Valentine’s Day is a very important holiday to many Americans. According to the National Retail Federation, 55% of Americans choose– alright, elect to be forced into celebrating the special day. The price of happening to be in a relationship during the month of February (or happening to send yourself flowers on February 14th, as apparently 15% of women do) isn’t cheap, either– the average American drops $147 on Valentine’s Day festivities. In total, Americans spent almost 20 billion dollars on Valentine’s Day in 2016. This may mean excellent things for your business this year… However, you and your clients may not be feeling the love from buyers due to these 7 classic Valentine’s Day marketing mistakes.
The biggest mistake that marketers will make during Valentine’s Day is misunderstanding their audience. This issue is the root cause of many of the marketing mistakes I will discuss and transcends so many problems marketers face. It is essential to conduct appropriate market research before creating a marketing strategy. The consumer knows when marketers are out of touch, and mistakenly creating this distance between your company and your buyer can be disastrous for V-day sales.
Valentine’s Day continues to get bashed as the most heteronormative holiday (note to self: Google if there is a runner-up). This year I hope to see even more ad campaigns celebrating all forms of love, because that’s what Valentine’s Day is about!
The men who would enjoy overtly misogynistic marketing campaigns are probably not the ones who are graced with the opportunity to celebrate Valentine’s Day. In 2016, the average man spent $196 on their purchase while women spent approximately half of that at $100, so it is logical for many ads to target men. However, just google “worst Valentine’s Day ads” to spy on some companies who took it too far. Edgy marketing tactics are often incredibly successful because of the conversation they inspire but some hurt the brand in the long-run, so consider carefully.
Many savvy women’s Valentine’s Day decisions are greatly swayed by bloggers and influencers. Men and women both investigate and compare prices online, and about one quarter of Valentine’s Day shoppers will make an online purchase. Online shoppers spend about one third more than in-store shoppers. Social media will likely play an even bigger role in V-day purchasing decisions than it has in previous years. Inbound marketing is an organic way to promote your brand without being too disruptive and proves wildly effective.
You should have clear targets and goals for your company and your clients for special V-day offers and campaigns. Stay focused and have a clear objective.
Different demographics will have vastly different notions of the ideal Valentine’s Day (Jake, if you’re reading this, I would love ice skating then dinner at a themed restaurant). Don’t make the mistake of showing everyone the exact same message. Failing to use digital strategies or offers to target specific markets is a huge mistake for this holiday.
Many people purchase gifts for their children, parents and friends! Don’t forget that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about romance; Americans choose to celebrate in many different ways. In fact, in 2015 the National Retail Federation forecast that we would spend 703 million on V-day gifts for pets!