how Starbucks made mobile devices integral to its multichannel strategy

Starbucks keeps taking mobile messaging to greater heights. Take its latest large-scale marketing strategy. In an effort to stimulate and surprise customers through SMS and MMS messaging, the coffeehouse chain recently launched a contest via text message. Starbucks awarded the original soundtrack to the new film version of The Great Gatsby to the first 100 people who answered a trivia question correctly. A three-stage marketing strategy followed that produced results within the first week of its launch!

1) SMS quiz

It all started with a contest launched a few weeks ago on Starbucks’ social network pages, asking fans which year the Frappuccino was launched. The first 100 people to reply with the right answer received the original soundtrack to The Great Gatsby. Whether contestants won or lost, Starbucks gave everyone a chance to learn about its summer promotions by texting READYSET to the same number.

2) device information

When it received the text messages, Starbucks then identified the customer’s device and operating system. This information is ordinarily obtained when users visit a webpage or mobile webpage, but the coffee giant streamlined the process to prepare for the third phase of its operation.

3) MMS

Two days after the contest, Starbucks sent an MMS containing an 11-second video, several links and a subject line.

The links sent customers to its dedicated Frappuccino pages on Facebook and Twitter, encouraging them to like and/or follow the refreshing beverage. The video showed people sipping the chilled coffee drink and invited customers to share their own photos showing them with a Frappuccino on social media. The message also informed customers of a Starbucks happy hour, giving them yet another reason to snap and share photos of them drinking the beverage.

the multi-channel spirit

The campaign – which is more like a practical guide for customer engagement – has been a huge success. To see for yourself, just have a look at how many photos have been uploaded to Twitter and Facebook.

Starbucks managed to integrate mobile devices into an effective multi-channel strategy, instead of simply treating mobile devices as a single, separate and independent channel. The company’s three-prong approach helped it learn about its target customers, and it found a way to increase customer interest and push customers to play an active role in the social network presence of one of its products. In doing so, Starbucks has provided an excellent example of how mobile devices can be used to do more than just offer discounts.

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Now we just have to wait and see if this synergy will carry through to the end of the summer…

Yann Merian

Photo: Starbucks coffee Twitter

source: Mobile Marketer

This post was originally published in French here.

Yann Merian

I'm in charge of communications in the operational marketing department and external communications in Customer Contact Solutions.

Half Breton, half Brazilian; partly sunny, partly rainy; partly salty, partly sweet, I'll do my best to share with you some useful information about the customer relationship management universe!