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Understanding the Short Attention Span Theater

In every relationship there are moments, points in time where we connect with the people and things around us and have the potential to make lasting connections. Over time, the length of that moment has grown smaller as attention spans became shorter. In marketing, that moment has often been linked with “touch points,” instances or places where a brand meets, or reaches, a consumer. But there’s a new term floating around, encapsulating the new wave of digital marketing: the “micromoment.”

The micromoment is that quick amount of time where your consumer is interested and engaged with your brand: when the consumer actively seeks out your website or searches for you on Amazon or Google, etc. Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of ads and commerce at Google Inc., summed it up best: “The old days of predictable media sessions have been replaced by numerous short bursts of digital activity throughout the day.” That short burst is the micromoment.

At the Wine Industry Technology Symposium, held June 25-26, 2015, Andre Atemasov, e-commerce executive and expert in digital marketing and analytics, walked attendees through the new microclimate of digital marketing, including the different classes of micromoments and how to best capture them.

The micromoment has been spurred on by changing consumer habits—the days of media consumption as we’ve known it for years are long gone. Consumers want what they want when they want it and how they want it; and, increasingly, that means at all hours of the day and in some pretty unexpected places. An April 2015 Google Consumer survey found that 39 percent of consumers have made a purchase in the kitchen, 28 percent have in a car, 21 percent buy while in the bathroom, and 12 percent bought something while in a garage.

As a result, classical marketers are moving away from traditional media and shifting aggressively from print and television advertisements to digital because of its potential for individualized content. Personalization is now a high priority for marketers and consumers alike, with 30 percent of digital marketers reporting that targeting and personalization were their top priority, according to Digital Fusion chief marketing officer Mike Ricci. If you can capture the fleeting attention of a consumer with personalization, you can capture a sale in one of four micromoments. They include the: “I want to buy” moment, “I want to do” moment, “I want to go” moment and the “I want to know” moment.

The “I Want to Buy” Moments

Quite often, the “I Want to Buy” moment happens as a consumer is looking for more information on a product to help guide a purchase. In the wine industry, this means looking at ratings, product reviews and even tasting notes. Smartphones act as a shopping assistant and can be central to purchasing. The important thing to remember about this moment is that it may actually happen throughout the day and not all at once. For example, the consumer may start the journey while out to lunch with a friend. There’s an interesting Sauvignon Blanc on the wine list, and she may want to know more, so she looks up the winery’s website, finds out she’s a fan of the region and orders a glass. Later on in the day, she’s thinking about lunch and decides it’s worth purchasing, so she starts comparing prices on her tablet. That night, she makes the purchase on her desktop computer. Total time spent with the brand could be just a few minutes, but it’s lasted the whole day and across three devices.

So what are some of Atemasov’s tactics to better market to this type of moment?

  • At the bare minimum, you should be providing wine ratings and reviews (whether through Yelp, Google Reviews or your own website) right at the customer’s fingertips.
  • Email: In an email, shorten the content to one or two points—since no one reads the whole email—that make a direct call to purchase.
  • Mobile: For the mobile website, make the action/path you expect them to take obvious, easy and intuitive. Guide them to the right information.
  • Search: Product Listing Ads (PLAs) on Google are an incredibly cost-efficient way to capitalize on the “I Want to Buy” moment. PLAs allow you to list products with price points straight from the Google search results. Google revised its policy to include wine in its list of eligible products back in March. The problem, Atemasov said, is that Google frequently changes its mind on this policy. He said that if it doesn’t work the first time, try again in a few months. For more information on PLAs, visit www.businessinsider.com/google-pla-shopping-ads-data-2014-1.
  • Data: Collect data on browsing behavior, email opens, preferences, etc., to deliver highly targeted and personalized data.

Google Analytics’ aggregate data from U.S. shoppers shows that there has been an almost 29 percent increase in mobile conversions in 2015. By providing the right kind of data at the “I Want to Buy” moment, a winery could also see some of that conversion boost.

The “I Want to Do” Moments

In this micromoment, the customer is essentially reaching out and asking, “Can you help me out?” The best example of this is the increasing reliance on YouTube to learn how to do something. More and more people are turning away from going to an expert for things like repairing a broken window or changing the oil. Instead, they’ll search “How do I repair a broken window?” or “How do I change the oil in my car?” on YouTube and find several step-by-step instructionals. Millennials are quick to learn this way. Sixty-seven percent of them agreed with the statement that they can learn how to do something through YouTube.

It could even be as simple as a search for “How do I pick the right red wine for Thanksgiving dinner?” that leads the searcher to a local newspaper’s article, recommending six Oregon Pinot Noirs, or “How do I pair wine and cheese?” that leads to a winery website with a fun infographic showing suggested pairings. At this point, it’s all about providing relevant, helpful content, Atemasov said. He believes that when creating content, you should always be asking yourself how to deliver it relevantly in a way that will matter to your consumer and enrich their lives.

Atemasov’s steps to capture the “I Want to Do” micromoment:

  • At the bare minimum, you should identify the most unique way your brand can address a consumer need and create content around it. Keep in mind, there are more than 8,000 wineries in the United States. Find a way to differentiate your content.
  • Email: Sending informational emails, say around the holidays, can be useful and a great way to deliver content. Be sure to segment your audience, however—don’t send a red wine lover an email pairing Thanksgiving turkey with a white.
  • Search: Create “I Want to Do”-type content for your various social media streams. Get your followers interested in trying it. If you sell sparkling wine, for example, create a video or share another’s (with credit, of course) instructing drinkers on the correct way to open a bottle—without making a sound.
  • Mobile: Ensure that your content is readable on all types of devices. If a website is dominated by a large photo and pushes text too far down on a mobile phone, you may have missed the micromoment because the customer could not immediately be engaged and have their question answered.
  • Data: Spend some time looking at the analytics. Did your email or tweet reach enough customers? Did they open the email? Don’t waste your time creating content that doesn’t engage or interest the consumer. Looking at the data can help you determine whether the content is effective or not, and learn from there.

The “I Want to Go” Moments

The “I Want to Go” moment has the greatest potential for the wine industry. In this micromoment, the customer is actively trying to figure out what to do or where to go. Often, a search will include the words “near me” or “by me,” and 18 percent of these searches will lead to a purchase that same day. For wine, this means capitalizing on tourism and locations to purchase a bottle.

A word about geo-fencing: Geo-fencing uses someone’s GPS location or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries. In this instance, it allows wineries to send information to someone within a specific distance of their winery. There are some wineries already using this type of technology—with mixed results. At a recent Women for WineSense lecture series, DTC Wine Workshops founder Sandra Hess praised Cornerstone Cellar’s use of geofencing (facilitated by VinTank). She cited that the winery has seen an average of 30 more large groups per month, with an average sale of $700 to $800 per group. Others, however, have not had nearly the same results. Atemasov said that geo-fencing could be useful for large wineries with heavy traffic.

This is perhaps the hardest moment to address, Atemasov said, but there are some other ways to benefit from this moment:

At the bare minimum, you should fine-tune your location bid adjustment, which shows search and display ads to people who are within a certain distance of your winery.

Search: Promote your content to the right customers through local extension and direction ads (i.e., showing your ads on Google Maps. For more information on this, visit support.google.com/adwords/answer/3246303?hl=en).

Mobile: Check with a simple Google search that your business location shows up in Google Maps. Then zoom in on your location, without searching specifically for it, to ensure that your business is still showing up. Be sure that it’s not just your winery/tasting room name that appears, but also the correct operating hours, address, telephone number, etc.

The “I Want to Know” Moments

Ninety-one percent of smartphone users look up information while they are out and about. It could be something as simple as wanting to learn more about a product seen on a billboard or as complex as learning more about recent occurrences in Syria following a discussion; but the point is that consumers no longer have to wait to get home to learn more. Consumers are actively finding out more about products, news, facts, trivia, etc. within seconds.

As a winery/wine brand, your consumers are looking up information such as how late you’re open, who the winemaker is, how much a bottle costs and, maybe most importantly, when their shipment will arrive. As Atemasov put it, “They want what they want when they want it.” There should be plenty of information ready for your customers—existing and potential—to find, learn and interact with your brand.

Though it is incredibly difficult to have every possible thing anyone could ever want to know about your brand on your website (and still have it look presentable), there are some things Atemasov said you can do to ensure you have the right information ready for them.

  • At the bare minimum, follow up with your paying customers even after a purchase is made. Provide them with content/information, such as shipment tracking numbers, future events, other wines they might like, etc.
  • Email: Make every effort to capture a customer’s email address, both in the tasting room and online, and make it easy for them to sign up. Use this as a way to communicate things your consumers want to know.
  • Mobile: Invest in technology that allows you to stay in touch with a customer across devices, keeping in mind that their journey with your brand will likely span several devices, as stated earlier.
  • Data: Collect data to understand the entire customer: how they arrived at your site, what they like to buy, what search terms they used, etc. This will help you build out your site in a way that can capture the “I Want to Know” moment.

How to Win at All Four Micromoments

Though some of these solutions may not be easy to apply all at once, Atemasov said there are five things that you should do to be able to reach your customer in all four micromoments. First, and easiest, is to spend some time thinking about the four moments and build a strategy around them based on your company’s strengths and weaknesses. You know your company best.

Second, send a survey to your customers to gain perspective on how they decided to buy. Following a purchase, and after the delivery has been made, send a short email survey to them, asking why they bought and what they thought of the wine. You would be amazed, Atemasov said, the insight and the number of responses you will get. Clos Pegase reported that 60 percent of its buyers respond to surveys. In addition, ask buyers to review your wine on Google Reviews to help build better placement on search results for you.

Third, make purchasing fast and simple. Create mini-conversion points and multiple ways for people to buy your product, regardless of whether online or in person. Fourth, be relevant with your messaging. It’s better to not send anything, he said, than to send something irrelevant and possibly alienating to the consumer.

Lastly, Atemasov stressed collecting data. You can’t effectively market to your customer if you don’t understand him/her. Measure the data often, analyze it with a critical eye and learn from it.

Originally published in the Jan 2016 Issue of Wine Business Monthly

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