Starbucks Definitely Sees the Real Me

SBUX iPhone screenshot.PNG
In a recent issue of CRM magazine, Marshall Lager wrote a column titled, "Can Ya See the Real Me," in which he implied that most companies do a poor job of matching various types of leads with the specific approaches vendors should take in following up with those leads. In short, he says, "These companies don't know who they're talking to."

OK, so I know I'm stretching this a bit. I realize that Marshall is talking about B2B companies here. But I want to salute a B2C company you may have heard of, that apparently sees the real ME. And that company is Starbucks. Oh, and of course they're an Oracle customer -- don't even ask. But I digress.

This morning I walked into the local Redwood Shores location, was treated like a king, as usual, and when booting up my iPhone with the free WIFI connection was treated to a new optimized Web experience courtesy of Starbucks, Yahoo!, and a host of content providers from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times to those fun loving health and fitness fanatics at Rodale Press. I busted out a big smile, showed the employee behind the counter my screen, and said, "Wow, you guys really do get it."

Yes, Starbucks gets ME and understands ME somehow. How, I really don't know. I've never been personally polled by them. But somewhere, deep within the halls of their headquarters, I know they're a heavy tech user and CRM user. And I'm sure they analyze the most subtle minutiae of every customer transaction. Yes, Starbucks is definitely one of the analytics superstar companies that folks like Tom Davenport write about.

So Marshall, I'm going to ignore the B2B marketers you're referring to who you assert are off-key. Instead I'm going to fill my venti cup way more than half full, leaving just a teeny bit o' room for some half-and-half.

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