The business of love: Creating custom Valentine’s Day audience segment groups

Written By: Zanthe Date: 13.02.2019 Categories: Strategy

Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is too huge for marketers to ignore. Marketing campaigns and industries outside of the popular “love-worthy” industries seem to have a difficult time attracting shoppers and have to be really creative to get lovers to think outside their heart-shaped boxes and to actually convert. At the same time, the popular go-to industries who already have an established track record of sky rocketing sales around Valentine’s Day can’t afford to just coast and hope shoppers come to them, either. In fact, these industries may have an even more difficult time capitalising on this holiday because of the fierce competition. 

To really establish if your offering is something to be desired by Valentine’s Day shoppers you first have to understand who celebrates Valentine’s Day, how much they’re likely to spend and what they may want. From there, it’s easy to determine how to target shoppers. 

The Picodi study, shows some valuable consumer behaviour insights that indicate exactly what South Africans shop for. The study indicates that a whopping 74% of South Africans celebrate Valentine’s Day. The study further reveals that men are willing to spend an average of R1 027, as opposed to women, who are willing to spend about R461. That brings us to an average of R744 that the population are willing to spend on Valentine’s Day. Let’s also not forget that 25% of single people confess their love on Valentine’s Day, showing there is a market to attract singles as well. The study further details exactly what men and women want for Valentine’s Day and indicates the least and most desirable gifts as well as ways to spend the day.

What Women want for Valentine’s Day:

  • 57% of women value time and gifts — 33% want time with their partners while 10% want gifts.
  • The most desirable gifts include flowers (at 65%), jewellery (at 51%), perfumes (46%), sweets (at 38%) and gift vouchers at (32%).
  • The least desirable gifts include home appliances at 24%, plush toys at 18%, and money at 15%.
  • How women prefer to spend Valentine’s Day: 37% want dinner at a restaurant, 29% want to cook dinner with their partner; 27% want a romantic bath or love-making while 21% prefer a movie at home.
  • The study found that the majority of women weren’t too keen on getting home appliances for Valentine’s Day.

What Men want for Valentine’s Day:

  • 56% of men value time and gifts, whilst 28% value time spent together and 16% just want gifts.
  • Some of the most desirable gifts include perfumes at 34%, sweets at 33%, handmade gifts at 32%, Valentine’s Day cards at 30% and flowers at 29%.
  • Nice ways to spend Valentine’s Day include dinner at a restaurant at 34%, making love at 29%, going to the cinema at 28%, a trip out of town at 25% and cooking dinner with their partner at 25%.
  • Some of the least desirable gifts for men, though, include money and sex toys. 

At first glance gendered targeting seems like a genius move. Men, after all, will typically buy different items on Valentine’s Day than what women will likely buy for men. Also, men are typically said to spend more on their Valentine’s Day purchases, however it’s important to note that this type of one-size-fits-all marketing never works. It can be quite risky to assume that these men that you’re targeting are actually in relationships with women. So, rather use the info above as a guideline as to what the target audience finds desirable. Then, further split your audience into segments of possible interest targeting, in-market segments, and other custom audience groups to ensure effective targeting. 

Some unique audience segment groups to consider include:

Generational age group targeting: 

It is said that on average, 25-34 year olds spend the most on Valentine’s Day gifts. Focusing campaigns that feature higher-priced items to this specific age group is a good strategy to test for your brand, and higher end products in varying a/b testing groups.

Targeting Last minute shoppers: 

Valentine’s Day is certainly the procrastinator’s holiday and unlike other holidays, interest only peaks within the last few days of January and spikes up higher the closer we get to Valentine’s Day (including on the day itself). This is where marketers can capitalise on creating urgency, countdown sales, and effective copy that’s updated as the holiday gets closer. 

Targeting proposal in-market segments: 

Valentine’s Day is not only the most romantic day of the year but also one of the most popular days to get engaged — the weeks following up to this romantic holiday is the perfect time for lovers to pop the big question.

Targeting Engaged couples: 

Wedding vendor suppliers can really capitalise on marketing offerings to engaged couples. This is a chance for these couples to come for food tastings, to view venues and experience a place’s sentimental offerings. 

Previous purchasers

Reactivate buyers who made a purchase last Valentine’s Day and show them why they want to spend another Valentine’s Day shopping with your brand, by understanding their likes based on their previous purchases.

Targeting singles:

Valentine’s Day isn’t only for couples. Singles make up almost half the market of adults and are generally said to have more disposable income and tend to spend more impulsively. With their eager-to-consume behaviour, marketers can do really well if they target singles as an independent demographic group with products of convenience and luxury goods. In addition to those who like to spoil themselves on this day, brands and marketers shouldn’t overlook users who celebrate this holiday with family, friends, co-workers and even pets, through the use of messaging around friendship.

Some other audience segments to target include abandoned carts, holiday shoppers, site browsers or window shoppers, big ticket items with cross sell potential etc.

Without a doubt, retailers, marketers and brands alike will need to prepare marketing geared to different types of Valentine’s Day customers to ensure effective messaging that reaches the right person at the right time.