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Life’s always been about creating moments. But now it’s all about the ‘micro’ moments! It’s an impulse thing…

Marketing Trends Blog Image July

Depending on your age, you may remember as a youngster being dragged around supermarkets with one or both of your parents for the monthly or weekly grocery shop. Precious moments you’d no doubt rather have spent with friends or quite frankly any other way imaginable. The highlight of these trips was typically the moment your captor (aka parent) headed towards the tills as this meant your torment was almost over. For your parent(s) however, they knew that for them ten minutes of their own unbearable and unfortunately unavoidable (thanks to marketer’s) personal hell was most likely about to begin.  The dreaded wait in the often long and winding queue which conveniently and frustratingly for parents meandered for what felt like miles – not accidently I might add – past every known form of confectionery (sweets, chocolates, candy), beverage or fad toy imaginable! Child heaven. The impulse isle, where every child on the planet perfected their powers of persuasion, through tantrums, bribery, false promises of being good and any other form of manipulation they could muster. Precious moments indeed.

Marketers and retail marketers in particular, tended to exploit the impulsive shopping urge which is inextricably tied to the basic want for instant gratification. An early definition for “impulse purchases” came out of the DuPont Consumer Buying Habits Study which ran from 1948 to 1965 and defined impulse buying quite simply as: “unplanned purchase made by a consumer”. The definition was later updated, to explicitly refer to the intense urge that a consumer feels when they want to buy an item right then and there, often causing cognitive dissonance for the consumer. Marketers recognised early on that kids were great targets for impulse buying and although often not the direct purchasers themselves, they were a direct catalyst to securing a share of parents’ wallets via impulse triggered purchasing.

There’s a specific psychology behind impulse buying, it disrupts the normal decision-making models in consumers’ brains. The typical and usually logical sequence of a consumer’s actions is replaced with an irrational moment of self-gratification as impulse items generally appeal to the emotional side of consumers. Some items bought on impulse are not considered functional or necessary in the consumers’ lives. Like chocolates at the check-out counter. Although most parents trying to pacify a ranting toddler may argue the sweets are all to necessary to retain their sanity.

For generations, marketers and retailers have capitalised through impulse purchase displays and clever store layouts on the psychology of “I want it now!”.  But thanks to technology and the ‘trade craft’ perfected by marketers over decades of having watched generations of toddler temper tantrums in the impulse isle, the concept of Impulse purchasing is rapidly going mainstream on what can only be described as an industrial scale.

Enter the “micro-moment” – Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device – increasingly a smartphone – to immediately act on a need or want.  The impulse isle is now firmly in the palm of almost every consumer on the planet’s hand. Smart phones and tablet devices have ushered in an era where consumers’ every desire be it – to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something – can be immediately satisfied. These “I want-to-know,” “I want-to-do,” “I want-to-go,” and “I want-to-buy” moments are what Google calls “micro-moments.” (visit https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-strategies/micro-moments/ to learn more about Goole’s research into micro-moments)


“When we act on our needs in the moment, our expectations are high and our patience is low. This makes the quality, relevance and usefulness of marketing more important than ever.”- Joei Chan, author at Mention


We want things right, and we want things right now! Technology has re-awakened the terrible toddler sleeping inside all of our minds. Instant; accurate gratification is an expectation, not a nice to have. The computers caried in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we’re looking for, exactly when we’re looking. If the impulse strikes, it must be fulfilled.

Increasingly, our preferences and purchase decisions are being shaped in these micro-moments and brands that do the best job of addressing customers’ needs in each micro-moment, most notably on mobile, will enjoy huge competitive advantages. By being there in these “micro-moments”, your brand has the chance to address consumer needs at the perfect and most precise time to help move customers along their decision journey. The linear sales funnel and accompanying customer journey is being disrupted and along with it the tried and tested idea of needing dedicated content for the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of the funnel. Returning to our retail store analogy, store success was reliant on foot traffic, and certain sales reliant on impulse buying. In the digital world impulses trigger buying scenarios, and micro-moments are the equivalent digital footsteps that lead customers to your virtual store. Your Brand must be in the moment with the customer.

Every time a customer needs or wants something, it is an opportunity for you to provide – provide information, provide options, provide a solution and thus be more than just an option but rather to become a trusted partner and an answer to the requirement. Micro-moments are intent-rich windows of opportunity when your audiences want to know or do something; when and where decisions are being made and their preferences shaped.

As marketers start identifying your prospects and customers’ buyer journeys, identify those “micro-moments” that matter most. Where do prospects want to find information about your products or services? Where do they want to learn about what it is you offer? How can you help them in the moment? How can you positively influence or affect those moments? What content can you deliver to engage them in a meaningful way right then and there? While we’re in the moment, if you’re interested in learning more about the current trends, theory and practices powering modern marketing check out our full time marketing course offerings at https://imm.ac.za/academic-qualifications/marketing-qualifications/ or our marketing short course offerings at https://shortcourses.imm.ac.za/online_courses/marketing-advertising-short-courses/?utm_source=GoogleAds&utm_medium=SearchWithDisplayNetwork&utm_campaign=Brand&gclid=CjwKCAjw_LL2BRAkEiwAv2Y3SW7g_LtYKVJ_r6sWgBLQvm0-L-nGRf8HEAKEsJGJQHXPe95ii828OBoCJPQQAvD_BwE

When all is said and done, it simply comes down to showing your prospects and customers that you can help in their daily lives, not just when they are present in your office, store or on your website, but whenever and wherever they are experiencing that impulsive moment of need. To win in the micro-moments, you must understand your prospects’ intent, provide them with relevant, useful and high-quality information, directly addressing their need and most importantly maximise the ways you can find to be present in the moment.  The strongest brands will capitalize on these micro moments and evolve to match these moments with valuable content.

Marketing Trends Image Resources







Top 7 marketing trends in 2021

marketing trends in 2021

Today’s marketing world travels at breakneck speed, and in order to succeed in this industry, you have to stay ahead of the game. Throughout 2020, and the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw consumers shift their shopping habits from in-person to online. This shift in consumer behaviour has led to a substantial change in the way marketers reach consumers.

The pandemic has significantly impacted the way consumers search for, access, and utilise goods and services. It is important that marketers stay with the times. In this blog we review and discuss the top trends in marketing for 2021.



Inclusive marketing image


1. Inclusive marketing

Inclusivity has never been as significant as it is today. HubSpot (2021) defines Inclusive marketing as “campaigns that embrace diversity by including people from different backgrounds or stories that unique audiences can relate to”.

While some inclusive campaigns try to break stereotypes, others simply aim to reflect or embrace people in the real world.

In 2021, we will see more marketing campaigns that include media and subject matters that cover a variety of cultural backgrounds, religions, race, etc., as well as representation for people with physical and learning disabilities.




Increase in brand-to-brand collaborations2. Increase in brand-to-brand collaborations

Other successes like McDonalds’ collaboration with Travis Scott have encouraged some deep-pocketed organisations to have their marketing departments put a renewed focus on brand collaborations with celebrities in 2021.

Collaborations like this between corporate brands have proven to be largely beneficial to both parties, as these types of unexpected partnerships create a social buzz and allow for cross marketing by both brands to their customer bases which is a big advantage in today’s world where customer attention is more difficult to grab than ever.

These types of celebrity and brand collaborations often do not require celebrity endorsement fees, which is an additional advantage in an era of tightened marketing budgets.


Content is still king3. Content is still king

Content marketing has become the marketer’s main tool for attracting customers and boosting sales. The marketing landscape is likely to remain this way for years to come.

Today, most businesses pay for content-related ads and invest to generate unique content or publish blogs. According to the Content Marketing Institute (2021), content marketing has helped 96% of top brands in building trust and credibility with their audience.

In the current marketing sphere, content should form the core of your marketing strategy. With a vast amount of information freely available everywhere, and to everyone, most businesses already know how to attract their customers. However, what is crucial is the actions they take. The main goal should not be to just provide people with content and hope for a positive reaction. Instead, it should aim to encourage prospects to share and engage with your content.

The content you generate unlocks the key that connects your brand to your audience. This connection is important to generate trust which will lead to loyalty.


Video advertising4. Video advertising

n 2020 we saw an overnight obsession with TikTok amongst Millennial and Generaton Z users, video has truly taken marketing by storm. According to a study by Microsoft (2020), the average human being has an attention span of eight seconds. This makes it extremely difficult for marketers to capture the attention of their audiences.

Various other Social Media platforms also allow you to create short videos, for example, Facebook and Instagram. These videos can be anything from 10-seconds to three minutes, providing you with a sufficient amount of time to respond to questions, demo a product and more. Not only are videos informative and engaging, but they can also provide large chunks of information in a short time. Therefore, video advertising helps in demonstrating your offering in a better way than other ad formats, in turn leading to a higher conversion rate.

Furthermore, app developers have been updating their features and are focused on driving and creating customer loyalty by reducing the number of times consumers switch between various applications, especially where video is concerned. A great examples of this is Instagram’s new ‘reels’ feature. As these companies begin to promote these features, users get hooked on them, which makes it a great option for marketers to showcase their offering.


eCommerce will continue to boom5. eCommerce will continue to boom

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many retailers and brands have transitioned to a permanent online operation. According to Forbes.com (2020), online spending in 2020 was up 77%. Another example of this is international ecommerce giant, Amazon, who according to businessinsider.com (2020) have recorded their highest eCommerce growth in more than 3 years.

There have always been several benefits to shopping online, with the convenience of it being the biggest drawcard for consumers. In 2020, though with the COVID-19 pandemic, shopping online is not only convenient but also the safest way to do your shopping. Consumers today have become very used to this way of life, and many of them only now realise the benefits to online shopping including the excellent customer experience. This only means one thing for 2021, eCommerce will continue to boom.



Social commerce 6. Social commerce 

Similar to the popular omnichannel approach, social media marketing now offers users the opportunity to shop ‘in-app’. This in-app shopping has turned into a major trend among millennials mainly due to the convenience of it. Consumers today are becoming opposed to continue their search or purchase products when they have to switch between applications to make their payment. This is because users do not want to be disrupted, they want to engage with a brand and shop online all in one place.

It is a well-known fact that social media today is the largest and most beneficial platform for marketing online. Now, with the launch of Facebook Shops, Instagram Shopping and Pinterest Shopping Ads and Catalogues, social commerce will become one of the most influential marketing and commerce trends of 2021.

According to Smart Insights (2020), 55% of online shoppers now make their purchases via social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, and 71% of users turn to their social media for inspiration for shopping. Therefore, it is now of essence to offer your products and services and make them ‘shoppable’ on social media. As we see more organisations make the switch to digital to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, this will be an essential tactic if you wish to remain competitive.


Voice search7. Voice search

The CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, revealed that out of the five searches conducted on an Android app, one is always a voice search.

Voice search is becoming so popular because it provides consumers with information at any given moment: while traveling and they do not have much free time, or when they can’t type, or even when they’re just too lazy to type. For consumers today, it is all about convenience.

Therefore, marketers need to start optimising their content for voice search. The best way to optimise content for voice search is to firstly, focus on phrases and longtail keywords. This makes sense since voice searches make use of a more natural language. The way we talk is completely different to the way we type.

Secondly it is to anticipate specific questions that are asked in a conversational tone, as people are inclined to ask their devices questions. A great example of optimising your content for voice is to start some of your paragraphs by asking questions such as why, what, where, and when.

While none of these trends are completely new to digital marketers, they are all gaining momentum and as the marketing world continues to transform in 2021, these trends will become critical to organisations that wish to remain competitive in their respective industries.

As the world continues to experience the lasting repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the business world will continue to transform digitally. It is now more crucial than ever to keep your marketing strategies current and focused on the changing behaviour of your target audience.