Love Is In The Air

Well, it's Valentine's Week. For those of you who know me, I'm not a big softie. However, from time to time I could be considered a hopeless romantic. Valentine's Day online and offline is not something to ignore, as the sales predictions may just make your heart skip a beat. Just look at the stats from Constant Contact's Small Business Valentine's Day Outlook Survey:

  • 64% of small business owners in the U.S. believe consumers will be making more purchases online for Valentine's Day 2007.
  • 53% of small business owners plan to run special sales and marketing promotions this Valentine's Day, with online marketing beating out traditional print and advertising by a landslide.
  • E-mail marketing ranks as the most popular promotional tactic method, cited by 66% of respondents, followed by other online methods, including paid search and banner ads. Advertising categories by percentages:
    66%- Email Marketing
    32%- Online Marketing
    16%- Direct Mail
    16%- Flyers
    12%- Advertising (TV, Radio, and Newspaper)



    According to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2007 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch for NRF:

  • The average consumer will spend $119.67 on Valentine's Day. This is up from from $100.89 last year.
  • 63.4% of consumers plan to celebrate the holiday.
  • Total 2007 Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $16.90 billion.
  • The average male is expected to spend $156.22, nearly double the $85.08 that the average female will spend.

    So what about eCards? I'm a big fan. However, I've had many friends and loved ones tell me an eCard isn't the same as me actually sending a hard copy card. Nonetheless, it looks like I'm not the only one. According to a recent study conducted by Harris Interactive for My Fun Cards (owned by IAC), 80% of women are likely to send an eCard, compared to 64% of men. Women say they send eCard to friends to show they care, whereas men tend to send them to their significant other.

    We couldn't have Valentine's Day without thinking of NECCO candy conversation hearts. I like to take a look at each year's sayings. Just think about it: candy hearts are only about one-half inch or three-quarter inch. The small hearts typically fit two words with four letters each. The larger hearts can fit two words with six letters each. And we thought we had copy limitations when we design for buttons and banners online!

    This year NECCO hearts are decorated with 10 new animal-inspired sayings, including "Cool Cat," "Puppy Love," "Love Bird," and "Purr Fect." The new sayings are meant to recognize the general love of animals around the world, according to NECCO.

    Let's get back to business for a moment, shall we? As advertisers and marketers online (and offline) we need to take all holidays into consideration. From a media perspective, we need to take into consideration how many of our competitors vie for the same space/spots. Creatively, this is a classic case of strategically trying to cut through the clutter. Just think about it -- don't most broadcast jewelry ads sound alike? In an online environment it might make sense to incorporate free eCards, images, wallpaper and the like to build community and garner email addresses.

    Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers!

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