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Behaviour-driven moments

Thursday 18th May

We’re irrational. We like to think we’re influenced by our own sound judgement, weighing each decision carefully, processing all available information and then making the best, most calculated choice available. In practice, it is our idiosyncrasies and cognitive biases that mean human behaviour is hard to predict, we’re impulsive, emotional and inconsistent.

Cognitive dissonance is a theory behind human motivation of psychological discomfort from holding conflicting thoughts, there is discord between what we believe about ourselves or products and the actions we carry out. It tells us that applying the madness of human behaviour, or more specifically, the consumer decision journey, into rigid models can be problematic. One of these widely used models is the purchase funnel as shown below.


People see and ad, they think about about, they may see other ads but judge this product to be superior, they are motivated to purchase and then they become loyal. Job done, right Don?


We no longer live in the Madison Avenue days of communications. The channels have evolved and so have our behaviours,the key driver being the tech revolution. So if the purchase funnel can add little value today, what can?

Micro-Moments, and specifically, mobile micro-moments.
What’s special about mobile moments? We check our phone on average 150 times a day1, 87% of people have their phone in arms reach for the duration of the day1 and perhaps most importantly 91% of people turn to their phone for ideas in the middle of a task1. By understanding that humans work in moments and not funnels we can create responsive strategies and data driven insights that are as adaptable and fluid as the thoughts that enter our brains. Moments, like humans, are erratic, impulsive and irrational. As the statistics show, during the day we interact with our mobiles for an array of tasks ranging from banking and instant messaging to transportation.

Moments from Madness
The challenges are clear, 9-5 no longer exists as everything is on demand, consumers jump in and out of multiple channels at a tap of a finger and they view alternatives and compare prices at the point of purchase just as easily. However, the opportunities are immense. If brands can communicate to consumers in relevant interactions, providing useful suggestions and ideas in these moments then there is a chance to tap into the irrationality of humans. Google has highlighted four key moments:

I want to.. know
I want to.. go
I want to.. buy
I want to.. do

Our funnel has suddenly been broken into a hundred pieces with continuous interactions at each stage. People are making informed decisions, researching, interacting and querying on multiple devices and it shows in statistics. Foot fall in retails stores has decreased, yet people are spending more when they do visit1 because they are curious and informed, they have done their research and know the exact product they intend to purchase. The same is true for e-commerce sites, overall traffic is down yet conversions are up.

How to own the moment
To win the moment, brands must provide relevant and fast answers in the right places. Remember that, like humans, moments are irrational. Having the best response to their curiosity is not enough anymore, you must deliver it fast and on the right platforms.

The challenges set by moments demonstrate the growing importance of information discovery and search marketing, at every stage of their journey. People are curious, and they tell search engines what they want to know, where they want to go, what they want to buy and what they want to do everyday, multiple times.

As behavioural planners we can see how our perfect funnel has now become a complicated, interconnecting matrix that starts and ends at various stages. Understanding that our consumers are irrational is key to ensuring our messaging is always on, always relevant and always fast.

References: Think by Google

Article Written by

Anthony Glass

Digital Acquisition Executive, Total Media

Anthony is a Digital Acquisition Executive, originally from Yorkshire. His appetite for digital marketing is matched only by his appetite for food.

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