For the Love of Marketing
Purple Pearl

Every year February 14th is celebrated as Valentine’s day – a day many people exchange cards, gifts or flowers with special people in their lives. While Valentine’s day is a day of romance and exchange of gifts for lovers, for businesses it is a day to “cash in”

With an effect as dramatic as festive holidays, Valentine’s day is the perfect opportunity for businesses to fill up their coffers as consumers’ wallets open as wide as their hearts. Traditionally, flowers, cards and chocolates are exchanged on this day, however things have evolved and a wide array of gift offerings are now exchanged by lovebirds.

Often times Valentine campaigns and messages are generic with so much attention placed on the functionality of their offerings. For example “share love at Valentine’s”, or “shop for Him/Her”. While the need for practicality cannot be ignored, it should not be at the expense of a relevant and engaging campaign borne out of a good understanding of consumers. So in the world of marketing, where it’s best to be as authentic and honest as possible, how do you advertise for one of the sentimental events of the year in a way that it feels genuine?

Irrespective of whether you sell products that are termed romantic like flowers, perfumes and chocolates or not, what is important is to drive an emotional connection with customers/consumers. Get right to the heart of things with stories and extended offers on goods & services that we already know with the following tips:

  • Know the audience you want to attract: To connect with your intended audience on a personal level, you must understand them and view your customers as individuals and not numbers. It is important not to generalize your campaign, a simple segmentation based on gender is in order as it is said that men spend twice as much as women do during Valentines! Equally important is to vary the tone of the message along gender lines in all communications.
  • Cross promote through multiple channels: The best marketing channels to utilize depend entirely on your targeted audience. If you’re targeting a younger audience, social media may be an integral part of your marketing campaign. For older people it may be a newsletter as the preferred medium. Promoting content through different channels will help your content be seen by a much wider audience.
  • Targeted Adverts and offerings: An 18 year-old boy, in a relationship will have different ideas for a Valentine’s day gift when compared to a 55 year old man. With proper profiling of consumers made possible through digital/social media, customization of promotions is possible. For people in a relationship, a possible offer could be Upload your favorite romantic photo and possibly win a weekend getaway.”
  • Give a creative experience: Many people are looking for new, refreshing experiences. This is a time to let your imagination run wild and think out of the box. People enjoy giving, and receiving, creative and thoughtful gifts. Make your brand a memorable experience and you just might create a loyal customer for life.

As published in “Marketing Views” column of Business Day Newspaper of Tuesday 9th February 2016.