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Starbucks complements seasonal beverages with mobile

Beverage giant Starbucks is continuing to make a name for itself in the mobile space with a new campaign promoting its hot beverages.

The company is running the initiative within People?s mobile site. Starbucks has used mobile advertising in the past to bolster brand awareness and ultimately increase foot traffic.

"The Starbucks campaign is good for awareness building that the Pumpkin Spice Latte product is back in stores," said Simon Buckingham, CEO of Appitalism, New York.

"However, there is no specific mobile promotion or offer and there is no specific mobile element such as a store locator utilizing location. This campaign looks like an Internet campaign moved to mobile with its limited personalization and engagement," he said.

Mr. Buckingham is not affiliated with Starbucks. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Starbucks did not respond to press inquiries.

Seasonal plan
The Starbucks mobile ad reads ?Starbucks? Pumpkin Spice Latte? and encourages consumers to tap on it to expand.

When users tap on the mobile ad, they are redirected to the company?s mobile site where they can learn more about the beverage, which is available for a limited time.

Starbucks has also heavily incorporated social media into the campaign.

There are Facebook, Twitter and Google + tabs that entice consumers to share the new beverages with friends and family and help spread the word.

A mobile campaign such as this is a great way for Starbucks to promote its new offerings and reach consumers no matter where they are.

Additionally, by incorporating social into the marketing mix, Starbucks is able to continue a dialogue with consumers ? especially after they are done interacting with the mobile ad.

"Consumers can use a hash tag and like the page on Facebook but most people use the apps for these social networks on their mobile devices so they may not be logged if they try to click to engage with these mechanisms," Mr. Buckingham said. 

Past initiatives
Starbucks is no stranger to mobile.

Earlier this year, Starbucks ramped up its mobile strategy and encouraged consumers to sign up for its My Starbucks Rewards program via an in-store call-to-action (see story).

Later that month, the company let coffee lovers find their favorite roast via a campaign that incorporated mobile bar codes (see story).

Furthermore, Starbucks used mobile and social media to increase in-store traffic and drive awareness via a partnership with foursquare (see story).

"We recommend that mobile campaigns have a specific offer or incentive and utilize mobile characteristics such as location," Mr. Buckingham said.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York