Although technology and new gadgets are stealing the limelight lately, mobile marketing needs to focus on customer strategy to achieve measurable success, according to a white paper from Carlson Marketing. This article is copyright 2010 The Best Customer Guide.

The paper, entitled 'Bringing Mobile Segmentation to Life', suggests that near-term marketing success will depend on understanding key customer segments, and defines eight such segments, also presenting strategies for all of them.

"Smart companies don't market to gadgets, platforms or award judges," said Carlson Marketing's Doug Rozen. "They market to customers. When and if mobile marketers understand how customers use mobile devices, they can better increase the value of their customer relationships via mobile."

To support this, Carlson Marketing recently conducted research that went beyond standard mobile usage patterns and distribution statistics to gain attitudinal insight into the mindset of an increasingly varied mobile audience.

By combining data from companies such as Forrester, comScore and MRI with primary, ethnographic research, Carlson Marketing created behaviorally driven mobile consumer personas. The company also developed specific audience profiles to illustrate how to maximise the effectiveness of mobile marketing as well as to demonstrate the importance of new data streams from mobile channels.

Among the highlights of the eight segments identified are:

  • Mavericks
    This segment represents about five percent of the total audience. The maverick is a heavy mobile internet user, most likely to receive offers and promotions via mobile and most likely uses an iPhone 3G. He's 31, lives with his girlfriend in a major market city. He will pay extra for the newest technology and frequently downloads apps, watches video and surfs the net. Marketers need to be careful with Mavericks. Provide an immersive mobile experience or risk losing them.
  • Funccessorizers
    This segment, also five percent, uses her mobile device for pictures, games, texts, and other features. Device: MyTouch 3G. She's 24, single, and up to date on pop culture and current trends. Marketers can be provocative here and cut across the continuum all the way to downloading augmented reality applications, mobile ticketing and video.
  • Lifeliners
    About 14% of mobile users have taken the step toward regular text and email use but rarely use the Internet. Device of choice: LG eNV. She's 39, married, educated and suburban. Spending time with her family is top priority and is very cost conscious. She can be reached via marketing campaigns that stress unique interactions that value her lifestyle such as news alerts and SMS surveys.

The paper makes the case that the current exponential growth in the smartphone and the mobile market is a clear demarcation point for marketers that can be addressed only by properly segmenting mobile customers by key behaviors and attitudes.

A knee-jerk "build an app" strategy or simplistic data approach will not be enough to accomplish this job, the authors warned. "Companies need to know how and why customers use their mobile devices; only then can this information help produce campaigns that are relevant to the segment and therefore relationship builders rather than alienators," concluded Rozen.

The paper has been made available for free download from Carlson Marketing's web site - click here (PDF document; no registration needed).