Micro-moments VS Macro-moments: Understanding Your Customers’ Digital Moments

Answer this question. Are you on your phone, tablet or desktop? If your answer is desktop, then guess what, you’re on the light side of the scale. In 2017, the most popular device for Google searches is no longer the desktop.

Welcome to the digital age. Where everything and anything can be found by a device in your pocket. In the year 2016, mobile searches had overtaken desktop searches on a global level by a small percentage. It was obvious that as these handheld devices became more and more like a personal computer, and less like the traditional telephone, that small percentage would turn into a dominating figure within a short matter of time.

Google, the prime leader of the digital industry holding 78% of the global search engine market share, recognised the significance of this trend, and initiated a number of “Mobile First”, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) initiatives over the years.

Now that Google (and we) understand that mobile and the internet are the new Mr. and Mrs. Smith, let’s dive into how this trend affects the success of your business online and the user engagement of your digital presence.

Recently, Google has started marketing a new ideology that focuses on user ‘micro-moments’. This concept focuses on how in our ever-growing, mobile world, digital customer journeys fracture into minute chunks of time, labelled ‘micro-moments’. It also highlights how ease of access now drives the shift in user engagement.


A micro-moment is an intent-driven decision within a real-time timeframe. A micro-moment can best be explained as an “I need a spare tyre now”, or an “I want a coffee now” moment.

Google expresses the importance for your business to cater on an ad-hoc basis for these micro-moments that are a part of your target audience's everyday lives. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cplXL-E1ioA

Amazing video, clear message, I’m ready.

But wait, there’s more! What about the macro-moments? Just in case you’re wondering, that’s the opposite of a micro-moment. It is important to understand that not every decision can be made as hastily as in a micro-moment, especially if what your business offers is something highly competitive.


A macro-moment is the “I’ve got time to kill”, or the “I wonder what” moment, and it goes without saying that a significant amount of these macro-moments usually leads to at least 2 hours straight on social media platforms.

What Google doesn’t express in their new video, is these moments where people aren’t actively looking to buy your business goods or services. It is important to recognise that these macro-moments happen often and are perfect marketing opportunities for your business or brand to convert sales.


Micro-moments - given the nature of micro-moments, the following are the best digital marketing platforms to address micro-moment opportunities:

  • AdWords Search Network: The Search Network displays ads within the Google search engine results page (SERP) and can usually be seen at the top of the results next to a green Ad icon.

  • Google Merchant Store: The Google Merchant Store displays a product feed within the Google (SERP) sourcing from various websites when a user searches for purchasable goods.

  • Organic Ranking (SEO): SEO is a long term effort that involves technical and content optimisations to better improve your organic positioning on Google SERP.

Macro-moments - given the nature of macro-moments the following are the best digital marketing platforms to address macro-moment opportunities:

  • AdWords Display Network: The Display Network displays visual banner ads within a network of listed websites across the internet e.g YouTube ad banner underneath videos.

  • Facebook Ads: These are paid Facebook Ads that appear on targeted audience social feeds. Really good with targeting user behaviour, interests, occupation, etc.

  • YouTube Ads (pending target audience): These are paid video ads that appear before a video loads on YouTube. Great chance to engage with rich media content.

  • Insta Ads (pending target audience): These are paid ads that appear within Instagram feeds. Great chance to engage with high end imagery that has creative appeal.

  • Twitter Ads(pending target audience): These are paid ads that appear within Twitter feeds. Great for a range of audiences.

  • LinkedIn Ads(pending target audience): These are paid ads that appear within LinkedIn feeds. Great chance to engage within a professional environment / B2B.


Below are some 2017 statistics based on social platform usage in Australia which indicate these ‘macro-moments’ are a daily occurrence across majority of popular social channels.

  • Facebook – 17,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users

  • YouTube – 15,200,000 Unique Australian Visitors

  • Instagram – 5,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users

  • LinkedIn – 4,000,000 Monthly Active Australian Users 


The major difference between the two moments is the type of opportunity they offer.

What happens in a micro-moment, for example, is a user submits a search query in Google and is presented with a mixture of top paid or organic results on the SERP page. This is almost like an open tender.

The user will shortlist those results that talk back to their search query best, and fine tune down to the best offering. Unless you offer something that no one else does, it’s still highly competitive.

What happens in a macro-moment, for example, is a user scrolls through their Facebook feed and sees your advertisement for a new product release which really engages with their hobby or interests.

The user clicks on your ad, sees your brand and learns to love your product. This is almost like a closed tender, where you sparked the interest of the user, and they want what your business is offering. Only if they believe your offer doesn’t fit their requirements or scope will they seek elsewhere.


The means of access to the digital world has changed from desktop to a device in your pocket. For business, the opportunity lies in recognising the importance of catering for both micro-moments and macro-moments, so that your audience is at ease with your message when switching from one moment to another.

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Showing 1 comment:

Elsa Hughes

26/09/2019 at 04:30pm

It is really important that your site feature is for both desktop and android device for your possible customer at ease.

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