Valentine's Day Marketing Ideas: You Will Love It

Valentine’s Day is the first major sales date of the year for retailers so we want to make sure you’re prepared for the next few weeks of increased demand. Last year, Valentine’s Day sales totaled nearly $20 Billion in the U.S. alone. This post features 10 tips to help you maximize Valentine’s Day sales and start the year off right!

1. Understand Valentine’s Day Buyer Trends
First and foremost, understand your store’s inventory and identify which products may be well suited for a Valentine’s Day purchase. Once you’ve figured this out, you now have a list of products to push with your marketing campaigns. Here’s a short list of key product categories that very much identify with Valentine’s Day.
Key Product Categories:
Greeting Cards
Valentine’s Day shopping trends have changed quite a bit over the years. Valentine’s Day is no longer just for romance. Consumers will spend money on family members, children, co-workers, pets, and even themselves. For example, consumers plan to spend just over $26 on their pets during Valentine’s Day. Even if you don’t sell traditional Valentine’s Day products, use the opportunity to reach out to leads and past customers.
Less planning goes into Valentine’s Day shopping which means that nearly half of shoppers plan to shop during early February. You’ve still got plenty of time to get your marketing plans in place.
Cart abandonment rates are especially high during Valentine’s shopping (76% for Retail and 86% for Travel). Be sure to implement cart abandonment solutions that will help you increase sales conversion during this period.

2. Engage Shoppers with Valentine’s Promotions
One of the easiest ways you can win sales during a busy shopping period is to engage your shoppers with holiday specific promotions that will drive them to buy from you (and not one of your pesky competitors). A sales promotion is most often seen in the form of a percentage discount but there are other options that may work better for you. Consider a dollar amount discount, free shipping, a gift with purchase, free gift wrapping, and so on.

Present shoppers with a Valentine’s themed promotion, a valuable incentive to purchase, and any other applicable info to the promotion itself (exclusions, order thresholds, etc.) Onsite prompts like pop ups and banner messages help conversion rates during Valentine’s Day shopping. These promotions have a 28% click to conversion rate for Retail and 12% for Travel.

3. Provide Shoppers with Gift Ideas
Most Valentine’s Day shoppers are looking for ideas and have very little direction on what to purchase for their significant other. Here’s an opportunity for some seasonal content marketing that focuses around the Valentine’s Day products that you’ve already identified.
Put together a series of blog posts or a downloadable buying guide filled with different gift ideas for men, women, pets, and friends. Be sure to link to your products so shoppers can immediately purchase from you when they find a gift idea they like.

4. Make It Easy for Your Shoppers
As mentioned in the previous section, most people have very little idea on what to purchase. They need help and direction and if you can provide a shopping experience that achieves this, you drastically increase the chance of converting that shopper into a paying customer.
Make things easy for your shoppers by building out specific landing pages and collections to hold all Valentine’s day focused products. You can even take it a step further by segmenting or sorting products by gender, type of personality, price point, and product type.
egtcp.com has a great V-Day collection with the ability to sort products and even has landing pages for specific price points. 

5. Cross-Sell and Upsell Relevant Products
Valentine’s Day shoppers aren’t looking to skimp on gifts which means that cross-sells and upsells can be a great strategy for increasing order size. 39% of Valentine’s Day shoppers plan on spending over $50 on their significant other so this bodes well for this promotional tactic. 

6. V-Day Shoppers LOVE Email
Despite all of the other marketing channels out there, email still remains the most reliable and effective way to drive sales for your business. By now, we’ve hopefully identified our V-Day products, implemented promotional offers on site, created content around specific products, and built out a holiday specific landing page. 

7. Offer Free Shipping
If there’s one thing that stands out to a shopper during their visit, it’s the prospect of free shipping. If you can offer it, then make sure you engage shoppers with a promotion stating that you offer free shipping.
Can’t offer free shipping on all orders? A free shipping threshold allows businesses to set a minimum order value that free shipping will be offered. For example, if it’s financially viable for you to offer free shipping on orders of $100 or more, then set your free shipping threshold at $100.
Another way to increase average order value is to set your free shipping threshold slightly higher than your average order size. If my average order is $50, then I’ll set free shipping to $75!   

8. Market to Mobile Shoppers On-Site
Mobile now accounts for around 50% of total web traffic. If you’re ignoring your mobile experience, then you’re missing out on sales. Take a similar approach that you would with a desktop browser.   

9. Don’t Forget About Single People
About half of consumers will not be celebrating Valentine’s Day. Rather than alienating this segment of the market by strictly promoting Valentine’s Day gifts for a significant other, mix in some other messaging that caters to those who are single. Encourage single shoppers to treat themselves and offer discounts to make it worth their while.
Since it may be difficult to segment your shoppers by relationship status, you can always resort to incorporating a few single-focused emails in your campaigns. You can also wait until February 14 or 15 to serve up messaging that caters to this audience.

 Global Trade Credit Purchasing Card, makes your cash on Valentine’s Day flow.

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Great Marketing Ploy You Can Learn From the Most Successful Super Bowl Ads

The Super Bowl deserves "The Marketer's Holiday" for good reason. At $5 million for a 30-second spot, it's one of the highest-grossing media events in the world. And with all the hype around previews before The Big Game, it's become a frenzy to follow all the activity of the big brands before and after the game.

And while the Super Bowl is the ultimate in big brand marketing, there are a number of takeaways that would apply to a business of any size. Entrepreneurs can learn a lot from this year's crop of advertising. After all, marketing is a spectator sport, and 2018's spectacle was no exception.

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Consider the environment

Context is everything. Make sure you serve up your brand messages in a way that is appropriate to the environment. The Super Bowl is a massive stage, but it's also a space for family, fun, friends and gatherings.
So, advertisers stuck to lighter messaging, product benefits and sheer entertainment. Febreze is a great example. The brand reminded people who were throwing a Super Bowl party that there is a key ingredient that they shouldn't leave out.

Use multiple channels

The best Super Bowl advertising used multiple channels to spread a fully integrated campaign. In those cases, broadcast advertising is just the launching pad. Many previewed spots ahead of time via YouTube, utilized influencer networks to review and share, built installations onsite at the game and maxed out engagement on social media.

Rocket Mortgage is a good example. The advertising quickly led to an online resource to learn more, and social media also kicked in to generate leads throughout the game. Since it's highly likely that, as a small business owner or entrepreneur, you won't be using broadcast advertising, it's even more important that you use a mix of media to spread your messages.

Lead with an insight

All good marketing starts with a consumer insight to grab the audience's attention. This should be a given in effective communication. The more emotional your connection, the more memorable the messaging. Especially if it's tied to a product benefit.

Verizon is a good example. The brand honored first responders by connecting survivors with those who rescued them -- by having them place a call on the Verizon network, of course. Big brands don't own any special territory when it comes to finding an insight, and in fact, it's quite the opposite. Since small businesses are even closer to customers, finding an emotionally unique insight should be easier and more fruitful.

Make someone smile

Messaging that makes us smile is much more memorable and shareable. So, try to find a sense of humor in the work, and the work will more likely get noticed. Amazon's marketing with Alexa is a good example -- it gave us a good laugh as it simultaneously showcased how it can add value to our lives. You should certainly stay true to your brand indeed. But don't take yourself so seriously. The NFL certainly did a good job of that!

Rinse and repeat

In order to be effective, messaging needs to be repeated to be remembered. So be sure to repeat over and over again to ensure message penetration. Tide is as good example. It owned the night with repeated variations of their "This is a Tide Ad." And guess what, the messaging stuck. Yours can too if you put it on repeat mode.

As you plan out your own marketing activities, keep these Super Bowl Big Brand lessons in mind. And as you also watch other brands in action, pay attention to how you can apply what they do to your business. After all, marketing is a spectator sport.

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China Shows the Way in Openness & Innovation

Openness and Innovation will dominate the agenda of this year’s Fortune Global Forum in Guangzhou when top executives of the world’s largest companies gather in the southern city of China, underlining China’s rising role as a strong advocate for globalization and innovation in the international trade stage.

It is the fifth time that Fortune magazine picks a Chinese city to host its prestigious business Forum since the event was created in 1995. It is not only a reflection of the continuous strong interest and attentions from international CEOs in the Chinese market but also a manifestation of China’s growing influence in the global trade and economy.

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Discussions at the Forum, which lasted from Dec 6th to 8th, focused on the theme “Openness and Innovation: Shaping the Global Economy”. Global business leaders shared their views with their Chinese counterparts on topics including the latest trends in the technological revolution, the outlook for the world’s economy, and how multinational companies should position themselves at a time when globalization is being challenged.

The theme of the Guangzhou Forum also coincided with the key messages from the report delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China held in October. The report stressed that Openness and Innovation were among the keys for China to achieve successful economic transition and sustainable development.

Participants at the Guangzhou Forum were expected to exchange their thoughts on the prospects of the world’s second largest economy, the implications of China’s rising middle class, rapid urbanization and expanding digital technologies, as well as how China’s Belt and Road Initiative will reshape global trade.

Economists and observers believed that pooling Chinese wisdom and practices on development with international experience would benefit future global development.

“The world is now faced with several critical issues including the lack of an inner driving force for growth and development and a rising anti-globalization sentiment at the moment,” said Xu Hongcai, the deputy chief economist at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges.

“China has come up with solutions such as the Belt and Road Initiative that aims to create a more open and inclusive international cooperation platform to fuel a new round of development,” said Xu.

Alan Murray, the chief content officer of Time Inc and president of Fortune magazine, said that the Guangzhou Forum was a powerful demonstration of the importance of global commerce and the profound change that technology was bringing to global business at a time when globalization was under attack.

“Guangzhou, China’s southern gateway to the world, is the ideal location for the 2017 Fortune Global Forum. As a center of international trade for many centuries, Guangzhou is both a renowned symbol and a modern manifestation of China’s participation in global commerce,” Murray was quoted by Fortune magazine as saying.

When it came to Innovation, China has been transforming from a copycat into a leader in the areas of e-commerce and financial technology, thanks to the its rapid digitalization and explosive online & mobile penetration.

Some of the highlights of the Forum included the participation of Jack Ma, the founder of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, and Pony Ma, the chairman of Tencent Holdings, another major Chinese internet company and the domestic rival of Alibaba.

It was interesting to see them interact with other global business leaders and share their thoughts on entrepreneurship and what was next for China and the world. Participants of the Guangzhou Forum will also exchange ideas on the most transformative technologies on the horizon, the impact of China emerging as a major innovator and how the technologies will change the course of future development.

China is already a leading market globally for venture capital in technologies including virtual reality, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and 3D printing, with about one third of the world’s “Unicorn” companies (start-ups valued at over US$1 billion) hailing from the country, according to the global consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

“The Chinese marketplace itself is demanding a capacity to innovate that did not exist before,” said Jonathan Woetzel, a senior partner at McKinsey & Company.

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