App myopia is a natural consequence of the mobile frenzy, but companies that focus on the next killer app are missing the bigger picture: The power of mobile access is not about the devices and apps we use now but about the change in attitudes that they are creating in the minds of millions of customers.

In new research published in conjunction with its Marketing Leadership Forum, Josh Bernoff, the co-author of Groundswell and Empowered, introduced the six stages of what Forrester is calling the mobile mind shift, along with an index that enables companies to know how far along their customer base is in this shift.

Forrester has divided consumers into six segments. The bottom three — Disconnecteds, Dabblers, and Roamers — are unshifted segments. According to new Forrester data, 78% of US online adults are in this group: They don’t show clear signs of a change in attitude. The top three segments — Adapters, Immersers, and Perpetuals — are shifted and, therefore, have high expectations for their mobile experience. Twenty-two percent of the population are shifted; for companies whose customer base falls largely into these segments, there is greater urgency to have a plan in place to provide mobile services.

Did you know that 4% of the population are Perpetuals — four out of five have a tablet in addition to their smartphone and connect anytime, anywhere — and that the annual household income for this segment is more than $110,000? Bernoff details each of the segments, supported by new data from our Consumer Technographics® surveys. He also uses two examples — E-Trade and Johnson & Johnson — to demonstrate how companies can use the Mobile Mind Shift Index (MMSI) that Forrester has created for companies to better understand where their customers are in this shift.

“The Mobile Mind Shift Index” is now available to Forrester Research clients here.