4th July 2022

Apple M1 Case study - The missing marketing opportunity.

Launching a new product or brand is daunting for every company. Being able to understand the market entry, the barriers for growth and how to communicate optimally and all whilst trying to mitigate risk of failure, is no mean feat! Our Ei™ Web Pulse technology provides businesses with a unique depth and accuracy of insight to ensure the challenges are transformed into opportunity. .

Web Pulse in Action

To comprehensively put Web Pulse to the test, we took to investigating Apple’s latest M1 product launch, to see where there were missed opportunities in the market and how Apple could have established a better communication strategy with their target audience.

Apple recently launched a new chip specifically designed for Mac which delivers “incredible performance, custom technology and revolutionary power”. Although it’s set to be the next breakthrough in technology, the lack of marketing and customer understanding could have severe consequences for the product.

Did you know it was launching? We certainly didn’t.


Web Pulse: The key to understanding audience engagement.

The Web Pulse is a shortcut to traditional methods of gathering insights on a large-scale. It allows us to quickly assess customer opinion on B2C brands and products for an initial SWOT analysis. It also analyses different aspects of social media, news articles and Google trends to see what audiences are saying about a brand or product.

We use Web Pulse as a precursor to a survey to allow us to develop a detailed understanding of the subject area and target demographic so that we can collate detailed and more accurate research. Our findings subsequently have a bigger impact on results.

The News Pulse The News Pulse investigates hundreds of the most recent news articles to establish the general consensus.

We scraped and analysed 100 of the most recent news articles on the M1 product line and used our Natural Language Processing (NLP) tool to calculate the polarity of the sentiments from the articles. It was apparent that consumers were excited for the release of the new product and the speed of the chip. The only negative comments were focused around the lack of compatibility with other products, as software was built for intel chipsets, which are now left behind.

We then compared these insights with how often each article was shared on Twitter as a proxy for social media engagement. It was interesting to see that the engagement through the shared articles mostly came from brand enthusiasts and tech savvy consumers, which is of course, representative of Apple's customer base and a reflection of their founding identity. The brand enthusiasts have similar traits to Steve Jobs and the tech enthusiasts to that of co-founder Wozniack.


The Social Pulse

The Social Pulse automatically analyses the sentiment of conversations across social platforms.

To investigate the social communications of Apple’s M1 we took to Twitter. Here, the sentiment towards the product was generally positive - a good sign for Apple. Based on the word choice used throughout the messaging, the Social Pulse estimated the gender of the authors to be predominantly male. This is important for Apple to recognise and reflect the same tone and style through their marketing communications.

The Social Pulse is also able to understand the words and phrases used by the authors. Interestingly the word “M1” was used 6 times more than the word “Apple”, which expresses the importance to the product rather than the brand to customers. People were excited about the new model being able to outperform its current devices, showing that it is not just the brand name alone that can enthuse people.


The most important finding was that Apple’s marketing communications were not reaching their “tech-savvy” customers effectively. Apple is taking a huge gamble by not communicating effectively with this particular persona, as they would be an audience ripe for capture.

The Trend Pulse

Trend Pulse analyses Google search trends related to particular products on a global scale.

There was a decline in Google searches for M1 prior to the product release on November 17th 2020. This is a huge indicator of how unsuccessful Apple's pre-launch marketing campaign was. Leading up to a new product launch, there usually is a surge in volume of searches and conversations on the topic. However, in fact, Apple saw a decline in searches, therefore missing the opportunity to create a virtual hype and expand awareness of the M1 chip


The highest volume of searches were in China, which we assume is related to Apple’s huge growth in revenue here during 2019 (almost double that seen in the US and EU markets).

China recently had a comparably low debt to GDP ratio, meaning that it is set for successful future economic growth, excelling the US and EU nations. For Apple, it means that they will see a continued rise of new consumers from China. They should be targeting this market, or else they risk losing their customers to the likes of Intel


Apple’s solution to excelling their marketing communications

Using our Web Pulse technology pre-launch would have helped Apple to reach the most reliable audiences, saving them marketing budget through a focused approach. Our technology has highlighted:

  • The market through public conversations for Apple’s latest product

  • Apple’s two core audiences, one of which is not targeted through marketing

  • New global opportunities for increased growth

Understanding conversations

The News Pulse tool helped us to establish Apple’s positioning in the market. Through the Social Pulse, we were able to understand most common sentiments around the M1 product line. Specifically, our detailed analysis of conversations had shown that people were extremely excited about the significant performance increase of the chipset, albeit some were worried about compatibility issues with existing software.

Missed marketing opportunities

It is clear to see that one of Apple’s core target audiences, the “tech-savvy,” are not being targeted through Apple’s marketing communications. This is dangerous for the brand, as it means they could easily lose their customers to competitors. The evidence for this is the conversations around “M1” rather than “Apple”: the new feature excited people even more so than the brand name.

Commercial growth

The Google searches leading up to the release of M1 were dramatically declining pre-launch. This shows that Apple’s communications were not resonating with their audiences at all. It was interesting to find that the small number of searches that were happening were concentrated in China. Apple has an opportunity to increase their growth through China’s ever growing economy if they target their marketing correctly.


Our methodology is helping brands to deconstruct conversations and deep dive into the emotional valence and sentiment around their branding and products. By accurately analysing the patterns and trends of conversations, we are helping all types of brands to communicate effectively with their audiences.

Book a call with our team to understand how Web Pulse can help your brand.