As discussed in my last post, Starbucks’ marketing strategies should be the blueprint for many companies. They’ve successfully created a community that has become a cultural phenomenon. Their vast means of communication with their customers has allowed them to foster such an environment. How exactly do they do it? With a little bit of push, and a whole lot of pull!
A company with a large house-name like Starbucks, no longer needs to produce a lot of push marketing. Their customers have created such a buzz through their own social media sharing, that people often get their Starbucks 411 through the community—a digital community. For instance, at least once a week, I can scroll through any of my social media feeds and see someone commenting about their Starbucks coffee getting them through the day (especially a Monday), or a picture of their name completely butchered on their cup, which prompts them to share it with their social community. These social platforms create a pull marketing strategy, which gets customers to Starbucks’ social media platforms. Once there, the user will be able to find easy access to the company’s website, which is when the push marketing begins.
On January 19th, Starbucks promoted their partnership with Spotify on the majority of their social platforms. There was an initial pull to the post because of the company’s mass amount of followers. Starbucks provided a link to their website to follow for more information about the deal. This allowed the company to increase traffic to their website; which as mentioned by Davia Temin, is crucial to website longevity. Once transferred to the site, consumers who are not already reward members are pushed to enroll to receive the Spotify benefits. They also push instant access by providing links to the appropriate apps. Already locked into the site, customers can find easy access to subscribe to Starbucks’ blog, where they will find updates and recipes; which is another example of a push strategy by the company. The subscription is the gateway into promotional emails and deals, which will hopefully push the customer to keep purchasing their products. Their blog is updated almost daily, which keeps their followers content.
In the rare case that a customer accesses Starbucks’ website first (maybe because of the unusual traditional media sighting pushing through television screens) they can find easy access to all of the company’s social media platforms. The site even has an “idea” chartroom for customers to express suggestions for the company. This open communication can create a pull in itself because people are encouraged to express their feelings, which creates a sense of unity between Starbucks and the consumer.
Starbucks’ My Rewards App also gives the ability for the company to push market many products off-line as well. The app provides the customer with easy payment options, updated promotional deals, and game-like rewards that keep the customers motivated to purchase.
As I’ve mentioned, the Starbucks community permits for the significant amount of pull the company receives. With that already established, Starbucks can push a contest through their blog and social media platforms, and their followers will share and create a pull that results in participants, and increase traffic to their stores.
To keep Starbucks’ brand consistent, and foster their Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) plan, I would like to see the website display more of their community. To clarify, on just about all their social media channels, you instantly are aware of a culture-one that strives on individuality and communication.
There are stories, pictures, and clips of customers’ experiences at their Starbucks store, and these posts usually highlight their interaction with their barista. You can go to any Starbucks’ Twitter and witness the company interacting with its customers, with a “we’ve been friends for years” tone. However, aside from the “Ideas” tab, you don’t receive that vibe from the website. They should transfer that social world into their website by adding their Twitter feed as a sidebar. They should filter the best stories and pictures of the day, and have a “Story of the Day” headline on their homepage. This will pull customers to the website, not just their social media pages.
Overall, Starbucks displays an incredible balance of just the right amount of pull vs push strategies for its brand. With an already massive following base, they are able to put away all the bells and whistles in their marketing bag and focus on listening and nurturing the natural pull from the community.
Temin, D. (2014, January 9). Don’t Kill Off Your Website — Use It As The Hub For Your Social Media Presence. Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviatemin/2014/01/09/dont-kill-off-your-website-use-it-as-the-hub-for-your-social-media-presence/#2715e4857a0b1de27c6814e8
What is Integrated Marketing Communications? (n.d.). Retrieved January 31, 2016, from http://imc.wvu.edu/about/what_is_imc