NEW YORK: Marketers investing in mobile need to understand the many types of behaviour consumers display when using these devices and to allocate their resources accordingly, a new study has argued.

Experian Marketing Services, the cross-channel marketing and data management specialist firm, identified seven distinct types of mobile consumer in its Always On Consumer report, which drew on a survey of 25,000 US adults. These ranged from those who rarely put their device down to those who barely picked it up.

"Smartphones provide brands and consumers with an intensely personal medium, and marketers need to understand the individual preferences of their customer base in order to deliver rewarding brand experiences," said Bill Tancer, general manager of global research, Experian Marketing Services.

Five per cent of mobile users were dubbed 'prodigies' – constantly connected and the first to embrace new technology. They were also ten times more likely than the average smartphone owner to say they would be interested in receiving ads on their phones and seven times more likely to say they would buy the products in those ads.

'Tribals' (13%) were hyperconnected and both heavily influenced by and strong influencers of others through social media, with Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and other visual properties of especial interest.

Some 15% were termed 'personals' and these were increasingly bypassing social media to use direct messaging apps to contact friends. They also showed a greater than average interest in receiving ads on their phone and were 60% more likely to buy the products advertised.

The 18% of consumers who were 'pragmatists' used their phones primarily to stay on top of work and home. They were less likely than average to buy items they saw advertised on their phone.

The biggest group were 'browsers' (24%) who were still learning what they could do with their phone beyond browsing the mobile web and consuming some news. But few were likely to purchase products they saw advertised.

'Occasionals' (11%) used their smartphones mostly for making calls, playing games and checking the weather. They were found to be much more receptive to digital campaigns on their personal computer and more open to native advertising in print newspapers and e-readers.

The final group – 'talkers' (13%) – used their mobiles sparingly and then mostly for conversation. As such, said Experian, digital and mobile campaigns are most effective with this group primarily to supplement campaigns run in traditional media.

Data sourced from Experian Marketing Services; additional content by Warc staff