A staggering 72 million adults will buy Valentine’s Day cards this season. That’s 40% of all cards sold. And while that’s an impressive figure, 60% of folks are still untapped. We can only image what the numbers look like for money spent on dinners, flowers, chocolates, jewelry and more. Again, while huge, a large number of the adult population still doesn’t budge. In time for the big day, outlined are four Valentine’s Day courtship tips for brands to be more relevant to customers this season.
Don’t make the same mistake
It’s pretty obvious, but even a Harvard University study points to the fact that people are more accurate at predicting emotional reactions to negative events than positive ones they have experienced in the past. Just like humans try to avoid repeating terrible relationship mistakes, brands too need to learn from bad marketing decisions made in the past. The good news for brands is that through a variety of technological techniques and advances like predictive analytics, brands can now foresee what’s coming ahead and how to react. Again, making it easier to not only not make the same mistake again, but preventing one from ever happening in the first place.
Be relevant to your target
Don’t be scared to ride the wave of trends. In fact, marketers should leverage what’s happening during the season – whether it’s Gangnam Style, wedge sneakers, Pinterest, or the latest handbag, marketers have a better chance of making the sale if they stay on top of what matters to their target audience. Last year’s Michael Kors #fallinginlovewith campaign is an outstanding example of a brand that capitalized on being relevant and timely by tapping nearly every social media medium, including Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest and ultimately, bridging the gap between mobile and social.
Know what you’re doing
Too often, marketers carry out campaigns purely on a hunch or good idea. Smart marketers should go that extra mile and tap market researchers to reach out to community panel members for a gauge on how Americans will feel about specific marketing campaigns, themes, ideas, etc. prior to cupid’s arrival. As market researchers start reaching out to community panel members, it’s important for them to ask the right questions. Many researchers today are asking respondents for basic information that they should already know like their geography and general interests. As a result, response rates go down and the overall strategy falls through the cracks. Reexamining how to best ask meaningful questions will provide marketers with better insight into the attitudes and opinions of respondents so that they’ll know to plan for the big day, which is exactly what we help brands do here at Vision Critical.
Target the outliers
Almost half of Americans have negative feelings towards Valentine’s Day. Most marketers are so busy focusing on how to sell to the population that enjoys it that often times they leave the non-lovers hanging. Marketers should consider a duel, or ubiquitous approach to targeting those in love (or like) and those that are single.
If you sell a product or service, think about a way to talk about what you sell in a way that might make it a great Valentine’s gift. Offer a sale or package price, particularly if it can bundled and wrapped. You might consider sharing some links to blogs and news articles relating to Valentine’s Day cooking, recipes, attire, decorations, crafts – anything you think your readers and fans will enjoy and share.
When looking for images to share, it’s best to either purchase the image from a site like iStockPhoto (because yes, you are using it for commercial purposes), or use Flickr to find images that the owner has stated that the image can be used for commercial purposes. Go to Flickr.com, start a search, and then use the Advanced Settings to filter out the images that you shouldn’t be using (the setting is at the bottom of the page). Note that you still need to pay attention to each image and what the owner states – some require that you attribute the image to the owner, like Image courtesy of Mike Allton, Flickr. Sprinkle some of these quotes and images into your social media activity and marketing leading up to Valentine’s Day to keep your customers smiling. More importantly, look for ways that you can provide value to your readers and your efforts will be appreciated. For instance, you might offer some alternative ideas to the typical “dinner and a movie” that both husbands AND wives will appreciate. Poll your employees about their best and worst Valentine’s Days and then share those stories in a blog post for our readers to enjoy.