What’s next for Starbucks? Dark social
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What’s next for Starbucks? Dark social

Coffeehouse kingpin Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee chain, is testing a new marketing strategy on social media: something that’s referred to, in the industry, as “dark social”. Despite the ominous (and slightly cool) sounding name, dark social is nothing to get concerned about. It basically means using more private types of social media, like private groups and messenger services, to facilitate deeper relationships with consumers.

Starbucks share price has increased by 12% so far this year

starbucks g 150319

Source: Yahoo Finance

Speaking at a mid-week event hosted by social media consultancy The Social Element, Starbucks’ vice president of marketing and product in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Reuben Arnold, said:

“What I’m most excited about [on social media] is some of the possibilities around private groups and private accounts on social media channels. When we think about the crossover between product and marketing, it really allows us to have a much deeper conversation with certain customers who really do care about our brand, who can then get much more involved in things like product development and testing, and we can use the audience in a much more meaningful way.”

Arnold said that the company saw dark social as an addition to its more traditional market research practises, rather than a replacement. He added that there was a hope in the company that dark social could provide a more natural way to engage with customers and receive feedback and engage with trends, saying:

“Because I look after marketing and product, that really is quite an exciting opportunity. Like a lot of brands, we use trend analysis but social is a great channel to look at where those trends are starting to gain traction. Then through our own audiences it’s about how we create a highly engaged audience.”

Disclosure
Dominion holds Starbucks in its Global Trends Managed Fund.


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