Moments That Matter: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

We are marketers participating in arguably the most important medium shift in marketing since the first television ad for Bulova watches in 1941. Mobile has delivered us from a mass media world to a personally relevant one—from a world in which marketers would buy TV, magazine and radio ads as a way to reach people based purely on context to a world in which marketers can reach individuals based not just on demographics but also on passions, behaviors, interests and so on. It’s driven the shift from a world of appointment-driven media ruled by rigid 15-, 30- and 60-second frameworks to a world of anytime/anywhere media.

And thanks to mobile, we’re moving from fewer bigger, longer moments manufactured by the media and marketing industry—moments like soap operas, the “Seinfeld” finale and pivotal sports games—to a time when people are manufacturing and consuming their own and each other’s moments en masse—every minute, every day, 365 days a year. From meals to memes, from first steps to first jobs and from moving on to moving up, millions of people go on Facebook and Instagram to share—and share in—these types of moments every day.

In the coming weeks, we’ll explore how people connect around these moments on Facebook and Instagram and how brands can participate in and enhance these moments. Our insights are based on a combination of internal data analysis and commissioned research. We focus on:

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People have always had these moments in their lives. But marketers never had the opportunity to take part—until mobile. Mobile has given us the opportunity to capitalize on these very important, highly personal and uniquely relevant moments. It has never been easier to find the right people or the right moments.

In the time it takes us to take a breath, there are a million moments of mobile discovery happening on Facebook and Instagram—that’s well over 20 trillion moments of mobile discovery each year.1 On the surface, some of these moments may feel ordinary. But dig deeper, and they belie extraordinary insights.

Take the moment experienced by many new parents, for instance: the up-in-the-middle-of-the-night-when-you’re-feeding-or-rocking-your-baby-back-to-sleep moment. Through our research, we found that new parents in the US are active on Facebook in the wee hours, with their first mobile sessions of the day starting as early as 4am and peaking at 7am. We also found that new parents in the US overindex 1.4X on mobile versus non-parents.2 With a baby in their arms and a phone in their hands, mobile is new parents’ connection to the wider world and a medium they can readily consume.

Or take the moment when people discover a new TV show. We found that, for many people in the US, that moment of discovery is now happening online. This is especially true for Millennials, 3 in 5 of whom go online to discover new TV shows. What that means is they are no longer discovering entertainment content solely on the screens where they consume it. And Facebook is playing a part in that, with 2/3 of adults saying that they discover TV shows on Facebook.3

Then there are seasonal moments like summer, which is about to officially begin in the US. Our research found that people’s #1 summer association is “relaxation,” yet they say their #1 goal for summer is to get in shape. Summer hashtags related to #fitness on Instagram highlight people’s #motivation to #exercise, #eatclean and make #healthychoices.4 As people unwind by taking advantage of the many activities that summer has to offer, expect to see the rise of “relaction”—relaxing through action.

These are just a fraction of the moments that people are creating and consuming on a daily basis—just some of the moments brands can use to inform strategic, creative and media planning.

 

How do marketers build extraordinary brands using these ordinary moments?

Be personal: Thanks to mobile, people are connecting around millions of personal moments every day—from wedding announcements to birth announcements, from birthdays to beach days and from training for a marathon to watching a TV marathon. By understanding more about moments that matter to people, brands can can deliver highly creative, personally relevant experiences that matter more to their consumers.

Be precise: Thanks also to mobile, people are creating and consuming many little moments in rapid-fire succession. To resonate and stand out among the multitude of moments, brands need to be precise in their messaging and targeting—delivering the right creative to the right person at the right moment, like byte-sized, image-heavy content that delights a new mom rocking her baby back to sleep in the middle of the night or encourages Millennials to go out or chill out in summer.

Be persistent: People are sharing—and sharing in—their own and each other’s moments every day and everywhere, especially on mobile. As moments play out on the device that is omnipresent in people’s lives, brands need to establish a persistent mobile strategy.

By being personal, precise and persistent, marketers can leverage these ordinary moments to make their brands extraordinary.

 

Sources
1 Facebook internal data, Mar 2015. A breath is measured as 3–5 seconds.
2 Facebook internal data, US only, Jan–Apr 2015. Based on 1.6 million new moms and 925,000 new dads ages 18+, compared to same number of non-parents ages 18+. Each segment is a result of self-reported and inferred data combined with a proprietary method of assessing affinity. Parents having a child age under the age of 1 are the “New Parents” affinity segment. Non-parents are defined as those who do not belong to the New Parents affinity segment.
3 “Entertainment Discovery Study” by Millward Brown Digital, Jan 2015 (study of US adults commissioned by Facebook).
4 Instagram internal data, May–Sep 2014 (accessed Apr 2015).