February's biggest holiday is Valentine's Day, and small business owners should start preparing as soon as possible to capitalize on the day's massive popularity. According to CreditLoan.com, February 14 is the second biggest holiday in the United States in terms of consumer spending, trailing only Christmas. The news source estimated that $17.6 billion was spent on gifts, greeting cards and food in 2012.
Valentine's Day is the perfect time to debut a new marketing campaign and reward loyal customers for their continued patronage. Entrepreneurs can distribute unique promotional products as small gifts and hold giveaways to attract holiday customers. Companies must actively advertise their events to reach the optimal number of consumers in February.
Gift giving is Valentine's Day's most popular tradition, and candy is one of the most common presents. CreditLoans.com reported that 50 percent of consumers spend more than $20 on sweets for the holiday. Small business owners can participate by distributing small tins of their customers' favorite snacks.
Chocolate is one of the best confectionary delights, and companies can use different packages for their customers. For instance, every holiday shopper can be given small chocolate coins as tokens of appreciation. Alternatively, long-time customers should be given boxes of assorted candy as a way of saying thanks. However, some consumers may have chocolate or nut allergies, so owners should have other treats available for patrons who must adhere to special diets.
Promotional items can also be given as thank-you gifts. Customers always appreciate functional items like pens and tote bags, and some recipients even re-gift the items during present exchanges. CreditDonkey recently reported that 83 percent of consumers enjoy receiving regifted products during the holidays.
To celebrate Valentine's Day, companies should incorporate some of the day's imagery and themes. Instead of a standard corporate logo, hearts can be emblazoned on promotional pens while Cupid can be displayed on magnets.
A popular tactic for attracting holiday customers is holding promotional events and offering special deals. Business 2 Community suggests that businesses can attract customers by having unique giveaways from February 1 through 14. Entrepreneurs can provide different presents each day to encourage repeat business and generate brand awareness.
Promotional marketing products help businesses advertise well beyond Valentine's Day. The Advertising Speciality Institute (ASI) recently found that the average consumer keeps branded products for 5.8 months. No other marketing tools can offer comparable staying power.
Business 2 Community also recommends rewarding loyal customers on Valentine's Day by ramping up incentive programs. Businesses can increase rewards points and offer special coupons on holiday merchandise.
Holiday and event marketing
Companies should include Valentine's Day in their marketing campaigns to avoid stagnation. Consumers tend to ignore static content and enjoy when businesses make an effort to include holiday themes. Additionally, establishments can attract more customers to their promotional giveaways with timely advertisements instead of generic messages.
Greeting cards are popular in February, so entrepreneurs should turn to direct mail for some of their marketing needs. Companies can use holiday cards with personalized messages for recipients. Businesses can buy lead lists and send Valentine's cards to potential customers.
Direct mail is an analog channel in a digital world, however, so owners should be prepared to take their holiday advertising online. Social media is one of the best tools to use for Valentine's Day marketing, because companies can instantly update consumers on popular gifts and giveaways.
QR codes are another great digital marketing tool. Owners can emboss the digital watermarks on all of their promotional products and direct customers to special online offers or landing pages for holiday merchandise.