Are the consumers you're trying to reach on mobile phones part of the Mobirati or Social Connectors? And which is more likely to switch service providers or want advanced phone features? Those are some of the questions Experian Simmons seeks to answer through a new set of demographic and lifestyle segments it has devised for mobile based on the research firm's syndicated national consumer and Hispanic surveys.
The Experian Simmons study identified five roughly equal-sized distinct mobile user segments:
Not surprisingly, the demographic that grew up with mobile phones was the most enthusiastic about using them for transactions. Mobirati were most interested in using their phones for m-commerce and most willing to accept ads in return for something else.
Experian Simmons also looked at mobile usage across three "psychographic" metrics: how willing they are to switch providers, how much they value added phone features, and how much they prefer using traditional landline service to mobile. Pragmatic Adopters were the most likely to switch services, with an eye always toward finding a better plan.
Among customers of the top 10 wireless providers, people with Boost Mobile, Alltel and Sprint Nextel were more prone to switching, while Tracfone and Virgin Mobile users were the most likely to stick with their phone services. Customers of those two prepaid services also favored wireline service over mobile more than other wireless users.
Among other findings, Experian Simmons found that aside from talking, the most popular mobile activity today is taking pictures, with 70% using camera phones to snap photos. Nearly a third (31%) check personal email on mobile devices and 21% check their business email. Half of cell users are engaged with some other type of media while on their phones, with watching TV being the most common (21%), followed by listening to the radio (13%) and Web surfing (12%). Fortunately, driving wasn't one of the other activities identified.