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Are you a Top Gear Tiger or an iPod Babe?

Part 1: Modern mobile marketing explained

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You've heard of Soccer Mom and Mondeo Man. Millions are spent each year on research that segments us to into such convenient categories. But have you ever felt these vague and unimaginative descriptions leave you wanting more? If the marketeers are going to be so reductive, why not get creative and give us a 'Wolverhampton Tightwad', or a 'Carling Depressive'?

Help is at hand, courtesy of this top secret market segmentation guide. It's designed for sales teams at a leading UK mobile phone retailer. We won't say which one, but Phones4U staff should be able to recognise it instantly.

This divides potential punters into 12 categories, and what phones they want. An Insight section takes us into the mind of each segment.

Top Gear Tigers, for example are men between 25 and 44, who "work hard - for the cash", the briefing tell us. The Top Gun Tiger cluster size is 1.16 million.

Favoured brands are Auto Trader, Sky Sports, Subaru, Ray-Ban and (no surprise) Top Gear.

Top Gear Tigers

"Work hard: for the cash" - Top Gun Tiger

"I do well for myself and don't mind telling you," is the main insight from a Top Gear Tiger. "The 'i' on the back of my car is crucial to me!"

But Top Gun Tiger is outdone in the bling stakes by Flashing Blade. (Cluster size: 1.68 million)

Flashing Blade is a bloke between 15 and 24 who enjoys "going to the gym" as well as "taking risks, drugs and the odd street fight". All good ways of staying fit.

Favoured places to get sloshed are Magaluf, favourite reads are the Sun and the Star. Flashing Blade may live with his parents however, and have a bad credit rating, which means he's a pre-pay customer.

"I like to stand out in a crowd," says Flashing Blade, which is tricky when there's 1.68 million other Flashing Blades. But that's why there are top brands such as Ben Sherman, fcuk and Adidas to help.

Flashing Blade: dodgy credit rating

Dodgy credit: Flashing Blade

Flashing Blade: likes a fight, but dodgy credit rating

Scariest of all are Soccer Dads (aged 35 to 44), however. Soccer Dad may be getting on a bit, but he'll have Flashing Blade. He "lives and breathes football", likes Question of Sport, Parkinson, and the odd bet, and "like(s) to demonstrate... continuing youth and vigour, hate(s) losing face in front of his mates".

Top brands are Alpen, Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, Tag Heuer and Cobra beer. Soccer Dad is a good candidate for upselling, because his favoured mobile is, "chunky, with lots of gadgets they rarely use".

(So that's who's gets landed with these Windows Mobiles, then).

Ultra competitive: Soccer Dads

Doesn't use his features: Soccer Dad

Although Soccer Dad has Top Gear Tiger as a natural ally, he's outnumbered by Flashing Blade; the Soccer Dad has a cluster size of 822,000: one of the smallest in the survey, but still a considerable number of psychopaths.

It's almost a relief after that to find iPod Babe (cluster size: 1.567 million). Single 18 to 34 iPod Babe puts her career first, keeps in touch with friends, and holidays as much as possible.

iPod Babe watches Hollyoaks, Footballers Wives and Big Brother, shops at Lush and Starbucks, and is into Fuck Buddy Sex.

(But probably not with Soccer Dad, we reckon).

"People see the phone I use, not the network I'm on," says iPod Babe."I need a mobile from a known brand with a strong image. The brand image needs to convey my appreciation for great design and cool functionality."

That's why 70 per cent of iPod Babes use a flip or a clamshell.

F**ck buddy sex: iPod Babe

Clamshells and 'F-ck buddy sex': iPod Babe

"Definitely no external aerial."

So that's modern Britain, then? Well that's what it looks like to a mobile marketer, and we're only a quarter of the way through. We'll round up the rest of humanity, including the splendid "Shameless Punter", and "Bingo Boiler", tomorrow.

Bootnote: If you've got any reductive marketing horrors as bad, or worse than this, let's have them. ®

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