Starbucks sending flyers?
What has the world come to?
Starbucks, known for being an innovator in digital & social media, is sending "junk mail?" See how Starbucks is using admail to drive customers to stores.
For the second time in a few months, I received some unaddressed admail from Starbucks; the most recent promoting their new “handcrafted latte” – or more specifically, the Caramel Flan Latte. The retailer known for minimal advertising, being an early innovator in digital and social media, and generally one of the most impressive retail stories of the past 40 years is sending “junk mail”. Heavens no! This doesn’t equate. Stop the presses (oh wait, too late).
You can look at this two ways: the first being that this might be a sign that Starbucks’ shiny icon days are fading as they have to resort to these tactics to keep business flowing. Remember The Gap with the fun, vibrant ads from the late 90’s?
The company that never had to advertise was now on the TV all the time… and it didn’t help. Conversely, you can look the other way and remind yourself that tried and true marketing mediums, even if they look stodgy, are actually still incredibly effective. And this is the way I’m choosing to look at this.
Marketing success through admail
The marketing task is quite simple – get more consumers into their locations trying a new product. By using admail, Starbucks is able to achieve many core goals:
- Reach consumers near retail locations (geo-based profiling mixed with catchment area zones)
- Provide a tangible incentive to drive traffic through couponing
- Drive repeat traffic by providing 4 coupons (you can only use one at a time), and possibly increasing basket size
- Leverage the power of the brand (that people love and trust) through familiar imagery and solid design
They’ve covered all the core elements of the 4 P’s of marketing… in a smart, effective manner.
I’m not saying drop the digital planning and return to flyers and mail… far from it. However, I am reminding all marketers to make sure we train today’s new marketers that just because it isn’t digital, doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. There’s a time, place and reason for admail, direct mail and other less flashy mediums… test out when and where it works for your business needs.
Sadly I’m not a coffee drinker… nor do I like flan (it’s a dessert with no personality). Let me know if this Caramel Flan Latte was worth the trip.
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