If we have learnt anything in recent years about social media and technology, it is that the mobile phone is rapidly becoming peoples device of choice for finding out information, keeping in touch with their social networks, and browsing online.

Many companies have begun to take on mobile marketing but there are few that do it well.Unlockd-Starbucks-01-450x300.jpg

One of the companies that have done it incredibly well in recent years is Starbucks.

Starbucks has used mobile marketing in a variety of ways including foursquare, Snapchat but most importantly their Starbucks app.

The Starbucks app allowed customers to do several things on their phone including locate nearby stores, be part of the loyalty program and load funds onto cards.
Starbucks has more than 14 Million active users of their mobile apps and process approximately 8 million mobile payment transactions per week. With over 18% of transactions occurring online, this mobile marketing has definitely been a success. But what have they actually done to obtain this success.

blog-Gamification-mobile-marketing-and-Baby-Boomers-Starbucks.jpgStarbucks early on realized that people are much more likely to use mobile coupons in comparison to print coupons. By launching an app that made customers lives easier they built trust and loyalty.
The app rewarded customers with stars after purchases and once obtaining a certain number of stars prizes were redeemable. This loyalty program kept people active on the app and also promoted frequent spending and loyalty to Starbucks who in turn got vital information on customer spending habits.

As part of Starbucks mobile campaign that linked with their app, SMS messages were sent Location-Based-Mobile-Marketing-Exampleto customers with a link to fill out a survey which then gave them more stars on the app that went towards free beverages and food, they have since also sent SMS to customers that advertise their Frappuccino Happy Hour and also offers when people are near certain stores which people then re-tweet, or advertise themselves on social media (location marketing at its finest).

The most recent and most successful feature in creating profit for the Starbucks app has been the ability for people to pre-order beverages and food through the app at their chosen store and pay through the app on their phone, this has driven sales up rapidly and engaged millions of consumers to become active users of the app.


I believe there are a few important takeaways from Starbucks mobile marketing that explain how to use it effectively.
1. Know what consumers want and be there when they need you
2. Be useful, customers will get bored of you if you don’t offer immediate answers but also interesting ways to get these answers.
3. Remember you have limited time to capture your prospects attention, therefore prioritise.
4. Be compatible with ALL MOBILE DEVICES!

So whilst this app isn’t available in Australia… yet, do you think it is something you would use?
What other brands do you think have utilized learnings from Starbucks to better their mobile marketing?