Friday, November 16, 2012

Chapter 16: Intergrated Marketing Communication

When Starbucks redesigned their logo, they reached out to several of the Starbucks rewards members regarding the change.  The email provided a link and was available for mobile viewing.  The timing was an important element because in order for the message to be unique, it had to be received before the official announcement.  They also used a video with Howard Schultz explaining the reason for the redesign (video found in previous blog post).  Lastly, there are sharing icons so the reward members can spread the word to other prospective members and there can be a flow of communication about this news.  These are some elements of integrated marketing communication.  The rewards members were viewed as special customers worthy of a pre-announcement.   As one observer pointed out, "the timing also helps deflect attention from a price increase announcement."

Starbucks does a good job with integrated marketing communication because not only do they reach out to their customers through email, they also use many of the social networking sites as a form of advertising and letting people know what is going on within the company.  Although they have a large Twitter and Facebook audience,  they have found their voice in these channels and it's appropriate and consistent with who they are as a brand.  Lastly, direct mail is the delivery mechanism for rewards.   Despite all their online communication, the old fashioned postcard is still the "gift basket" for delivering reward benefits.  Customers look forward to the solid black postcard because they know it's treat time.

 As previously discussed in the first week of September, Starbucks has a sustainable competitive advantage because even though they sell a product, which many companies offer as well as street carts, they are very consistent with how the coffee is made and the service they give their customers.  Many people continue to purchase their products at higher prices which proves their advantage is sustainable to keep loyal customers, gain prospective customers and keep them all happy.

Starbucks is using a QR program which allows consumers to learn more about various coffee products.  QR codes are newer to the marketing world and haven't quite taking off as some other marketing endeavors have.   Unfortunately these codes have an unappealing look to them, but it can be quite effective if used properly.  With the new program, Starbucks uses QR codes in their ads and stores to promote information in an interactive way.  Since the consumer has to physically scan the QR code with their device, the motivation to actually read and take in the information about the coffee they are learning about is there.
The promotional mix -- the combination of promotional tools including advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion to reach the target market and fulfill the organization's overall goals -- is used rather effectively within Starbucks.  Again, Starbucks doesn't overload their consumers with advertisements but when used, they try to have quite an impact on their customers.  

They also use a bit of sales promotion through online sources and as reward loyalty members.  As for personal selling, whenever I walk into a Starbucks location, they make sure to get your name when ordering and that builds a sense of personal selling.  Their vibe is emitted to the customer and makes each individual feel special in some way.

ENJOY SOME STARBUCKS ADVERTISEMENTS, since they're not heavily saturated through our everyday lives.

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