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Segmentation key for mobile marketing success

NEW YORK -- Mobile marketers can better target key groups of mobile users by segmenting them according to specific qualities, goals, and behaviors that motivate and define different user groups.

At the Mobile Marketer's Association Mobile Marketing Forum in the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Carol Taylor, director of user experience at Motricity, Bellevue, WA, lectured the audience on what it means to target based on persona.

"The mobile persona is a composite that represents the needs of many based on observed behavioral patterns and an archetype that represents the needs and goals of a group of users within the target market," Ms. Taylor said.

She noted the importance of personality type over other demographics such as age, gender, and income.

Ms. Taylor said that there are unique characteristics of the mobile experience that marketers must be aware of in order to integrate the right content into campaigns and advertisements.

She said that mobile is a completely personal device and media experience, but that marketers should remember that, to most people, their phone is a communication device first and foremost.

Another tip for marketers to remember is that device limitations shape user experience and great attention should be paid to the context of material pushed in the consumers direction.

Ms. Taylor also noted that limited focus and on-the-go consumption drives short interaction and necessitates small, consumable data chunks.

Since access and discovery issues are still increasing, there is a great need for personal relevancy which makes location-based demographics imperative as the phone knows better than anyone where the consumer is.

"Customers are as different as their phones," Ms. Taylor said.

She gave five different types of personas for marketers to look out for.

First, there is the "up-to-date" user whose goal is to stay informed with the latest information that is important to him. The user normally satisfies this goal by repeatedly checking his regular information source to see what's new.

Her strategy for pulling in consumers from this persona type is to launch a recurring information campaign that helps him stay current on his favorite topics of interest.

The second persona type she gave was the "busy and productive" type, a user that is most concerned with being efficient and getting things done. This user usually seeks information when its needed to influence his or her next immediate course of action.

This user will most likely be interested in a campaign or program that gives her timely information, when and where she needs it.

Next, Ms. Taylor informed the audience on the "social and curious" persona, who is always looking for new information without an immediate goal.

This user would be more interested in an application or program that provides a fun activity that fills time or a viral thread he or she can share with friends.

She then told marketers about "latest and greatest" persona, who uses many different means and technologies to connect to other people. This user is always trying out the latest products that let he or she interact with friends and coworkers.

This user would be most receptive to cutting edge campaign that uses the latest mobile capabilities.

Finally, Ms. Taylor identified the "just the basics" persona which is a user who mainly wants to stay connected to her friends and family. This user sticks with entry-level phones and uses them primarily for communicating with those important to her.

This type of user would be concerned about additional costs for participation in any type of campaign, even if he or she texts regularly.

"Behaviors and motivations are better predictors of mobile adoption usage than demographic measures," Ms. Taylor said. "Luckily, personas can be used to understand the goals, desires, and limitations of different users."