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Valentine’s Day Marketing: Stats and Suggestions

You may think it’s too early to be thinking about candy hearts and red roses—but think again. Valentine’s Day can be prolific for marketers, which means the time to start thinking about your Valentine’s Day marketing strategies is now. Whether you welcome the holiday or choose to ignore it in your personal life, there’s no denying that it’s an event that breeds billions of dollars’ worth of marketing potential. In fact, Valentine’s Day sales reached an all-time high of $19.7 billion in 2016.

In thinking about Valentine’s Day marketing, it’s important to note that the way Americans are celebrating the holiday is different from what it has been in the past. Traditional Valentine’s Day marketing campaigns have been geared toward couples, but the holiday has become one that both couples and singles celebrate. In addition to romantic love, it has evolved into also encompassing the celebration of love shared among families and friends.

Let’s look at a few Valentine’s Day marketing stats that reveal how the holiday has changed.

  • Half of the American population today identifies as single. Of those people, a quarter of them say they plan to do something for Valentine’s Day.
  • A single man celebrating Valentine’s Day will spend an average of $71 and a single woman an average of $40.
  • In 2016, a reported 19 percent of people bought Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets—totaling $681 million.
  • Valentine’s Day is the second-busiest day of the year for restaurants, as 34 percent of consumers plan to eat out on February 14. However, at-home meal services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron also benefit from the holiday, as more people than in the past are opting to stay in to cook a Valentine’s Day dinner.
  • Nearly a quarter of consumers celebrating Valentine’s Day said they plan to give a gift of an experience, such as a couple’s dance class or concert tickets, for example. That figure is significantly higher among millennials (45 percent for ages 18-24 and 40 percent for ages 25 to 34).
  • Only 47 percent of consumers planned to give a Valentine’s Day card in 2017, compared to 63 percent a decade ago. This is likely a result of holiday messaging happening electronically.
  • More and more people each year are shopping online for Valentine’s Day, with 28 percent of consumers making online purchases for the holiday in 2016.
  • Most people don’t plan as far in advance for Valentine’s Day as they do for other holidays, as 46 percent of people say they will start shopping for Valentine’s Day in early February.
  • Traditional Valentine’s Day gifts are still raking in money. More than $4 billion was spent on jewelry alone in 2017, with $2 billion spent on flowers. In addition, 94 percent of people said they wanted to receive candy and chocolate for Valentine’s Day.

The statistics reveal a few takeaways regarding Valentine’s Day marketing, which leads us to a few suggestions for how you should plan your holiday campaign.

  • People are spending money for the holiday on themselves, their friends and even their pets—not just on their significant others. Think about how you can market to consumers with these types of gift recipients in mind.
  • Focus on optimizing your website for ecommerce, if applicable.
  • An increasing number of people want to spend money on experiences for their loved ones. If your business offers a relevant service or activity, use Valentine’s Day to your advantage in your marketing strategy. Also, think about marketing experiences for groups as well as couples.
  • Rather than funneling a chunk of money into a month-long campaign, advertise for the holiday during the first two weeks of February, as consumers are more last-minute when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Target these last-minute shoppers.
  • Don’t forget what the holiday is all about—love! Promote the celebration of love in your marketing campaign this Valentine’s Day.

Don’t miss the opportunity to make your marketing count this February 14. If you need help strategizing for Valentine’s Day and beyond, the McNutt & Partners team can help. Give us a call at 334-521-1010 or visit our contact page.






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