Commentary

Do You Love Me, Love Me Not?

Plucking the petals from a daisy will not work to determine the bond a brand has with consumers. Customizing and personalizing paid-search or product listing ad messages will, and rewards to the most loyal will keep them. Several studies and campaigns suggest that having the ability to create a classic campaign produces a timeless message -- one that brands can use to reach many consumers for years.

A nationwide survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found that consumers are more likely to build a relationship with brands when the message matches the individual's behaviors and preferences, and unfolds over time across channels and media.

No Strings Attached

About 73% of consumers want to have a long-term relationship with brands that reward them for being a loyal customer, but only 32% say the brands they love only send offers and promotions that appeal to them. That's a problem. It means brands don't know their potential and existing customers.

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The survey suggests that 34% of U.S. adults separated from the brands they once loved due to poor, disruptive or irrelevant marketing messages. Some 33% admit the break-up resulted from messages being too generic, rather than personal. And, 59% of those surveyed say they sometimes choose one competitive brand over another simply because of the offer or marketing received from them.

A successful Valentine's Day My M&M promotion shows the power of personalizing the message. The candy maker relied on Poptent Pros to produce the video building brand awareness throughout the Valentine's Day season. They wanted a video viewers would share and influence interaction with the brand. The campaign aimed to send consumers to mymms.com and create their own personalized M&Ms.

The video's 1.4 million views on YouTube in 17 days from start to finish created and strengthened the bond between consumers and the brand, the company said.

How Much To Say I Love You?

The average U.S. consumer plans to spend $133.91 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner and more -- up slightly from $130.97 last year, but 54% will celebrate with loved ones this year, compared with 60% last year, according to the National Retail Federation's 2014 Valentine’s Day spending survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics.

More consumers will do their research online before purchasing gifts. The survey found that 26.1% plan to shop online this Valentine’s Day, flat with last year's 26.3%. Many will turn to their tablets or smartphones before making their final gift decisions; 24% will research products or compare prices on their smartphones and 32.2% will do it on their tablets. Overall, online and offline, total spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion.

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