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P.S. Starbucks Hearts Me 2

07/21/2009

Starbucks® is with us today to review engagement and personalization in social media marketing.

The representative is a new low-fat strawberry rhubarb bar and,

Oops… there’s a technical difficulty: Your blogger/host has already consumed the product.

C 2009 Starbucks

® 2009 Starbucks

Instead, please bring your own Starbucks brand experience to the table. Indeed, you may already have a hearty share of mind about Real Food, Simply Delicious, the new social media campaign recently launched by Starbucks.

Bag, gobble, sip your brand

Like me, you may have stepped into a Starbucks before or after a meeting. It’s second nature to buy a beverage and add a carbolicious snack. New low-fat options definitely decrease resistance.

Recently, I ordered my hot Tazo® Awake tea along with a strawberry-rhubarb something or other. The food snack proved delightfully spot-on to boost my carb brainpower for taking notes while reading Wikinomics. On finishing the snack, I pushed the bag aside and opened my notebook when something caught my attention:

With all my dusty old direct mail training, I look again to see:

Starbucks sends me a note with a p.s.!

This Starbucks package is teaching me personalization in social media marketing.

Message on a bag

Message on a bag

Wow. Genius. Starbucks placed direct mail’s most trusted response generator at a unique touchpoint — when the purchase product is in use. Here I was, reveling in my self-created, one-to-one Starbucks experience.

  • I had just finished the delicious food snack.
  • I was settling in to:
  • Finish my tea
  • Soak up community vibes
  • Read.

Seamlessly, this one, small, timely p.s. steps in to reinforce my choices, experience and, so, my loyalty.  It signaled that the actions I had chosen to take were good ones and worth acknowledging.

Rather than directing the experience and my actions, the message enhances response. In this way, it generates fresh interest and robust commitment to new, undetermined activities.

No letter, no mass customization. No push. The p.s. pointedly states “More to come” and I’m ready.

Why am I so future shocked?

Adding a p.s. to a personalized letter boosts response significantly the experts tell us, backed by DMA statistics. Some use it restate the offer or call to action, while other marketers mention special incentives or a deadline. The p.s. is one of the most read sections of a direct mail package, along with the teaser and the order form.

Here is this direct mail p.s. No longer a technique, it’s strategically set in a new context to make the p.s. relevant, exciting, and engaging. It’s not even on the front, where you might expect. Instead, this warm afterthought pops up on the back of the bag. As I did, you might happen to find it when you’re done and ready to go.

Does Starbucks have something social going on?

Wikinomics will have to wait! I’m already hacking the social media track. I flip the bag over and sure enough: there’s a classic awareness print ad placed on front. More to come in the next post.

AIDA - Bag it!

AIDA - Bag it

Conclusion:

Social media offers a new definition of personalization that many multichannel interactive marketers are scrambling to understand, or trying to reproach and dismiss.

Personalization in social media serves as a magnet of individual and community experiences. Consumers generate their own robust, committed response at a later stage of the classic pipeline.

P.S. More to come of this social media trail!

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