One of the first seasonal marketing opportunities of the year is Valentine's Day, and as people around the world look into each other's eyes and express their enduring love, astute marketers have a perpetual annual opportunity to generate revenue for their brands.
14 February is just two weeks away, and my inbox is already getting filled with offers. When I read news sites I see online banners and on the brick-and-mortar front. You cannot pass a retailers' window without seeing some or other promotion.
But are brands treating this opportunity as a short-term cash injection, or are they looking at this from a long-term point of view? I suspect many are thinking short-term!
Here are several considerations to get a maximum return on your Valentine's marketing strategy.
- Valentine's Day occurs every year, this year is not the first year you are taking advantage of this marketing opportunity.
The first step you need to take is review all previous campaigns that were run, and determine which years were more successful, and why. Your aim, of course, is to replicate what worked before and avoid what did not.
There is a good chance that people that previously worked on the brand, no longer work for the brand, so if there is no detailed records in place to review, begin keeping them now so that the person responsible next year will not have the same problem as you.
- Use lead nurturing; what does a man know about spa treatments, fancy restaurants and romantic weekends away? Not much right, so they turn to the internet to find out more, if you provide great educational content, and capture their details in order to view that content, you have them hooked and just have to reel them in.
Map out the path to purchase a consumer would take when buying your product or service, and then place strategic communication pieces along that path that would increase the likelihood of the consumer purchasing from you.
- If you are running a competition to drive sales, such as winning a holiday for two, many people will engage with your brand to stand a chance to win. But use lead nurturing as described above to qualify your leads so that you only use your valuable time to follow up on hot leads, not those only interested in the prize.
- When it comes to underwear, there is nothing worse than getting your loved one the incorrect size. Set up an online system to act as an intermediary. The guy enters his Valentine's details, the brand sends a mail to them, they enter their sizes and you are notified to complete the purchase.
Don't forget to add in important information like birth date and anniversary date, so you can send reminders and sell more in the future.
- Tracking what your competitors do and say during this period can give you insight into their future strategies so you can create counter strategies. Sources of competitor intelligence can come from all over and from anyone within your organisation, ensure that you have a process in place to capture it and analyse it.
- Show your customers some love by giving them a Valentine's gift. Be sure to track who received the gift along with the value of the gift, that way you can get a cost per acquisition of a customer or cost per retention of a customer at the end of the year. In order for this to be accurate, ensure that you are assigning the costs associated to all your campaigns to the leads generated.