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Forrester: 48pc of mobile phone owners access the Web, social media and apps weekly

Although a substantial amount of mobile owners use their devices for sophisticated features, marketers need to remember to focus on the objective versus the technology behind a mobile strategy.

The ?Craft A Maturity-based Mobile Strategy? report from Forrester Research outlines how marketers should be positioning their mobile strategy around user behavior and context. The report also breaks down the different levels of a comprehensive mobile framework for marketers.

"Don?t be fooled ? just because 93 percent of adults have some kind of mobile phone that doesn't mean that they have smartphones," said Melissa Parrish, New York-based analyst at Forrester Research in the report.

"And for the nearly half that do, the fact that they own sophisticated mobile devices doesn't automatically mean they use them in sophisticated ways," she said.

Mobile divide
Mobile phone ownership has reached 93 percent of adults in the United States, showing the opportunity for marketers to reach a wide group of engaged users.

With this though, marketers need to remember to still split efforts between feature phone and smartphone users.

Additionally, even though smartphone adoption is growing, it does not necessarily mean that consumers are using their devices for sophisticated features.

Forrester classifies the 93 percent of mobile phone owners into five categories ? super connected, entertainers, connectors, communicators and talkers.

The super connected group makes up the largest amount of users with 48 percent of mobile owners. These users access the mobile Web, social media and applications on their devices weekly. This group uses their mobile device for everything from checking news to shopping, opening up possibilities for marketers to use new mobile marketing programs.

Thirty-eight percent of consumers fall into the entertainer group. These mobile users are willing to pay for mobile content. The report recommends that media companies partner and strike ad buy deals with publishers of popular apps to help monetize these initiatives.

Twenty-five percent of mobile users fall into the talker group, meaning that these users only use their device?s voice function.

Communicators, which make up 16 percent of mobile phone owners, use SMS at least weekly. However, they do not access the mobile Web or use applications. This is part of the reason why marketers consistently turn to SMS ? it might not be the newest mobile channel, but it does reach a wide group of users.

Fifteen percent of mobile phone owners fit into the connector group. These consumers use their mobile device primarily to accomplish things, making features such as email and navigation the most commonly-used features.

Mobile order
In order to be successful in mobile, marketers need a strategic plan. This plan must be aligned around how mature a company?s mobile marketing capabilities are, which are categorized into four different frameworks.

At the novice level, marketers are using a single-tactic approach that is focused on learning. For example, brands at this stage might run one mobile advertising campaign or test out a check-in initiative.

The second phase is experimenter, which focuses on existing programs. In these types of campaigns, mobile is typically added on to interactive initiatives.

Next, marketers at the practitioner level treat mobile as its own channel.

A top-tier mobile framework uses the medium to connect online and offline marketing initiatives.

Define the message
Once marketers understand how consumers interact with their mobile devices, they can create tailored goals around campaigns.

The four main objectives are acquaintanceship, friendship, camaraderie and commitment.

Acquaintanceship is used primarily for brand building while friendship is used for acquisition, for example.

Then, only at the last stage of understanding the consumer and marketing objective can marketers choose a technology and tactic to use.

Most marketers are not at the level for mobile to be a strategic development tool because they are still working their way up the stages of maturity.

"As marketers mature from practioners to leaders, two things have happened to change strategic plans," Mr. Parrish said in the report.

"First, mobile expertise and objectives have proliferated across the enterprise, making mobile business a priority for not just the marketers but the entire organization," she said.

"Second, the organization's customers have become always addressable, which means that marketers must stop focusing on discrete channel strategies and start addressing their customers' needs whenever they experience them."

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York