Travel planning is an eventful and meticulous task. From the dates of arrival and departure to the tickets to the hotels and the places where you want to eat and visit and right down to the clothes you wear. Everything is usually planned and done in a “moment”. What are these so called “moments” and how can this be of any use or what effect can it have for both the consumers and brands?
A term was coined by Google for these moments called “micro-moments”. A micro-moment is when people reflexively turn to a device (usually a smartphone), to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. This behavioral instinct of the modern day consumer is increasing looked on past by service providers. These micro moments can occur at any given time during any given task or moment and it is these moments that are critical touch points within a traveler’s journey which ultimately determines the outcome of the journey.
Consider these findings from some recent research Google conducted:
- Of leisure travelers who are smartphone users, 69% search for travel ideas during spare moments, like when they’re standing in line or waiting for the subway. Nearly half of those travelers go on to book their choices through an entirely separate channel.
- Of smartphone users, 91% look up information on their smartphones while in the middle of a task.
- Of smartphone users, 82% consult their phones while they’re standing in a store deciding which product to buy. One in 10 of those end up buying a different product than they had planned.
- Of online consumers, 69% agree that the quality, timing, or relevance of a company’s message influences their perception of a brand.
The successful brands of tomorrow will be those that have a strategy for understanding and meeting consumers’ needs in these micro-moments. To do so whether you are in the travel industry or in any other industry, there are some basic things any brand can follow up on. These moments can be broken down as follows, as per the research done by Google.
- I want to get away moments
This is the initial moment where a traveler starts to think of a journey. This is the moment where a person dreams, exploring options and ideas. There is no definite plan at this stage and people just browse through and just look for inspiration.
For the traveler, these initial moments are the best and most the fun happens. Most travelers aren’t committed to any brands at this point but at a leisurely pace.
- Time to make a plan moments
These are the planning moments where a traveler would look for the right time, the right place, the right flight and the right things to do. It is the moment where things come together and a trip in itself is born. as a travel brand what you can do is be there and appear during these research moments.
- Let’s book it moments
After the research is done then comes the booking moments. The moment itself implies that this is where the exchange occurs.
- Can’t wait to explore it moments
This happens when the trip is underway. Travelers are ready to live the trip they’ve been dreaming about and share it with others.
Travelers with smartphones agree that when researching on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the travel company providing the information. In other words, they’re more loyal to their need than to any particular brand.