Apple’s Customers Geeks, Microsoft’s are Geezers

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The customers who visit the Apple Website are younger than those who visit Microsoftis. Each company understands that, and it defines their messaging and marketing strategies accordingly. That analysis was published by Hitwise Intelligence on Friday.

The majority of traffic to the Apple Website is from people under age 45 while the majority of traffic to the Microsoft Website is from people over 35. In fact, more than 22 percent of visitors to the Microsoft site are over age 55. In Appleis case, itis about 10 percent.

Analyst LeeAnn Prescott surmised, "Accordingly, the spokesman on the Windows Vista promotional site is Tom Skerrit, a 73 year-old actor. Even Appleis advertising team picked up on this difference, casting an older geek as a PC and a young hip guy as a Mac in its television commercials."

The launch strategy by Microsoft seems to be taking into account the age of their customers. People who did not jump into the computer revolution early are more hesitant to engage in a new product. Younger customers have more confidence that they can jump in, learn something new, and are less hesitant.

Each company uses the understanding of their customers to promote their products. "Apple understands that its customers are its best marketers. Its younger customer base spreads news virally through blogs, text messages and MySpace, and thus it does not need to rely as heavily on offline marketing, except to convince older users to switch from a PC," the research director at Hitwise wrote.

Despite the even handedness by the analyst, and despite each company properly diagnosing its customer demographics, it is not a good sign for Microsoft that their customer base is so much older. The pace of technology is increasing, not flattening out. Those who manage the future of technology will be those who can adopt and adapt quickly. Apple knows that too.

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