Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s day is an incredible opportunity to market your existing services to those of a romantic nature. By tweaking elements of your services, you can make a regular service into a loving gift to a partner or an experience for couples to share. Valentine’s marketing will mean spending more time on advertising and marketing, but any service marketed as a Valentine’s day service commands significantly more spending.
Why is Valentine’s Day a Good Holiday to Exploit?
Whether you are a lovey-dovey, rose-spectacle-wearing, romantic soul or a dyed-in-the-wool cynic who thinks it’s all rubbish, Valentine’s day marketing is global. No one can escape the saccharine sweetness of pink hearts, red roses, and novelty chocolate boxes (there isn’t much imagination involved in most Valentine’s gifts). Yet it doesn’t seem to matter how commercialised and predictable it has become; Valentine’s Day touches something in everyone. It might be a distinct aversion to the holiday, guilt because you forgot, and your partner will be expecting a “surprise”. Perhaps people genuinely want to make a statement on the day dedicated to romantic love in all its flavours. Whatever the reason why Valentine’s Day touches a nerve in people, here are a few reasons you should take advantage and jump on the floral and heart-laden bandwagon:
Money, Money, Money
Valentine’s Day is a holiday with a traditional history of high spending on gifts. Whether it’s flowers and chocolates or a romantic escape room experience, people treat their partners far more than they would treat themselves. This year, according to statisticians who know, the average consumer spend expected for Valentine’s Day in 2023 is $192.80. That’s quite a large amount if you can channel it into your business.
It doesn’t matter which emotions you tap into on Valentine’s Day. That is to say that you should be tapping into the feelings of love, regard, and affection but sneaking in a stab of guilt or even going the opposite way and encouraging people to treat themselves rather than submitting to the commercialisation of romantic attachments.
Yet, however you decide to engage in emotional marketing, emotions are crucial for Valentine’s day.
Let’s look at the options.
The Early Bird
This person wants to ensure they get something special for their significant loved one. All the “right” reasons usually fuel their emotions. Love of their partner, the joy of treating them to something nice, wanting to share their regard and affection through the giving of gifts and experiences.
The Last Minute Wonder
This person forgot or was disorganised. They feel guilty, probably because they have the same affection for their romantic partner as the early bird. Still, they are not quite so engaged in the lovey-dovey commercialism of the Valentine’s Day holiday hype. You will appeal to their guilt and shame for not remembering or not being organised enough to do something extraordinary for their partner.
The Singleton or Cynic
This is where knowing your audience is crucial to your marketing. Singletons are single because of circumstances or choice. Those just out of a relationship because things went sour, recent divorces or those who can’t get a date are more likely to fall into the single and cynical bracket. In contrast, those who are single by choice and happy are just less likely to buy into the romantic hype. Then there are the couples who are just anti-romantic hype and show each other their love all year round without needing a dedicated day to remember. There are many emotions you can play on here. Self-love for the happy singletons, anger, sadness, and even “revenge” for the unhappy singles. The true cynics will be hard to turn, but you might be able to get them for an “anti-valentine’s day” a couple of days later.
Large Target Audience
Even though Valentine’s Day originated as a celebration of romantic love between couples, many people celebrate the day with family and children. Love is love, and there is not enough of it in the world, so I’m not going to argue about the appropriateness of celebrating with the love of children and family. However, this holiday expansion makes it an excellent subject for marketing products and services.
A holiday with no religious significance can’t divide people into dogmatic or cultural lines, and as a celebration of love, few will object to it. Let’s ignore the cynics from the last bit.
Some schools even have post boxes for childhood sweethearts to send cards.
Breadth of Product and Services
While I’ve already mentioned the hearts, flowers, and chocolates that are standard gifts on Valentine’s Day, the options are endless. What once could have been an expensive treat to oneself can become a Valentine’s gift from some who loves and knows you. Even something as mundane as cleaning or gardening can become a wonderful surprise when it comes from a place of love and understanding.
Then there are the products and services that only need a slight tweak to make them “romantic”. A Massage can become a romantic micro-break with a couples massage and brunch together (or supper). A murder mystery escape room can transform into an “escape to paradise” adventure. The only thing that limits what can and cannot be a Valentine’s Day gift is the imagination.
Valentine’s Day comes around every year, so if all you managed to do is get people coming back for more of your romance, that’s a client that will boost numbers every year. Yet, Valentine’s Day is not the only marketing tool you have. If someone new comes to your business for a Valentine’s gift or experience, the chances are that they might come back for more of your services if they are impressed. And let’s not forget that Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day for couples to show their love for each other. There are wedding anniversaries and birthdays.
Suppose a couple gets a dual massage for Valentine’s and realises it’s better than their regular place. In that case, you have just gained two new clients because their “regular place” didn’t get on board with Valentine’s marketing and offer couples massages.
On the whole, Valentine’s Day is an excellent marketing holiday because it provides businesses with the opportunity to boost sales and revenues. By targeting a large audience with a wide range of products and services, honing into consumers’ emotions, and building repeat client relationships, they use Valentine’s as a business booster after a post-Christmas slump. And who doesn’t need that?
How to Make the Most Of Valentine’s Marketing?
If you really want to make the most of Valentine’s Day marketing, you want to reach as many people as possible.
Choose Your Target Audience Well
Examine your existing clients and see what they would be most interested in. Then determine the kind of clients you want to attract. They might not be the same demographic. If you want to attract ALL the clients, and let’s face facts, who doesn’t? In that case, you must consider your timing and approach to your varying target audiences.
Various Marketing Channels
Once you know WHO you are targeting, it’s time to discover WHERE to find them. That means using different marketing channels for your varied demographic groups. For example, if you want to find your young, single, carefree self-care clients, you might want to take to Tiktok or Instagram. The married and long-term couples you might find on Facebook. For your existing clients, check if they follow you and where from.
Tap into the emotions. Feel them, and then look at the approach that would spur you into action. Go for the romance if you are targeting couples; feel the love and describe how that will feel for the recipient. If you are going for self-care and treating yourself, embrace the investment in self-care and self-love (these might well be your next long-term clients). And if you want to attract the anti-romance crowd, pick an alternative date to celebrate being alone and doing things for yourself. Even the extremely bitter and cynical can relate to the idea that “Living well is the best revenge.” [George Herbert]
A Sense of Urgency & Scarcity
Urgency is right. If you haven’t already started your Valentine’s marketing, you need to be urgent about your actions. However, that’s not the kind of urgency I’m talking about. I’m talking about propelling your target audience into acting now to secure the gift for their partner or the experience for themselves. Couple that with the threat of scarcity, and you have the ideal opportunity to encourage potential clients to make the decision asap.
Limited Editions & Seasonal Packaging
Yes, hearts and flowers are the usual festive decor for Valentine’s day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t jazz things up with a few differences. If you sell products with your services, you can add gift wrapping in a signature theme for Valentine’s day – even better if you use your branding colours.
Limited edition products can also work well. Things like scented candles and products that smell like the time of year or scents with aphrodisiac properties can work exceptionally well for the sense of scarcity.
Social Proof is in the Heart-shaped Pudding
If this isn’t your first foray into Valentine’s day marketing, you can use social proof from previous years to boost your appeal to new clients. Alternatively, you don’t need to use Valentine’s social proof to sell romanticised versions of your services to romantic souls. Any social proof you have from previous clients can be the key to making your appeal shine to new clients.
Make it Easy
Don’t let little things get in the way of your new and Valentine’s clients booking a service, paying for products or scheduling a table for two. Keep it simple and make it easy for prospects to act on their ideas. You’ve already added urgency and scarcity into the mix; keep that momentum going with an easy booking and payment system. Make it the most natural thing in the world to add products to the booking.
Valentine’s Day presents a singular opportunity for businesses to connect with their clients and propel sales via targeted advertising and marketing campaigns. Everything from offering special promotions and discount vouchers to creating individual and sincere messaging, there are many ways to make the most of Valentine’s Day marketing. With an understanding of your target audience and honing into the emotions of the day, businesses can create memorable experiences and strengthen their brand.
The key to success is to start preparing early and conducting creative, well-thought-out campaigns that resonate with your customers, making them feel loved and cherished. With a little effort and creativity, businesses can turn Valentine’s Day into a beneficial and significant celebration for both them and their clients.