If Marketing is about building relationships, Could St Valentine's teach us the art of "Marketing-Sutra" ?

​​It is a good time around Feb 14 to say it with a smile : stop considering your marketing or your relationship-building with the customer as some St. Valentine's day.


Do the test with your partner. He/she will promptly respond that red roses on St. Valentine's is not enough. You can't limit your love (& showing it) to just 1 day a year. The era of over-investing in media-love during a few times a year is over.


Why is that?




Digital frequency


Digital means daily conversations, a myriad of touchpoints, continuous competition. The super-bowl ads are getting extinct, as burning your whole marketing budget for just 1 ad break is pretty expensive when you need to be present day-in day-out. And it's just as foolish as thinking that telling your partner once a year is going to be enough.



Segmented Affection


Data means personalized communication. With more data, you may find out your partner is allergic to red roses. You may find she thinks “to cut flowers = killing them” and prefers chocolates.


Data-rich customer targeting started : so don't do all the talking, go off & listen, start data-collecting.  Brands used to monopolize entire conversations, and broadcast their 1 message to the masses. With social media, people actually said they love 2-way conversations. People love to be asked questions (as long as you do something useful with those cookies). Love is interaction. Love is segmentation. Don't talk to me as if I'm just the same as the guy next door.

​5 languages of love


Everyone of us has his preferred language, be it words, touch, service, gifts or time together. Back to the previous 'data' point, your marketing & communications budget can be entirely wasted if you don't use the unique language that is appreciated by your partner... Do you know what drives decisions of your own "buyer persona"? Are you focusing enough media investments on the right levers?


Consumer research will help you to understand the needs (aka insights), adequate frequency of media & formats of communication (Does she prefer a hand-written letter?), etc. Language is more than conveying functional information to your audience. There's a WAY of saying things. If that WAY is contextual, personalized & relevant, you will emerge out of the chaos of anonymous ads.

Hugging Automation?


Romance is emotional, when your loved one makes you a surprise & you feel 200% guessed at. Predictive analytics today is exactly that. OK it's also about trying to cluster groups of converging consumers, but it is above all trying to offer solutions to your audience that are a more-than-right guess of their deepest emotional needs.


Over-delivering on those needs & you'll reap some emotional loyalty, word-of-mouth, viral buzz or some sort of peer-to-peer advocacy we're all looking for.



Monogamy of messages 


Brands are build through coherent, repetitive and simple hammering of 1 single-minded message day after day, through all possible touchpoints. Saying 'i love you' around February will not be sufficient. You need to say it day after day & prove it through your behavior, the way you bring out the garbage, the way you cook dinner every Friday evening, the way you look at your partner when you ask her to dance in front of the kids, the way you surprise your loved one with unique emotions...


All touchpoints tell 1 story, build your customer experience (CX) & add layers to your relationship, to become unique. Love = Trust, and trust builds with time. You won't trust a romantic lover that claims to love you on St Valentine's. You need more than that. You need that every single touchpoint is 'on brand', or 'on strategy' and on the long term.




Multiply your approach. Feb 14 is soooo expected, that it lacks the needed 'innovation' element of surprise. Every relationship needs fuel & energy to keep it alive.


Innovation is trying to find new/better/cheaper/quicker & more exciting ways to offer your solution to your target.


Do you still have a reason-to-believe,

perceived as unique to your partner?


If you don't keep adding value to your proposal, some younger, easy-looking, low-barrier start-up will seduce your target away from your boring/predictable/routine relationship...

All this to say 'marketing' has changed definition. It is customer-relationship-building. It englobes anything that will feed this bonding. And yes, we all agree : let's enlarge st Valentine's and build stronger relationships.


Spread the luuuuv', 



Thomas Mees & Gregory Berleur



Tags: 2016 plans, marketing strategy, digital

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