Mobile will force brands to begin to solve problems from the customer's perspective. The thinking goes beyond a shift to mobile from desktop, but rather in the way consumers think.
At the Forrester industry event in Los Angeles, Josh Bernoff Forrester Research senior vice president of idea development, introduced the Mobile Mind Shift Index, a measurement describing mobile connectivity. He told Online Daily News mobile is not a just a technology trend, but a complete shift in the psychology of consumers, who now expect mobile utility from companies they work with.
"We can measure this mobile mind shift," he said. "Although 78% of online U.S. consumers have not yet made the shift, based on our surveys, 22% have. They demand mobile utility and will dump companies that don't give it to them."
Bernoff said the key becomes creating mobile utility that solves customer problems, pointing to Johnson & Johnson, which created a baby sleep application called bedtime.
Forrester released a report at the conference outlining the shift in six stages, ranging from Disconnecteds, who show no signs of shifting, to Perpetuals, who have shifted completely. The other categories--Dabblers, Roamers, Adapters, and Immersers--also describe the change.
About 12% of U.S. consumers in the shifted segments are Adapters, about 46% female; 6%, Immersers with 41% female; and 4%, Perpetuals, 31% female. The ages range from 33 to 35 with an average annual income between $95,400 and $111,100. Some 29% of Adapters own a tablet, compared with 47% of Immersers, and 78% of Perpetuals.
Mobile devices will become more intimate, expressing expectations, alongside intent. Since the shift combines searches on social with locations during a specific time of day, it also changes and challenges search engine marketing. Consumers no longer expect information. They demand it--from food calorie counts to updates from friends on Tumblr, Facebook and Twitter.
An accompanying report from Forrester analyst Melissa Parrish explains why obstacles between what consumers want and seek are unacceptable. Parrish believes serving connected consumers takes "intelligent services," rather than marketing. It means brands must anticipate needs: evaluate the frequency and quality of customer interactions before building a strategy. Parrish said consumers have been trained to expect that anything they want is instantly available on smartphones.