The Advertiser's Guide to Valentine's Day Planning

Valentine’s Day, one of the largest online shopping holidays of the year, is weeks away, but the Ignite OPM team isn’t sweating it. While Q4’s holiday madness was at its peak, our team was ahead of the curve and already planning for Valentine’s Day - after all, planning ahead is everything when it comes to the holidays. If your brand’s running a bit behind, don’t worry, our team’s compiled some of our best tips and tricks to get your team up to speed on everything needed for a successful Valentine’s Day.

Gift Guides
First and foremost, Valentine’s Day is nothing without gift guides. However, getting your brand into a gift guide can be tricky if the timing isn’t right. During Q4, many brands forget how quickly Valentine’s Day approaches after the New Year, which can lead to last-minute cramming. While it may seem a bit early, it’s best to have all V-Day media planning submitted by January 22nd. This allows brands to get the best placements available with top publishers, while also giving creative teams plenty of time for any requests they may get in preparation for the placements. Planning ahead also provides the brand with enough wiggle room to carefully finalize their offers without feeling rushed. On top of planning ahead with publishers, brands who work with review sites need to send product samples in a timely manner, so that the reviews are relevant when consumers are looking to buy.

Demographic Alignment
The second key piece to Valentine’s Day planning is aligning your brand with the opposite demographic, which in this case is significant others. Brands who typically target women will usually swap for Valentine’s Day to target men. These brands can range from florists to jewelers, candy companies, and lingerie retailers. Working with publishers such as AskMen, Digital Trends, and GQ is critical for Valentine’s Day, as those are the publications that will reach men. It’s important to note that men are also heavily targeted for gender-neutral products because, on average, men spend more than double on their significant others for Valentine’s Day.

Competitive Promotions
Promotions are the final piece to our Valentine’s Day puzzle. Promotional planning is important in two respects, the first being shipping. You must consider shipping deadlines to ensure your products reach the consumer prior to Valentine’s Day. This may seem like a simple principle, but shipping is a huge deciding-factor for consumers. Free holiday shipping, with and without minimums, has become standard practice for businesses worldwide. In addition to shipping, keeping your offers competitive is extremely important. Competitive promotions are crucial for all brands, but especially so for products with high seasonality during Valentine’s Day, such as flowers or chocolates. Staying on top of your competitor’s offerings, during both on and off seasons, is crucial in order to maintain market share and win sales.

After Q4, the game is far from over for many brands. Don’t put off Valentine’s Day planning if you’re a brand with high V-Day seasonality! Make sure you’re giving publishers and review sites plenty of time to prepare, align your targeting with the opposite demographic (significant others), and ensure your promotions are competitive and products will be delivered prior to February 14th. Following these simple planning steps can ensure your brand a strong start to 2019.