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Valentine’s Day is almost here: The day of love, expensive candies, and feeling special.

I don’t know about you, but when I think about feeling special or important, brands are not the first thing that come to mind. Maybe I should, though; there’s something intensely intimate about digital marketing that’s never existed in marketing efforts before.

Thanks to digital marketing, brands can track information and user behavior. What does that mean for the consumer? Simple: The brands you love can now actually love you back.

If you’re not using consumer research to guide your marketing, then listen up, because I have news: Brands are my ideal Valentine this year, and here’s why. My favorite brands know what I like; they keep me informed on what’s important to me and they pay attention to the little details that make me, well, me.

As a special Valentine’s treat, I’m going to break down some of the most romantic gestures a brand can make, leading you to a stronger, healthier relationship with better ROI.

Call someone by name.

Did you know that one of the best sounds we can hear is the sound of our own name? Calling a person by their name creates a sense of identity, and that matters. The most foolproof way to personalize your marketing is using variable data to incorporate the names of your subscribers.

Here’s an example of a brand that took the power of names a step further. The Share a Coke campaign didn’t even necessarily need to know the names of every consumer, but they printed millions of bottles with different names on them and subsequently hit a huge audience with the special, warm ‘n’ fuzzy feeling of “This bottle belongs to me.”

People (including me) actually rooted through those bins looking for their name (spoiler alert: I did find it, I drank it, and I still have the label with “ERIN” on it. A prized possession if I’ve ever seen one).

William Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” But the Bard never had a personalized bottle of a time-honored sugar beverage. I think if he had, he would have been singing a different sonnet (you can make your own personalized cola drink here, just in time for Valentine’s Day).

Celebrate special occasions.

An invitation to a special sale or a unique discount code for a subscription anniversary is a great way to remind a consumer that you appreciate their business. Certain brands have even started adopting this method to draw business back in, offering a “We Miss You” promotional code for users that haven’t clicked through in a while. One of my favorite emails to get is from LOFT. I’m a new customer, but I get all the attention of a bff.

Am I the only one who likes cute, high quality fashion? Of course not. But LOFT makes sure I feel like I am. My favorite subject line to date: “You’re an insider now, Erin.” Happy to be here, LOFT.

Pay attention to their favorite things.

When I was a kid, there was a doughnut shop called Tony’s right up the street from my house. Every time I have walked in since I was five, the owner, George, has greeted me with a warm, “Good morning, honey; how you doing?” and already has my exact breakfast sandwich cooking before I get up to the counter. There’s nowhere else in St. Louis that I will eat breakfast, and that devout brand loyalty still exists, even though I haven’t lived in St. Louis for four years.

Maybe not every brand has the luxury of the Mom-and-Pop model that Tony’s Donuts does, but that doesn’t limit the ways you can reach out to your customers.

Target is the master of geo-targeting. As a member of their Cartwheel® program, I get a notification to my phone every time I go to Target, as soon as I walk through the doors. If I wasn’t already a loyal customer, I would be now, because there’s no worse feeling than leaving a store and realizing you had a coupon you didn’t use. Target eliminates that problem with the reminder, and it also acts as a tiny “Welcome back!” message, which is just good manners.

Image Credit: Pinterest

Find common interests.

Don’t send mass texts. Just because the digital sphere gives you the opportunity to send out infinite messages to unlimited users doesn’t mean you should–in fact, it’s the total opposite. When you tailor your messaging to your specific user, you’re creating a reputation for your brand as the one who cares about what I care about. That’s invaluable!

I’ve only recently switched to Spotify from a nameless internet radio. And not only do I listen to all the music I love every day, but all I have to do is add songs to my own playlists and Spotify will find more music I might like.

I’ve only been a Spotify user for 30 days, and I’m certainly not going anywhere, because Spotify makes me feel like my music needs are being met. Which sort of goes to show that when you’re doing digital marketing right, it doesn’t always take time to build a relationship. Just intentionality.

If you’re looking for The One, look no further. Element 74 has everything you’re looking for. We’re sensitive, funny, good listeners, and so creative. Here’s our digits: 573-332-7474. Or send us an email. <3

Erin Miller

About the Author

Erin Miller
When she's not spending her time creating cool client websites, Erin is an avid fan of jigsaw puzzles and binge watching The Office on Netflix over and over.

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