Takeaways from Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Marketing Campaign

Takeaways from Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte Marketing Campaign

By Dan Forootan, President of EZ Publishing

pumpkin-spice-latte
Image: Pumpkin Spice Latte Twitter account

It’s fall, so that means email marketing campaigns are dominated by pumpkin themes. Marketers are advertising pumpkin beer, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin décor and the list goes on. The main pumpkin item that comes to mind in fall, however, is the pumpkin spiced latte, which Starbucks invented in 2003. As the pioneers of this fall mainstay, Starbucks has a pretty strong marketing campaign attached to this drink and we can all learn a few pointers from it. Below are five online marketing takeaways from Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte’s campaign.

Have Fun With It

The pumpkin spice latte is a seasonal event, so it only rolls around once a year. Because of this, Starbucks can take advantage of the unique excitement surrounding the product returning and have fun with it. The pumpkin spice latte even has its own Twitter account!

Exclusivity

Again, because of the pumpkin spice latte being a seasonal product, it has an exclusive “get it while it’s hot” feel. We know it’s sticking around for a while but we still get that feeling that we don’t know when it will disappear, making us wait an entire year to get it again. This creates a sense of urgency.

Know Your Audience

Starbucks definitely knows their audience and plays up to it, especially on social media. Their target audience is men and women ages 25-40, so their marketing tends to be on the hip and trendy side. The pumpkin spice latte has such a cult following that it’s now referred to as the PSL.

Create a Movement

Forbes estimated Starbucks has sold around 200 million pumpkin spice lattes since their inception 13 years ago. This wasn’t achieved on their marketing campaign alone, rather the marketing campaign was formed to coincide with a movement. Starbucks saw this bigger picture, that pumpkin spice lattes encompass the feeling of fall; the beginning of a new season. So while we can all agree that the pumpkin spice latte is delicious and Starbucks’ marketing is top-notch, most people drink it for the nostalgia of the beginning of the holiday season spent with family and friends.

Social Media Engagement is Key

Starbucks got it right with their social media efforts surrounding the pumpkin spice latte, so with that comes plenty of engagement. PSL’s Twitter account is known for responding to almost every tweet directed at them, which gives customers a personalized feel and keeps them coming back for more.

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