IDC Profiles New Wireless Market Segments Based on Application Usage, Awareness, and Demographics
FRAMINGHAM, MA – APRIL 24, 2003 – Over the past year, the emergence of new wireless entertainment applications, including games, ring tones, and SMS, have helped move mainstream consumers from voice to data services. Meanwhile, many early adopters are already moving toward more advanced data applications, such as wireless Web browsing, email access, and location-based services. These migrations suggest that new classes of wireless users are starting to materialize, defined by their wireless application usage. IDC has identified and profiled five distinct user categories on the basis of their wireless application usage awareness, usage patterns, and demographic traits.
In January 2003, IDC conducted a survey among 2,776 U.S. online wireless users to examine their current perceptions, awareness, usage rates, and interest levels in new and emerging wireless services and content. Through cluster analysis, IDC identified the following homogenous and mutually exclusive classes of wireless users linked by their primary and secondary usage of wireless data applications.
Wireless innovators – the earliest and most venturesome adopters of wireless data services and content.
Productivity pioneers – early adopters of wireless data services whose needs are driven by wireless productivity enhancement and personal communications.
SMS users – an early majority adopter segment that has accepted SMS as its secondary channel of communication in both personal and work environments.
Entertainment junkies – part of the early majority of wireless adopters who seek fun and entertainment.
Mobile resisters – the late majority and laggard adopters with moderate or little use of wireless voice and data services.
"The market is primed for more advanced wireless data applications. However, the identification of these new user segments implies that carriers' single-product, voice-centric marketing strategies may no longer be relevant in marketing next-generation data services,” said Dana Thorat, senior research analyst in IDC's Wireless and Mobile Communications program. “By recognizing the different needs of each of the user segments, the carriers will be better able to adapt their wireless data service offerings to the market.”
The segmentation implies distinct wireless data service adoption and migration patterns for different user groups, and a diffusion path for wireless data services into the mainstream. The clusters also indicate the need for carriers to adapt their service offerings and marketing plans, which are traditionally designed for single-product voice-centric service offerings, to leverage new opportunities and growth within the most lucrative segments, while recognizing that the most valuable target markets may be the most influential in the wider market.
IDC's recently released report, New Wireless Customer Segments in the Age of Data: Cluster Analysis Profiles (IDC #29136), provides an overview of the current market for wireless data services and profiles each of the wireless user segments. The report also presents a framework for adapting wireless service offerings and marketing programs to better address the distinct needs of these wireless user segments.
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