We live in a world where you say anything in front of Siri and your social media ads are all about that Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte you were craving this morning. While it may seem that your privacy is being infringed upon, something pretty interesting is happening behind the scenes. Your activity is being converted into data to target consumers like you who will digest ads and other kinds of marketing with the intention to purchase, share, or interact with them in some form.

Your Starbucks ad has led you to a link to order on the website, which prompted you to download the app. In the app, you are providing Starbucks with your contact information and creating a login so that you may access the menu, the ordering and payment systems. Starbucks is now successfully capturing very important facets of your information that lets them know your location, how often you purchase, what your favorite drink is, and your method of payment, among other data. According to marketer Emily Koba, Starbucks hits on a major objective (Links to an external site.) of CRM (Customer Relationship Management), which is customer acquisition.

How do they keep you coming back for more?

One of the major ways in which Starbucks is able to succeed at CRM, says Koba, is through their loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards (Links to an external site.). The reward program is able to increase retention of Starbucks’ client by encouraging them to be repeating customers in exchange for points (or stars) that lead to freebies and rewards. Now if you’re a lover of premium coffee and the Starbucks experience like I am, you will continue to purchase until you reach gold status in order to feel like a VIP and qualify for those adorable collectible cups and holiday ornaments at a fraction of the price. Starbucks has managed to profit off my loyalty and successfully cover all the objectives of CRM.

So the next time you think of a company you are loyal to and enjoy buying from, ask yourself – is this company just great at CRM and collecting data from me? Chances are, they probably are.

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