
We are now always on, always connected. And this means there are some interesting things that are changing about the way in which we connect.
Almost 90% of people have a phone close to them, day or night. Over two-thirds check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up. We spend nearly three hours on our phones a day.
But each session – the time between opening and closing the phone – lasts just over a minute.
So, what’s going on?
What’s happening is that there are hundreds of moments when we get our phone out and use it. From a quick text, dropping an email back, checking who that actor is during a programme, finding the closest petrol station, and so on.
We’re constantly getting our phones out, checking something and then moving on.
In 2015, Google came out with a name for these instances of time – calling them Micro-Moments.
They argued that interactions with customers are moving from “sessions to spurts” – hundreds of small, individual moments that lead up to making a decision.
They suggested that moments that matter – the key ones for anyone using the internet to interact with someone else – occur when three things intersect:
- Intent: The “I want to…” that triggers the impulse to act.
- Immediacy: What’s the quickest way – usually getting out the mobile phone.
3: Context: What am I searching for – and when might I do it?
Understanding which moments result at the intersection of these three things can guide you in creating resources that help.
As a marketer, the implications are obvious – you need to understand what someone wants or needs, and realize that they are going to open their phone and run a search. In addition, people usually want to know something, go somewhere, do something or buy something.
If you want to be in the game, you need to turn up in those search results, provide useful information and do it quickly – otherwise they will move on somewhere else.
This means that users are driven more by how relevant the information is that turns up than the brand or people providing related information.
This also matters, however, if you’re trying to organize knowledge and information across a business so you can work more effectively.
Where can you find the latest guidance on something? Where is the latest version of that model? Which presentation should you work from?
Organizations can now design internal information systems structured like the Internet does things. Instead of files in folders, you can have a collection of resources that people search when they need something.
You still need to be able to come up with useful and relevant material quickly that will help your teams function more effectively.
People act on information. How you give them that information will increasingly make the difference between succeeding and failing.