Making "Moment Marketing" Work for Your Brand

Getting the right message in front of the consumer at the right time is a key factor for any campaign. In search, being target driven has always been important, but this element is becoming even more critical because marketers know they can no longer be satisfied with generic messaging. To optimize performance, search marketing strategies must be able to react to key customer moments driven by offline triggers like TV, known as “micro-moments”, when they reach for their smartphone for a solution.

Reactive search has evolved steadily with various advancements over the years. From retargeting, which serves ads based on website engagement behaviors, essentially “following” the consumer across networks with relevant (or, in many cases not-so-relevant) messaging reactive search has graduated to “moment marketing,” one of the most anticipated trends in 2016.

Moment marketing refers to creating relevant and consistent connections between offline and online media in real time. The key to really “being there” when a customer reacts to a TV ad, sports event, or even a change in the weather is the ability to link offline media with search intent. When customers reach for their smartphones or laptops to make a search triggered by a key brand moment, it is imperative for your brand to be present with the correct messaging in that exact instant.

Before considering the technical logistics of moment marketing, it’s important to step back and see the bigger picture and implications – how critical this in-the-moment, offline-to-online approach will become for brands that truly want to integrate themselves into their customers’ lives. Think of all the missed opportunities. How many times have you reached for your smartphone to search off the backend of a TV ad and arrived at a dead end? What a loss to leave customers hanging by failing to deliver anything relevant in that moment for the brand/product/service that was advertised. If, on the other hand, you could automatically activate a campaign on the back end of a TV ad airing (or any other moment) and serve ad messaging that correlates directly what was shown in the TV spot, the cycle continues – the customer remains engaged and is drawn further into the funnel.

We use moment marketing here at iProspect, most recently with setting up Intel to instantly react to live TV ads. Being able to respond in real time was very important since consumer interest peaks within a very short window after the TV ad has aired. To ensure we could capture the search interest generated by the offline media, our team needed to serve the correct messaging and increase our bids to instantly prioritize our ads in the search engine results.

We ran synced messaging in line with three TV spots that aired in the London area at peak times. The results were impressive. CTR for the three themed ads (Security, TV, and Innovation) increased by 74, 42, and 19 percent respectively, and CPA decreased by 29, 18, and 56 percent respectively.

Comparing device performance, we saw 50 percent of spend being accumulated on mobile for the sync campaigns vs. 23 percent for the always-on campaigns.  Mobile CTR was 36 percent higher than desktop on the synced campaigns vs. 20 percent on the always-on campaigns. (Make sure you get those mobile bid modifiers right!)

There are already a number of companies that provide this technology. Google is the latest tech company to release such a beta, and they did so just in time for Super Bowl 50. However, you need to remember that although this latest trend will definitely influence the way marketers define their strategies, moment marketing is not a substitute for your always-on campaigns. The smartest, most successful brands will employ moment marketing as a strategic complement to core campaigns in order to ensure that the overall search strategy encompasses more situations and drives more engagement.