Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Do You Segment When Users Carry Multiple Devices?

You might wonder how application and service providers are going to have to refine their customer segmentation assumptions in a world where users carry multiple mobile devices with them as a matter of course.

It's bound to be a growing question. According to a recent survey by Ofcom, the U.K. communications regulator, 97 percent of users carry at least two mobile devices.

Perhaps more significantly, 49 percent carry three or more mobile devices. That tends to suggest the old "business" or "consumer" distinction is woefully inadequate.

Up to a point, some things remain constant. Customers still can be sorted by age, lifestyle or perhaps brand preference. The issue is that behavioral measures probably will be more important. Even users within a single age demographic, socio-economic bracket or lifestyle segment might differ radically based on the number of devices they typically carry, as well as by what applications they use.

The most-obvious potential change is that a single-device user might not have too many qualms about flat-fee pricing for broadband access on a device basis. A user with multiple devices almost certainly is going to have greater resistance to uniform pricing of that sort, and should be more receptive to an integrated access plan that provides access to multiple devices in less expensive and more flexible ways.

In fact, it might actually simplify segmentation in some ways to consider "number of devices used" as a key driver of packages and features.

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