Business to Consumer (B2C) model of marketing is used by companies to focus on customer services. Products are promoted to customers, and advertisements are used to provoke emotions and thoughts in consumers. Moreover, B2C heavily relies on the internet where adverts of a product are posted on social and mass media to reach numerous consumers from different parts of the world (Armstrong, Kotler, Harker, & Brennan, 2015). The B2C marketing model is widely applied by the companies in the food and software industry. The implementation of this model results in customer satisfaction, which subsequently increases the revenue obtained by an organization as it places emphasis on an impeccable customer experience that motivates clients to purchase items from the company.

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Company that Applies the B2C Model (Starbucks)

Starbucks, a US beverage company, has employed the B2C model in its advertising strategies and in its operations to make sure that consumers continue to purchase beverages from the firm. For instance, on its social media pages in Instagram and Facebook, Starbucks posts pictures of its delicious beverages to entice consumers to try them. Moreover, job openings are posted on these platforms as well to make sure that customers feel connected to the company. Starbucks has an application that consumers can download and make easy payments with smartphones when purchasing their products.

Segmenting Consumer Markets

Four factors are employed by businesses that use the B2C marketing strategy to reach their consumers successfully. The first factor is demographic segmentation. Here, such aspects as age, income, and gender are considered by firms. It is easier to understand the needs of customers by using demographics as they can be easily divided into groups (Armstrong et al., 2015). For instance, if a company targets adults 18-25 years of age, female, and from a wealthy background, it can effortlessly segment this market through demographics. Consumers who fall in love with Starbucks’ reputation and experience are both male and female between the ages of 24-44. These individuals possess the middle or high-class social status, and they enjoy premium beverages. Starbucks understands that researching the demographics of its consumers is important as this can help formulate advertisements and promotional strategies that would be of benefit to the company. This knowledge allows saving enormous costs on using promotional channels where their messages would not pass to the audience. For instance, the age demographics indicates a generation where the majority of consumers visit social media sites. Therefore, Starbucks chooses to advertise heavily in social media and lightly in print and mass media.

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Geographic segmentation is employed when analyzing the factors used for segmenting a consumer market. Here, the location of the enterprise should be considered. The population density of the target market is a necessary consideration for a business. For instance, Starbucks has numerous stores in and out of the USA. Its coffee shops are evenly located in different towns and neighborhoods in the country. The firm understands the need for convenience for consumers, and therefore, having readily available coffee shops serves as an advantage to it. The other factor is the psychographic segmentation that focuses on the personality traits and the lifestyle of a target market. The former contain the attitudes, habits, and the characters that are portrayed by the target market. A company must analyze these factors carefully to understand whether its products are meant for introverts, extroverts, or aggressive individuals. As for the lifestyle factor, the company researches the lifestyle of the target market and investigates how its consumers spend their money. For instance, Starbucks understands that their premium beverages will be bought by aggressive people who are not afraid to spend their money on a quality beverage (Williamson, 2011). Moreover, coffee is bought at a high rate in the mornings and evenings when individuals are headed to or from work. This habit has encouraged the firm to open its shops early and have good customer services as early as possible.

Finally, behavioral segmentation involves understanding the attitudes, response, and attitudes, exhibited by consumers towards a product. Certain aspects, such as occasion, loyalty, usage status, and buyer readiness, enable a firm to understand the behavior of its users. Thus, Starbucks focuses on loyalty, usage status, and buyer readiness to understand the behavior of its consumers. The company has loyal customers who would not be swayed to purchase a beverage from any other firm. The user status focuses on consumers who purchase the product frequently, and they are considered as heavy customers. In regard to the aspect of buyer readiness, through such psychological stages as awareness, knowledge, interest, preference, and conviction allow the company to can keep its loyal consumers and convince new ones to become loyal to the brand. Starbucks has maintained its loyal consumers and continued to attract new customers who want to know the Starbucks feel. The firm allows its loyal consumers to contribute ideas that will be incorporated into its operations. For instance, the website My Starbucks Idea was introduced to bring together loyal Starbucks consumers who would voice their opinions on discussion boards (Gallaugher & Ransbotham, 2010). This website generated many ideas and it was a successful move by the company. One of the ideas suggested by most consumers was the installation of free Wi-Fi in Starbucks’ shops. This idea was incorporated, and now, customers can browse the internet as they wait to be served.

How the Four Factors of Segmentation Influence Promotional Strategies

These four factors discussed above influence the promotional strategies of Starbucks. The company promotes itself on various social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, and it is active on these sites. Its interaction with its consumers is aimed at building relations with loyal and new customers. Therefore, even though marketing the products is the main objective of promoting itself through social media, Starbucks aims to answer consumers’ questions that they may have regarding the products and services. They understand the behaviors and lifestyle of their consumers through their promotional strategies. For instance, during April Fools day, the company ran a promotional slogan ‘Coffee in a USB stick’ (Williamson, 2011). This message was positively received by consumers as the company registered huge sales on that day. Here, Starbucks understands that its customers have a fun lifestyle and that they are not always serious (Williamson, 2011). Moreover, the company has learned that its users are extroverts, outgoing and social people. Through this segmentation, Starbucks has effectively promoted itself to its consumers. Another example is the encouragement of reuse of coffee cups by Starbucks’ customers. Instead of throwing a coffee cup away and littering the environment, the company advocates the reuse of the cup, which is beneficial for the environment (Chua & Banerjee, 2013). This factor has encouraged Starbucks’ customers in different geographical locations to frequently visit the shops with their old coffee cups and get fresh coffee. Consumers understand the importance of protecting the environment. This message was broadcasted on different social media platforms, reaching the majority of the company’s customers.

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Conclusion

The B2C model of marketing has been a successful strategy for Starbucks. The firm has managed to build relations with its consumer base while marketing its products to them at the same time. The use of the four factors of segmenting a consumer market has been a beneficial move for Starbucks as well. The company continues to enhance its digital movements to make sure that its consumers regardless of their locations are aware of the new and existing products that the firm offers. Firms using the B2C model should research and understand their target consumers well, to have the knowledge of goods and services that they might want and what they might dislike. The use of social media to promote products and services is an advantage for the firms that apply the B2C marketing approach.

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