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Translate Hype into Audience Insights

Platform Stories / by Ryan Baum on November 15, 2019

Translate Hype into Audience Insights

3 minute read

How can Apple bring Gen X into the conversation during product launches


Looking at social listening data in a vacuum is like walking in during the third act of a movie and trying to understand what’s going on. You can hear everything they say, but you don’t know who these people are, what brought them to this point, or what it all means.


Helixa-Learn from your social audience


When you’re launching a new product, that’s unacceptable. You need to understand the audience behind the online discussion and figure out what they care about. Otherwise, you’re going to lose them immediately and waste any chance at building momentum.


We took a look at the discussions around the launch of Apple’s iPhone 11 earlier this year to show how you can connect quicker with messages that resonate more effectively.


A mid-life crisis for the iPhone


It probably won’t surprise you that the discussion around the official in-store release of the iPhone 11 was dominated by a younger crowd (18-34). However, the spike in the 65-69 age range might raise eyebrows.


In between, you have a large gap with high-income people in the 35-59 age range. They represent a lot of purchasing power, so it is troubling that they were quieter once the iPhone 11 was released. Luckily for Apple, my dad discovered Animoji right before reading this, so his loyalty is secure for a while.


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When you look at this valuable segment more broadly in our platform, these consumers have a high affinity for technology and pinching pennies, to a degree almost double that of those discussing the iPhone launch. 


However, we know the iPhone sells a lifestyle, rather than focusing on technical specs or affordable prices.


Demographics alone are not enough


If you try to reach this important segment based on their age and income alone, you will create generic advertising and, ultimately, you will fail to connect. To understand them is to explore what makes them tick — their passions, motivations, and quirks. 


They are design lovers and art appreciators, and that extends to their homes, where they have a heavy interest in decoration and interior design. They are food lovers, but it’s important that they find healthy options. They are techies, but also have high affinities for outdoor activities.


Helixa-What motivates your audience


The most relevant lifestyle insight we discovered is an overlap of high business-related affinities and a passion for design. Both of these attributes are shared among this audience at a rate significantly higher than the general population.


That’s an intersection of Apple’s key strengths, presenting a huge opportunity for the iPhone creative team to develop work for this audience that highlights both of these areas in tandem.


Understanding every period of the product launch


To make that insight even more actionable, we can add context by comparing discussion around the iPhone announcement event to the conversation that followed the in-store debut. That will help inform the best time to reach our target segment next time there is an iPhone launch.


Unsurprisingly, the announcement event discussion has a much higher representation of design lovers, techies, and people who closely follow the news. I would assume they are more interested in the features and specs, while the younger audience discussing the actual release might be slightly more interested in showing off their new phones and flexing on their friends with third-camera memes.


The announcement discussion is also far more representative of the segment we have been discussing, with relative spikes in higher income brackets and in the 35-44 and 55-59 age ranges.


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If this is the audience we want to shoot for, they are definitely paying closer attention and joining the conversation more frequently during the announcement period. That would be the best time to reach them with messaging that taps into their shared love of smart business and beautiful design, for the type of emotional lifestyle appeal that has defined Apple’s strategy for the past decade.


Big insights for companies of all sizes


Apple is one of the biggest brands in the world and dedicates millions to research every year, but Helixa provides unique audience analysis for social discussions that even they could benefit from.


For businesses without those resources, Helixa is even more critical. We can provide deep and valuable analysis quickly, to inform your strategy and save you money. Then, as you learn more, you can keep feeding those insights into the platform to discover more than you ever knew about your audience.




Get in touch today to learn about the ways that Total Social View and our entire suite of solutions can help you make smarter decisions at every step of your research and execution.


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