Valentine’s Day shares a likeness with Christmas, Halloween, April Fool’s Day and many of the other weird and wacky days the country celebrates throughout the year. They all get us buzzing about what marketing campaigns we can cook up.
Once upon a time, it used to be just the big holidays that would keep marketers busy. But nowadays – there’s a day for almost everything! I’m looking at you – National Nothing Day and Dress Up As Your Pet Day. So today I’m asking: has this led to too much saturation in the creative campaigns space, or do consumers still feel the love for seasonal marketing deep down?
Are Companies Still Using Seasonal Campaigns?
According to Sender, companies have absolutely used Valentine’s Day 2024 to market their products some; with 55% giving product discounts and 26% offering free samples with purchases through email marketing. So e-mail marketing, at least, is not dead in the water.
There’ve also definitely been plenty of Valentine’s-themed messages on social, including from our own clients where it was relevant. From offers, to romantic stories from the company, there have been plenty of opportunities that businesses have seized across all platforms.
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Despite all this, anecdotally I have to say that the campaigns have dwindled in recent years. I used to write a blog every year about my favourite Valentine’s Day campaigns. This year, I’m not sure I could gather enough material.
And that’s not just for Valentine’s Day marketing, Black Friday seemed to have much less PR buzz last year, than it has in recent years. April Fool’s Day is another that seems to have lost consumer interest.
This has led me to raise a couple of questions – firstly, why is this? And secondly, have holiday campaigns had their day?
Why Are There Less Seasonal Campaigns
As with everything in marketing, of course, there’s no perfect answer.
April Fool’s Day, for example, never seemed to pick back up really after the pandemic, when everyone collectively decided in 2020 and 2021 that nothing in the world was a laughing matter during those times!
Other holidays seem to have generally become less engaging for people as time moves on, 5-10 years ago, we used to love Pancake Day in our household. This year, none of my family really bothered with it!
Then of course there’s my other argument, which is not the fault the days themselves, but the marketers who try to shoehorn businesses into each and every one of them. Black Friday, for example, has just become so inundated with marketing campaigns that it’s hard to spot a genuinely decent offer. It could be that consumers are simply getting tired and switching off to all campaigns – whether they’re relevant or not. And likewise, the brands with good stories to tell, are holding back because they think they won’t be able to cut through.
So have we gone too far, or can we still use holidays and Awareness Days to our advantage in marketing?
Is Seasonal Marketing Still Effective?
Seasonal marketing, whether it be for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or one of the other weird and wonderful Awareness Days we have in our calendar now, has always been pretty effective.
Most marketing strategies will include key dates, and Marketing Week reported that 84% of companies put budget aside for these kinds of things.
The main problem that I mentioned, is that everyone wants to get involved with everything – and that’s ultimately led to the feeling of it all being ‘overdone’. Despite this, I’m still of the opinion that seasonal marketing can absolutely be effective, but only when it’s relevant for your brand.
For example, for our client Combermere Abbey, we like to make a big deal of the fact that it’s a very romantic place to stay, and even has the claim to fame of being named “the most romantic place in all Europe” by the famous Empress Sisi of Austria. Valentine’s Day messaging is ideal for them.
If you want your seasonal marketing to be effective, you should be asking yourself the following questions:
- Is this a day that’s relevant to my brand?
- Is it a day that my consumers are likely to be interested in?
- Can we add something new to what’s already out there?
- Can we diversify the way we’re communicating? (E.g. trying TikTok this year)
If you answer no to any of these, then maybe revert back to the calendar and hold out for something a little more relevant for you. Or, be smart with your messaging. If you can be a little punny, and put our a harmless message that isn’t an aggressive sales tactic, then be creative and give it a go!
In conclusion, yes, seasonal marketing has become a little saturated – but you can help by only contributing where there is relevancy and ensuring that you’re always bringing new ideas to your consumers.
If that all sounds like hard work, and you’d like us to take it off your hands. We’d be more than happy to chat at Source; where we’ve 15+ years of experience in executing the right campaigns for brands and putting marketing strategies together for clients that are timely, relevant and most importantly – work! Send us a message and see. Happy Valentine’s Day 💘