Happy Valentine’s Day!
So let’s paint the day red with handmade hearts edged with lacy white doilies.
Since Geoffrey Chaucer first documented St. Valentine’s Day as a day for romantic celebration in his 1375 poem Parliament of Foules, Inscribe your notes with words of romance.
Although I’d suggest using more modern language and heartfelt feelings than his.
“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” (Source: History Channel)
Table of Contents | Volume 11, Issue 7
- The Lede – Valentine’s Day Marketing Plans
- Marketing Lesson of The Week – Super Bowl Of Advertising Results
- Content Communicates – How The Whitney Newsletter Went All In For Romance
- New York Marketing Minute – NYU Langone Swag Bag Delight
- Mark Your Calendar – Upcoming Events
In 2023, US consumers plan to spend $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day, up from $23.9 billion in 2022. This year, roughly half of consumers plan to celebrate and will spend $192.80 on average.
Unsurprisingly, the top Valentine’s gifts remain the same year after year. Based on my experience, if you buy roses around Valentine’s Day, the price increases from its usual price.
This year’s top gift options according to the National Retail Federation include:
- Candy (57%),
- Greeting cards (40%),
- Flowers (37%),
- Evening out (32%),
- Jewelry (21%),
- Gift cards (20%) and
- Clothing (19%).
❤️ Valentine’s Day Marketing Plans
For many marketers, Valentine’s Day hearts translate to dollar signs. Many consumers feel compelled to show their feelings through tangible items and experiences. Further, these holiday purchases extend to pets, friends, co-workers, classmates and teachers. This translates to a larger potential buyer base.
What does this mean for your marketing?
Determine whether it’s relevant to one or more segments of your audience to promote Valentine’s Day options based on your offering.
If it doesn’t make sense to run a Valentine’s Day promotion, then don’t feel compelled to do so. For example, when I ran marketing at the online division of The Economist, my boss wanted to run a Valentine’s Day special for an online subscription since The Wall Street Journal had done so. But I refused!
Because giving an unromantic gift like a magazine subscription means there’s only one way that relationship is going and it’s not good!
While it’s too late to run a Valentine’s Day promotion this year, start your 2024 Marketing Promotional Plan now. Open a new document to track your ideas. Where possible, keep copies of what competitors and others in your industry are doing as a swipe file.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Keep a record of the people who made a Valentine-related purchase to send them an early reminder next year.
Marketing Lesson of The Week
❤️ Super Bowl Of Advertising Results
With 37 million households watching Super Bowl LVII this year, it’s difficult to justify a roughly $10 million advertising spend for media and other advertising creation costs in terms of measurable ROI since most television ads have no way to directly measure results. As one of my advertising colleagues says, “A Super Bowl ad is always an ego buy.”
Most of this year’s Super Bowl ads played it safe by using a celebrity to carry the promotion’s heavy lifting in terms of attracting attention and aiding memorability. Yet from a performance perspective, this doesn’t necessarily translate to products purchased and related profitable revenues.
As a marketer, I have to wonder:
Where has advertising’s power to move us gone?
Instead, let’s tap into our true talents and craft advertising, content and communications worthy of our audience’s time, their most valuable asset. It’s our responsibility to create quality work that positions our offering to meet their wants and needs, regardless of whether our product is B2C or B2B.
Here’s USA Today’s ad meter tracked Super Bowl LVII’s ad quality based on sentiment.
❤️ Super Bowl’s Social Media Performance
As social media continues to age bringing with it increased privacy and security issues, gone are the creative advertising extensions across the major platforms. So, the number of Super Bowl social media mentions and interactions has declined.
The Official Super Bowl hashtag #SB51 appeared 27.6 million times according to Twitter compared with 312,000 mentions for Super Bowl ads.
While hashtag use should be a no-brainer, roughly 40% of the brand advertisers used a hashtag with their Super Bowl campaign. The top Super Bowl ad hashtags were:
- #UltraClub (Michelob Ultra, 13,800 mentions),
- #RealOrActing (Pepsi Zero Sugar, 6,500 mentions), and
- #MakeItBetter (Avocados from Mexico, 6,000 mentions).
Roughly two-thirds of 630,000 social media mentions tracked across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by Brandwatch were for 5 brands. The brands included 84 Lumber, T-mobile, Audi, Mr.Clean, and Budweiser. (Source)
❤️ Super Bowl Super Marketing Winner
Like other famous Super Bowl performers, Rhianna didn’t receive a paycheck for her Super Bowl Halftime performance.
Instead, Rhianna strategically used her performance to stage her comeback after a 6-year hiatus. Her performance consisted of a medley of her greatest hits. In addition, she proudly revealed her baby bump and promoted her Fenty Beauty products.
Why do big-name stars like Rhianna, Lady Gaga Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and others turn down the Super Bowl HalftIme performance fee?
Because they more than make it up in terms of new listeners and other forms of revenue.
Although the NFL picks up the tab for all of the other related expenses totaling as much as $10 million. These expenses included the other performers, the band members, her management team, the technical crew, security personnel, family and friends. (Source)
Rihanna’s Super Bowl Halftime Performance garnered $5.6 million in earned media during the first 12 hours for her Fenty Beauty brand, according to Launchmetrics. More importantly, she integrated her cosmetics promotion into her performance so that it didn’t feel like advertising or promotion! (Source: AdWeek)
Even better, Rhianna’s team covered her major social media bases by posting a similar video on TikTok.
Actionable Social Media Marketing Lesson
- Be like Rihanna. Figure out how to creatively present the benefits of your product to attract attention that drives customer acquisition.
❤️ How The Whitney Newsletter Went All In For Romance
When communicating with your owned audience, take care not to annoy them with too many or overly salesy newsletters. Otherwise, you risk that they’ll hit your “Unsubscribe” button without a second thought increasing your churn rate.
The Meatpacking District-based Whitney Museum tastefully focused its bi-weekly newsletter on romance without a hint of feeling salesy or pushy.
Even better, The Whitney’s newsletter focused on experiences, something research shows resonates with members of GenZ.
Their email’s subject line, “When Museum Dates Are Your Love Language” sets the stage for the rest of their message, namely making a date to experience art at the Whitney. As a result, they can tastefully add some holiday shopping suggestions at the end of the email.
Actionable Email Marketing Tips
- Use relevant holidays as a hook for your non-commercial email communications.
- Appeal to your audience’s aspirations and passions. While my husband and I frequent The Whitney, many New Yorkers want to visit museums but never get around to making a plan to do so.
New York Marketing Minute
❤️ NYU Langone Swag Bag Delight
I started writing this week’s newsletter from my bed overlooking the East River from the 16th floor of NYU Langone, one of the major hospitals in New York City. At sunrise, the sky lits up over Queens.
I must admit this wasn’t an ideal plan for Super Bowl weekend but I impaled my right foot on one of my embroidery needles last Sunday.
By Tuesday, my foot had swelled to a bright red and each toe stuck out like a cooked hot dog. After a relatively short visit to the ER, I returned home with a 7-day course of antibiotic pills.
Despite the medicine, my foot got bigger and more painful to the touch. So Friday, I returned to NYU Langone’s ER. They switched me to an IV course of antibiotics. So, I had to remain in the hospital tethered to an IV machine.
Since the marketer in me always finds a teachable moment, look at the swag bag waiting for me when I finally got a room assignment.
The clear plastic NYU logo bag contained a bunch of personal necessities that a patient might need, especially if your hospital visit was unplanned. Having taken my mother to the hospital many times, she never received a set of necessities presented like this!
While I don’t know whether the hospital paid for these products or whether they were provided by the manufacturers, offering samples via an institution such as a trusted hospital is a great way to get prospects to test your products.
They come with an implicit recommendation from the hospital.
BTW, this type of promotion isn’t new! It’s used by many dentists as well as major shows like the Oscars where placement in their goodie bags comes with a fee.
Actionable Marketing Tip
- Assess whether your product can be used as part of a goodie bag to increase prospect trials. If so, create a list of target institutions, events and providers who might be willing to offer it to their clients.
Plan Ahead: Mark Your Calendar
► The AI for Content Marketing Blueprint
– Feb. 16, at 12pm EST
Free Webinar – Registration Required
Cathy McPhillips and Make Kaput of the Marketing AI Institute will show you how to use AI to scale your content marketing—without compromising on quality.
► AI And The Future of Digital Experiences – February
23rd at 11 am EST. Free Webinar – Registration Required
Discover the future of AI-powered CX. Join Christian Ward & James J. Ward as they delve into zero-party data, generative AI, and more.
► Project Voice 2023 – April 24 – 28 in Chattanooga, TN
The number 1 event for Conversational AI / Voice tech in America
► Creator Economy Expo – May 1-3 in Cleveland, OH
If you run a content-first business this is the event to be at!
Use the code AMG100 to get $100 off any pass. I’ll be there along with Jesse Cole (Savannah Bananas), Joe Pulizzi, and other inspiring creators.
► CX Connect– June 13–15, Online via Zoom
Customer experience, CRM, customer service, and speech technologies are more critical than ever to the success of your organization. CX Connect will feature three days of thought-provoking presentations from the leading experts in customer experience.
► The Conversation Design Conference – July 24th – 25th in London, UK
bringing together the leading thinkers and doers in Conversation Design
Organized by VUX World.
► Are you hosting an event that you’d like us to add to the Marketing Calendar?
If so, let us know by using our Contact Form with the Subject Line:
Event For AMG Newsletter Calendar.
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Roses and Heidi at Peryali Restaurant by Larry Aronson, used with permission.
Photo of East River Sunrise by @Rivka_Feldheim (Instagram) used with permission.