Marketers and product strategists have used Forrester’s Mobile Mind Shift Index (MMSI) for years to understand their audiences and inform their mobile strategy. We introduced the MMSI in 2013 to help companies assess whether an audience is ready to engage with them on mobile. Today, the most important question is no longer whether your customers are ready for mobile but how best you can use mobile to interact with those customers. So, we have updated the Mobile Mind Shift Index to capture people’s reliance on mobile, rather than other channels, to interact with companies and get things done.

Scored on a scale from zero to 100, the new MMSI takes into account the variety of activities that consumers do on a smartphone and their preference for using a smartphone over other devices for those activities. We describe a consumer as “shifted” when their smartphone becomes the preferred tool in their digital lives. In 2018, the average US online adult is still in a “transitional” state, with a Mobile Intensity score of 27.

Companies can get a better understanding of the mobile intensity shift by examining the different pathways digital behaviors are taking as they break into the mobile space. Forrester has plotted the percent of consumers who perform each activity on their mobile phone against the proportion of those consumers who prefer to do that activity on their phone, rather than on another device. By understanding the activities for which an audience relies on their smartphones, companies can design mobile experiences that incorporate the mobile functionality that customers demand most.


Our latest data reveals that the average US online adult already prefers using a mobile phone for some common digital activities, such as using social media. However, they don’t favor mobile for other ubiquitous tasks (such as email) to the same degree — so these activities offer opportunities to optimize the mobile user experience. And while early adopters enjoy the convenience of mobile devices for newer activities like controlling the connected home, these tasks are not yet mainstream. And activities with a more established history in the digital space, such as checking financial accounts, are just starting to see mobile disruption among consumers.

Consumers are undergoing a disruptive shift toward mobile convenience. For key digital behaviors, mobile is no longer just an option, but an expressed preference. As this shift intensifies, companies can use Forrester’s MMSI to anticipate the next wave of behaviors to be preferred on mobile. This is just a sneak peek at the updated framework. Look out for the full report next month, which will explore the framework and what it means more deeply.

Adrian Chapman, data science manager, co-authored this blog post.