Picture this: Your dinner guests are arriving soon and you’re at the grocery store searching for a few last-minute ingredients and a bottle of wine that’ll pair perfectly with the meal – or save the evening if the recipe doesn’t go according to plan. But as you stand in the aisle surrounded by a seemingly endless selection, you remember one critical thing: You don’t know anything about wine.

So, what do you do? Call a friend? Read the labels? Poll a few fellow shoppers? Too risky. Instead, you most likely pull out your smartphone, do a quick search and within moments, head confidently to the checkout with a bottle of cabernet in hand.

Assuming you choose this option, you are not the only one – not even close. In fact, research shows that 82% of smartphone users consult their mobile phones while standing at a store deciding what product to buy.  And 91% off smartphone users look up information while in the middle of a task, whether it’s planning an elaborate dinner party or changing a flat tire.

Finding wine pairing suggestions may seem like a very small, insignificant moment, but pause to think about all of the small moments when similar searches are performed. Throughout the day, they really add up. Now consider that smartphone owners around the world are engaging in these moments, too. These millions of moments have triggered a serious shift in the way brands reach their consumers.

The old ways of media consumption (TV, radio, print, etc) are shifting in favor of shorter digital interactions. These moments are comprised of people checking the day’s forecast, interacting with friends on social media, viewing their bank account balance, or listening to their workout playlist at the gym. These moments keep us from getting caught in the rain without an umbrella, but they’re not exactly make-or-break moments for marketers.

But then there are those really important moments. The times when a consumer urgently needs to know something, to go somewhere, to buy a service or product. As a business, these micro moments matter to you as much as they matter to the person searching. 

These micro moments are when decisions are made and preferences are shaped. They’re also the brief bits of time when a consumer is most receptive to your message. And you can’t afford to squander them. Consumers aren’t just searching for random bits of information, they’re presenting your business with an opportunity to get their attention and ultimately, their dollars. 

This is huge.

While television can certainly still serve a very beneficial role in branding products and increasing brand familiarity, digital micro moments provide new opportunities for direct brand interactions – often at the point of sale. These opportunities are up for grabs to smart marketers and brands that know how to reach their clients in these new, crucial moments.

Considering that consumer expectations are higher than ever, it’s important to take advantage of every micro moment. Consumers are hungry for information, ravenous actually, which plays to marketers’ advantage. But it means that the timing, quality and relevance of your message needs to be top notch and extremely targeted. With all that information at their fingertips, smartphone users won’t settle for second rate.

Our team at M2 is focused on these micro moments, working to infuse each one with a meaningful message. Connecting our clients to their consumers is our goal, after all – and we’ve got the experience under our belts to achieve it. And because we believe that success lies in those connections, we’ll be there to help you make them, from one moment to the next.

Google/Ipsos, “Consumers in the Micro-Moment,” March 2015