Global research and advisory gurus at Forrester Research say only 16% of Europeans have made the shift to a mobile mindset, compared to 22% of Americans.

According to new European data released this week at Forrester’s Forum For Marketing Leaders EMEA 2013, Europeans differ from Americans on all three components of what Forrester calls the ‘mobile mind shift’ – ‘the expectation by customers that any desired information or service is available on any appropriate device in context and at their moment of need’.

The three components are the number of connected devices, the frequency of access and the diversity of locations in which connections occur.

From Dabblers to Immersers

Forrester has divided consumers into six segments. The bottom three; Disconnecteds, Dabblers, and Roamers, are unshifted segments. According to new Forrester data 84% of European online adults are in this group – meaning they do not show clear signs of a change in attitude.

The top three segments are Adapters, Immersers, and Perpetuals. These are shifted and therefore have high expectations for their mobile experience.

The European Mobile Mind Shift Index shows that only 16% of European online adults are shifted. In comparison, 22% of US online adults are shifted, while 78% are unshifted.

The European Mobile Mind Shift Index varies by country. Germany was found to be the least shifted and has the lowest index score in Europe, followed by the UK and France, which are both slightly more shifted but still below the European average.

At the highest end of the index, Sweden is more shifted than the US.

Catching Up

Forrester said for companies whose customer base falls largely into the shifted segments, there is ‘greater urgency’ to have a plan in place to provide mobile services. The firm also said that for marketers, meeting the needs of this demanding customer base in a mobile setting is a marketing imperative.

Forrester analyst Josh Bernoff said while Europeans actually have more connected devices, they connect significantly less frequently and in fewer locations than their US counterparts.

“This appears to be a result of the data plans on European mobile devices, plans that interfere with users’ natural desire to access mobile everywhere as a matter of habit,” Bernoff said.

He said Europeans have just as much desire for mobile utility as people in other geographies, but the data suggests this desire will lead to more expansive data plans, reducing the friction that is interfering with European’s mobile mind shift.

“Within six months, we expect European attitudes to catch up to where Americans are right now,” Bernoff added.