Can You Judge a Customer By His… Computer

A few years back, Apple had a long-running ad campain, “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC.”

It worked, but why?

Perhaps because it was textbook psychographic targeting, associating the product with a personality type. Maybe this will help explain:

In a recent study (I’m afraid I no longer have access to the source) it turns our more than half of Mac users live in the big city. Meanwhile, PC people are about 18% more likely to live in the burbs and 21% more likely to live in the countryside.

By a wide margin (50% more), Mac people love to throw parties. Or at least say they do. While about 23% of PC people say they’d rather not.

However, nearly 30% of PC people like to fit in with the group. Not so with Mac people, who tend to crave their own “uniqueness,” generally speaking.

PC people lean more to cake and candy snacks. Mac people? They’re about 7% more likely to go for peanuts and potato chips.

PC people tend to like tuna fish sandwiches more. Mac people supposedly favor bistro-type fries.

If you’re PC, you’re more likely to drink California Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio. If you’re Mac, you’ll crack open a Chianti or Cabernet Sauvignon instead.

Believe it or not, Mac people are more likely to think of themselves as tech-savvy nerds.

PC users are 43% more likely, meanwhile, to feel about as comfortable with computers as they are with learning a foreign language. Or so says the poll.

Who watches more “60 Minutes?” The Mac users. And who watches “20/20?” That would be our friends on the PC.

“Moby Dick” is more a Mac novel. And “Great Expectations” leans more toward the PC.

And on it goes.



  1. “Believe it or not, Mac people are more likely to think of themselves as tech-savvy nerds.” I had to chortle at that line.

    This is a great article, John. Most companies don’t know their customers this well. Most don’t see the need to. Most marketers aren’t sure what to do with this kind of data.

    But for the big idea “creatives,” the ones prepared to dig and think critically, these statistics may yield the ammunition to create incredibly persuasive sales messages.


  2. Yes, yes… but my guess, across the board, is that it’s true. And I can ‘fess up… I’m one of ’em.

    I think it’s because Mac users are such zealots, we/they attract a higher number of the tech-obsessed crowd. Around our house, I use my iPod as a remote to select music and movies for the kids on our Mini which is hooked up to the TV. At parties, I reverse it and use the iPad to run the playlists for the iPod hooked up to the stereo.

    When I run, the Nike+ unit in my sneaker tells my iPod via Bluetooth how far I’ve run, how fast, and how many calories I’ve burned… plus how much further or faster I need to go to meet my targets. I’ve got an alarm clock that tracks my sleep patterns and a scale that tracks my weight too. And everything in this paragraph gets uploaded automatically to a private online database.

    Our mini is a network hub with a hard drive with over 150 kid movies that we can stream locally or from another continent. We’ve got a central hard-drive running automatic 24-hour backup. And my laptop doubles as a screen-controlling tech support for all the other machines, both here and — when requested — in relatives’ homes 3,000 miles away.

    Disgusting, isn’t it?

    Meanwhile, a lot of PC users barely use their machines for more than email and web surfing.


  3. Well… Maybe you meditate too? Does it track your brainwaves in alpha and other states? Maybe. If you were able to sit in very simple yoga poses, in true silence, for some time per day (try 30 mins?), your body would tell you all of the stuff that you now need to command from devices.

    But I take your points.

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