It’s one of the most recognized brands in the world, and yet it still manages to reinvent itself, and stay relevant. How does Starbucks do it? By taking chances on progressive media—that’s how.
This is made remarkably clear by Starbucks’ use and ideological belief in the strength of SMS marketing. Where once SMS might have been questioned per its effectiveness, few would now argue that SMS hasn’t made a seat for itself in the mobile marketing arena.
Reinvent the wheel they did not—Starbucks merely made the most of this marketing tactic using a thoughtful and well-designed campaign that provided value to the customer and built a crucial stream of mobile customers. So, what can be learned by from this incredible example?
Nobody likes to pay a lot of money for a cup of coffee, but Starbucks customers do it every week—some of them do it every day! It’s that kind of brand agreement that has other industry leaders looking at Starbucks for answers. Starbucks reported that their mobile sales increased by 75% during the last year after a SMS marketing push. They also discovered that twice as many customers were using the mobile app for payments because of the campaign. This interactivity is what allows Starbucks to continue engaging the customer, even after they leave with their cup of coffee.
One of the defining characteristics of Starbucks’ SMS campaign was the use and integration of social media to carry each message further. By using social media outlets affectively, Starbucks was able to push traffic into their SMS campaign and vice versa. It was a win-win tactic that built a stronger social media presence, which would later feed other SMS pushes. The content was appropriate for the media source, and thus favored and shared—pushing opt-in forms further and reaching new mobile users long after the original post.
The other important takeaway from Starbucks’ SMS campaign is the success of staying relevant in an increasingly competitive market. By acknowledging that SMS provided instantaneous access to their customers, Starbucks was able to think on their feet when they needed to. This included special coupons, and they created ‘happy hours’, which gave customers a reason to purchase product when they would otherwise not visit the store. All of this was done quickly and through the users mobile device.