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Beyond Valentine’s Day: Year-Round Marketing Strategies To Build Brand Devotion

Authors: Gini Roberts Gini Roberts
Posted Under: Digital Marketing
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Beyond Valentine’s Day Year-Round Marketing Strategies To Build Brand Devotion

Was Valentine’s Day created by marketers? No, but now is the time to give a little bit of love in your marketing.

February 14 can stir up quite a bit of emotions for consumers. While some can’t wait to watch rom-coms and blast Taylor Swift songs, others shudder at the thought and loudly proclaim “Valentine’s Day is a fake holiday created by marketers”. The truth is, the Valentine’s Day of modern times took thousands of years to become the holiday we all know and love. Or love to hate. 

The origin of Valentine’s day is a dramatic series of events, beginning with the execution of a man named Valentine – whose true identity is still in debate. Then in the 5th Century, Pope Gelasius declared Feb. 14 as “St. Valentine’s Day” in an attempt to do away with a pagan fertility celebration held around the same time.

In America, Valentine’s Day picked up mass momentum with consumer spending in 1849, when a budding female entrepreneur by the name of Esther A. Howland found success by commercially selling premium, upscale cards. It wasn’t until years later that many of the things we associate with Valentine’s Day came into existence. Heart-shaped conversation candy, Hershey chocolates, American Greetings and Hallmark were all founded after Esther’s business was booming.

It is no surprise that companies started, and will continue, to incorporate Valentine’s Day into sales and marketing plans, but savvy marketers find ways to go above and beyond that one day a year. 

How to Build Brand Devotion

Regardless of what the date is on the calendar, here are 5 ways that organizations can – and should – show some love to prospects and customers all year round:

1. Show them that you really know them. 

When was the last time you conducted audience research? Do you know what they value? Convince & Convert discovered that 85% of enterprise marketers agree that data-driven personalization is a competitive advantage. Yet more than half DON’T collect enough customer data or ANY customer data at all! 

Now is the time to start cleaning up your marketing house, and get all of your data in order to see what you already have, and what you need to start tracking, in order to create truly personalized campaigns that will make customers fall in love with your brand.

2. Make them laugh. 

It’s true: customers are more likely to buy from brands who can make them laugh. Happiness guru Gretchen Rubin partnered with Oracle on a global survey on the topic. The findings? 91% of people prefer brands to be funny, and 72% would choose a brand that uses humor over the competition.


Credit: quip

Expert tip: Don’t go all-in on this until you’ve successfully mastered #1. You need to know your audience first before you can share their humor. What resonates for one crowd might be a huge turn off for another. Need help? Take it from the experts from Clean Comedians and study their list of The Different Types of Humor.

3. Acknowledge words of affection. 

Utilize social listening to find your biggest fans – and show your appreciation right back. My personal favorite example of this happened several years back, when a 14-year-old girl built mass momentum by tweeting at the band Weezer, asking them to cover the 1982 song “Africa”. 


Not only did they acknowledge the tweets, they reached out to her personally via phone, and not long after that they released their version of the song. Adding in the ‘laughter’ component, they even got Weird Al Yankovic to appear in the music video. The results? Millions of excited fans and the song became the band’s first #1 single since 2008 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

4. Be authentic in your approach. 

Customer’s don’t just want to see the shiny well-produced side of your brand. They want to get to know the real people behind the scenes – and companies are taking note! 

The marketing tides have shifted from weariness to enthusiasm around employee content. Employees are already taking to their personal accounts on sites like LinkedIn and TikTok to provide an inside look into your brand. 

Enterprise brands like United Airlines and Cisco are getting on board with this, and formally training employees as social media creators while rolling out new corporate guidelines that support their efforts. It’s time to embrace the creativity of the people in your organization, and help them along the way.

5. Keep the lines of communication open

When a customer has a problem, can they reach you right away? Research by Jay Baer and StatSocial found that 66% of people say speed is just as important as price when it comes to customer satisfaction, with younger consumers having less sympathy for lacking response times. If your customers can’t get through to you, you definitely won’t be able to get through to them.

Beyond seasonal marketing, the key to building an effective strategy lies in a year-round commitment to audience understanding, humor, acknowledgment, authenticity, and responsive communication. 

By embracing these principles, marketers can create campaigns that resonate beyond the confines of a calendar date, fostering genuine connections and brand loyalty. So, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or any other day, let’s continue to infuse our marketing efforts with a genuine touch, ensuring that love for our brands is not just a fleeting sentiment but a lasting emotion.

Research by Jay Baer and StatSocial found that 66% of people say speed is just as important as price when it comes to customer satisfaction, with younger consumers having less sympathy for lacking response times.

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