How Big Data is Changing Valentine’s Day
I get a bit nostalgic around Valentine’s Day. During the era of my childhood years, thirty-some years ago, Valentine’s Days was simple. Classmates exchanged tiny cards and, if you were lucky, the envelope was stuffed with a few heart-shaped, chalky confections. We’d get our fill of chocolate hearts and sugared gummies. On the way home from school, the sidewalks were crowded downtown by the florist and candy shop. Love was in the air. So was the blissful scent of roses and homemade chocolates.
Fast forward thirty years later to the here and now. For a most of us, handwritten cards and waiting in line at the local florist, where the owner knows your name, is a thing of the past. We’re too busy. Rush. Rush. Rush. We’re pressed for time. Yet, February 14th sneaks up on us. It’s around the corner, looming over our heads like a dark cloud. What to do. Where to shop. What to buy. Somewhere amid this mental fiasco, the sentimentality fades. Valentine’s Day. What happened?
Times have changed. Valentine’s Day has blown through the roof. It’s a massive marketing holiday and companies ranging from 1800 Flowers to Doritos have jumped on board. Many of them are also using Omnichannel Personalization and Big Data to improve their results. They’ve fine-tuned the process of segmenting email lists and running targeted ads to personalize how people shop for their Valentine and the overall customer experience. This includes gathering data about relationship status, life changes, identifying the customers’ needs and continuously updating customer profiles in real time.
From a customer’s standpoint, it’s difficult to associate words like Omnichannel, Hyperpersonalization, and Big Data with Valentine’s Day. It’s not exactly something you want to talk about over champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. However, keep in mind, what’s going on behind the scenes, is what gives you an infinite amount of convenient ways to find inspiration, get creative, browse, make purchases, and avoid landing yourself in the proverbial doghouse.
Without those personalized emails giving you the “hint, wink, nudge”, Valentine’s Day can easily spiral into something complicated and messy for the absent minded. Lucky for you, the hand of digital marketing eases its way into your daily routine. Tapping its fingers on your desk. Waving its hand in front of your face. Brushing the crumbs from the front of your suit. “Hello! Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. You need to start thinking about it now!”
There is no doubt; Valentine’s Day is the most romantic holiday of the year. There’s a lot of pressure all the way around. Whether it’s choosing the right gift that’ll make your loved one swoon or deciding where to dine and making reservations on time, the process of planning and shopping is much easier than it was 10 years ago.
Technology gives you an endless stream of choices to ease the pressure and stress. For the clueless romantic, you can easily get lost in the virtual world of gifts. Let’s face it; most of us are beyond wanting chocolates and flowers. We crave out-of-the-box. Something unique with a touch of whimsy. From custom whisky stones or a Big Bang Theory Plush Soft Kitty Bouquet, nothing wins our affections more than something that says, “I know you. I get you.”
However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the age of all-things-digital and Omnichannel is making it easier all the way around. You can exhale. The doghouse is all but a thing of the past. Planning the perfect evening is no longer tedious or tiresome. You can stroll to the quaint corner Italian Restaurant with ease. Reservations are made. Nestled in your pocket is the box, neatly wrapped with a red bow on top, to surprise your Valentine with. Delivered on time. And later, after a boozy nightcap of sweet merlot, there are apps to enhance the much anticipated evening rendezvous. We’ll leave that for you to explore.