By Josef Hlavacek, SMB Regional Director CEE in SMB
When it comes to the days leading up to Valentine’s, its vital for marketers to make every second count! Valentine’s Day is a holiday based around love and affection, and there’s a sense of gratification that comes from helping people express the way they feel; and what better way than to take advantage of the sweetness behind gifting.
Now like with most national holidays, your business won’t be the only one catering to those wanting to surprise their loved ones. Thus, as always, it’s important to explore the various ways your business can benefit.
The general categories explored by consumers during this period are fashion, jewellery, lifestyle brands, candy, greeting cards and Flowers – think anything sweet!
Lately, especially for Valentine’s, there has been a big emphasis on personalised items, people are more interested in gifts tailored to them specifically, compared to the generic items available off the store shelves. It’s important to try and help people make their loved ones feel as special as possible, even if they potentially have the same gifts as their neighbours.
The best time to push these campaigns are within the 10 day lead up to Valentine’s Day. Campaigns are at their most active between 4th and 13th February, this is when you as marketers can gain the most. It’s important to get your brand and products out there straight away, and then shift focus towards tailored ads, as the day of love approaches. Now is the time to keep reminding people to smell the roses, quite literally, as Valentine’s is officially in the air.
The final three days before Valentine’s is where you can really benefit from marketing, and because people can be generally lazy when it comes to this holiday, it is important to remain consistent as the date approaches. Many need that sense of urgency to buy, and so making use of the last few days is essential!
Are the Statistics as Sweet as the Day Itself?
Valentine’s Day, much like Christmas is a holiday celebrated world-wide. Approximately 20 billion US dollars alone was spent in 2020 for Valentine’s Day, with an estimated 65 million people across Central Eastern Europe purchasing gifts for their loved one. Moreover, reports show that on average 1 in 3 users globally made Valentine’s Day related purchase in 2020.
Each year the opportunity and market surrounding Valentine’s Day increases. It’s very important that despite a reported 62% of men purchasing gifts on Valentine’s Day, compared to only 10% of women in 2020, that campaign efforts remain focused on both genders. Targeting one solely can be off putting and you may send the wrong message to your customers.
Love is in the Air
Traditionally Valentine’s has been known to the masses as a holiday to express your feelings to your intimate loved one, however, as definitions and society has developed through the years, we have seen a shift in the days meaning. Now Valentine’s Day represents a more open view of love.
Valentine’s is a holiday to be shared with all loved ones, from children to parents, friends to family, and all the variations of love your heart desires. It is imperative for marketers that this shift in meaning is considered during the creation of campaigns, generating a sense of inclusion for all. A possible trend waggon for you to jump on this year is ‘Galantines Day’, a movement that has grown in popularity since 2010, often celebrated on the 13th of February by women within their friendship groups. This is a great example of switching up Valentine’s Day material to gain increased results and expand your client base.
Now, to focus on how the masses may spend their day, and what they may be likely to purchase.
Approximately 55% pf people celebrate Valentine’s Day with their significant other, however 45% still have a slightly different method of celebration. With 12% treating themselves, 10% getting together with family, 3% decide to retain self-control and not buying anything at all, and up to 35% giving gifts such as date nights or an activity.
But what do they buy? Usurpingly, 55% of sales are generated through chocolates, flowers, and sweets, followed by 17% purchasing jewellery. What better way to demonstrate your sweetness than by giving sweets? Good question! But now days it might not be all about gifts for other.
Society is coming around to the idea of self-love more and more over recent years, and Valentine’s is no longer solely focused on purchasing the perfect gift for a loved one, but also taking time to gift yourself! A ‘treat yourself’ campaign is great for those who may not have a valentine, don’t celebrate the day, or who would prefer to spend it alone. Incorporate offers and meal deals for one to harness this trend. This the time to remind your audience that that smell of love in the air should also be directed internally, a little self-love goes a long way.
Valentine’s Day isn’t just any bog standard shopping event, it’s the first shopping event of the year, therefore it is a key moment for businesses to scale sales. Unlike most other holiday campaign periods, Valentine’s is only relevant for fairly short time, about 2 weeks. Therefore, it is important to get ahead and incorporate this into marketing strategies in advance.
Top Four Valentine’s Practises
- Treat Others: Take a look at the services you offer and think about how your business can promote products effectively, and how these can be adapted to ‘treat others’ during this holiday. You can prepare gift guides, propose new pricing, and offers for items such as alcohol, cheeseboards, or candy.
- Treat Yourself: Lots of people opt for the ‘treat yourself’ route for a sense of satisfaction. This can be clothing, jewellery, deals and so on. Offers that showcase festive products. Key words to include are: Affordable Luxury, group events, self-care, and skincare.
- Seize the moment: With February being the shortest month of the year, and Valentine’s being only a single day event, it is vital to plan ahead, and use the above tips to take advantage of all the lead up days. Emphasize your seasonal items – last minute deals, limited time offers, create urgency, and use countdowns to let them know how many days offers will be active.
- Own the occasion: Think about your messaging and visuals and how they will affect those seeing them. Ask yourself how do you want to target people? How exactly do you want them to react to your campaign? How can you embrace it as a business and encourage interaction with your brand? And whether you have truly showcased all the avenues of sharing love during this holiday.
Now, you might be tempted to push some of that leftover Christmas, New Year, or even Halloween stock out – but it’s crucial to keep campaigns restricted to the Valentine’s Day theme only. This show’s consumers that you’ve taken the time to find new items they might prefer this season, demonstrating your businesses vision, and commitment to consumers.
By incorporating themes into our campaigns, and creating a visually aesthetic branding technique, it gives the company definition and shows its adaptability to consumerism.
Retargeting and Dynamic Ads
It’s best to avoid narrowing down your timeframes for your audiences, you don’t want to start effecting the components of campaigns. Make sure to leave room in your algorithm to adapt to the new topics being provided.
In addition to retargeting, your business should utilise the power of dynamic ads during Valentine’s Day campaigns. Dynamic ads unite your brand and create a cohesive response. These ads show the right product, to the right people, who have already expressed interest in your ad.
With dynamic ads you can build brand favourability, as creatives are more engaging and personalised. This enables you to acquire new shoppers with relevant products, as you can use retargeting to show them products, they have previously shown interest in.
Furthermore, that encourages re-engagement of high value customers, using upsell and cross sell options.
- Upsell – encouraging customer to move from one item to another (maybe they like a brand handbag on your website, so you show them different brand)
- Cross sell – someone purchases an item and then you can cross sell related items from other products.
Don’t let this season of love pass you and your brand by! Use the above to build you perfect campaign this Valentine’s Day.