Valentine’s Day 2021: What Digital Marketers Need to Know This Year

Valentine’s Day 2021: What Digital Marketers Need to Know This Year

Valentine’s Day 2021 may look a little different (surprise!), but love always prevails, doesn’t it? Retail has held steady during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, while the holiday itself has evolved in its own way to be more inclusive and creative. Digital marketers should adjust messaging to the times, maximize contextual targeting and optimization, commit to a multi-channel approach, and more. Read the data and recommendations for a successful holiday of love below. 

 

Spending Habits

In 2020, consumers in the US reported an average spend of $196 on Valentine’s Day, an increase of 21% over 2019, according to research from the National Retail Federation (NRF). (eMarketer, February 2020)

  • Age 35-44 had the highest average expected spending in 2020: $358.78
  • Age 65+ had the lowest: $99.14

→ Target and adjust messaging content towards Gen X.

 

Favorite Gifts

Candy: More than half (52%) of US internet users planned to purchase sweets for Valentine’s Day, ranking above flowers, an evening out or jewelry in 2020. (eMarketer, February 2020) A combined 62% of internet users spent on an experience: evening out, tickets to an event, trip, or spa. Due to coronavirus safety concerns and varying mandates across the country and world, we predict that Valentine’s Day gift-givers will steer away from those experiences and instead shift to creative, at-home entertainment and experiences to celebrate. Offer creative ideas or products to inspire them.

Types of Gifts US Internet Users Intended to Purchase in 2020:

  • 52% Candy
  • 43% Greeting Cards
  • 37% Flowers

(NRF via eMarketer, February 2020) 

→ Offer creative ideas or products to inspire consumers

 

Retail as an Indicator for Valentine’s Day 2021

If we gauge retail ecommerce habits as a worthy indicator of how spending will continue into Valentine’s Day, then expect more shoppers to order online this year versus last. Thanks to ecommerce, retail stayed afloat during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic and consumers in turn developed new levels of comfort with online ordering.

Retail Spending Rebounds During COVID:

  • New research by Mastercard shows U.S. ecommerce sales were up 92.7%  in May 2020, with more than $53 billion spent via ecommerce channels between April and May—the height of the pandemic. For scale, that’s more spent online than that last 12 Cyber Mondays combined (DigitalCommerce360).
  • Between July and August 2020, total retail sales in the United States rose by 0.6%. During this period, retail sales of clothing and clothing accessory retailers grew by 2.9%, rebounding from consistent and heavy declines in February, March, and April (Statista, September 2020).  

→ Consumers are more comfortable ordering online. Make it easier for them & offer incentives.

 

Digital Ad Spend: Multichannel Approach

Engagement via mobile device continues to grow year after year, and consumers – especially shoppers – are consistently utilizing a multi-channel approach to read, research, engage with brands, and ultimately buy.

Retail Digital Ad Spend by Digital Marketers:

  • eMarketer expects retail to remain the largest spender on digital ads among all verticals. The industry will increase spending by 3.1% to $28.23 billion. (eMarketer, October 2020)
  • Retail ad spending on mobile will surpass $18 billion this year, and desktop/laptop spending will reach nearly $10 billion. 
  • Mobile had a 106% higher CTR than Desktop in 1H 2020 on Bidtellect’s platform, so it’s imperative to implement a multi-channel approach  (Bidtellect 1H 2020 Native Report)

→ Utilize a multichannel approach and scale across the open web to reach more of your target consumers

 

Breaking the Valentine’s Day Mold:

Who Needs a Partner? Treat Yourself

55% planned to celebrate Valentine’s Day in some way in 2020. But even those who answered “Not celebrating” did in some way. 35% of 18-25 year olds said their non-traditional Valentine’s Day gift or celebration would be “Treating Yourself.” (NRF, 2020 Valentine’s Day Spending Survey)

Lovers & Friends & Family Count, Too:

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for significant others, spouses, even casual lovers anymore. Parks and Recreation may have dubbed the holiday “Galentine’s Day” to celebrate friendship, but gift-giving seems to span across all relationships, including family and coworkers (Saturday Night Live even wrote a spoof about it). Since 2010, spend on Valentine’s Day gifts for friends has nearly tripled, from $737 million to $2.1 billion (NRF, February 2020). Retailers have adapted with more inclusive products that “allow for casual or non romantic gift giving” (eMarketer, February 2020).

Valentine’s Day Spend on Others in 2020

  • Significant Other/Spouse: $14.1 billion
  • Other Family Members: $4.2 billion
  • Friends: $2.1 billion 

(NRF, 2020 Valentine’s Day Spending Survey)

Don’t Forget One’s Most Loyal Companion: Your Furry Friend

Don’t forget your furry friends! Valentine’s Day spending on that very special pet in your life has also increased. In 2020, 27% of those celebrating Valentine’s Day said they’d buy gifts for their pets, up from 17% in 2010 (NRF, February 2020). Spend on pet gifts has grown exponentially, from just $450 million in 2010 to more than $1.7 billion a decade later (NRF, February 2020).

The trend is not just being driven by younger consumers like millennials and Gen Zers; spending on gifts for pets has grown among all shoppers under the age of 55.

→ Valentine’s Day now means a day to show appreciation to people and pets that you love – including yourself. Cater messaging to this broader definition and don’t limit spend or targeting.

 

We hope this data on Valentine’s Day trends, shopping habits, and digital marketing strategy help you make 2021 your more successful year yet! 

 

PLUS: 6 Steps to Success for Valentine’s Day 2020:

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Bidtellect Charlotte Otremba employee photo

Charlotte Otremba ​is the Sr. Manager of Marketing and Communications at Bidtellect.

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This Week in Digital Advertising: Holiday Content Roundup, Festive Cocktails, Google Gets Sued (Again), and Latest News

This Week in Digital Advertising: Holiday Content Roundup, Festive Cocktails, Google Gets Sued (Again), and Latest News

Hello Bidtellectuals!

Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanzaa to all those who celebrate! Here’s to a brighter 2021!

Congratulations to our Bidtellectual of the Week: a shoutout to Rob, Ashley, Cory, Vicky, Nick, TJ, and Katie who epitomized the meaning of teamwork to go above and beyond for a client!

Holiday Cocktail Recipes? Yes, Please

The holidays may look a little different this year, but wherever you are, you could probably use a cocktail. Our last Quarantine Cocktail Recipes post was a hit, so we slapped on a Santa hat, sprinkled a little magic, and found some new ones. Who knows, maybe one of these will become a new holiday tradition? 

Read it here:

Yeah, We Had To: Holiday Cocktail Recipes That’ll Make Santa Smile

 

Last Call for Holiday Campaigns!!!!!! Here’s a Roundup of Content to Help:

 

The Latest: Beeswax, Google, Washington Post, and Best Ads of 2020

  • FreeWheel Buys Beeswax: Comcasts’s video ad tech company has been increasing its buy-side capabilities over the last couple of years. Beeswax is known for its bidder-as-a-service and customizability. It remains to be seen how the partnership will look re: branding, exclusivity, technological integration, and more.

  • 38 States And Territories Sue Google Over Its Alleged Search Monopoly: Less than 24 hours after Google was hit with an antitrust lawsuit re: its ad tech business, 38 states and territories served up another suit focused on Google’s monopoly over the search market. BOOM.

  • WashPost Becomes The First Publisher To Join Unified ID 2.0 . Well, hello there!

  • Adweek released its 25 Best Ads of 2020. Obvi Satan is on there. Which is your favorite?

  • ICYMI: Adexchanger’s Programmatic Power Players list is live. We are on this list. It make us proud. We’re in good company, so check it out.

Bidtellect Ugly Sweater Happy Hour Zoom Screen Grab 2020

Good News: COVID Vaccine, Cookies & Castles, Ugly Sweater Happy Hour

  • Have you listened to Dolly Parton’s Holly Dolly Christmas Album yet? It features duets with artists like Michael Bublé, Miley Cyrus, and Willie Nelson.

  • The Pfizer COVID vaccine is now being administered to healthcare workers and others, and Vice President Mike Pence will receive it live on television today to build public trust. Moderna’s is on now track to be approved soon. Is the end in sight? My hopes are high for 2021.

  • Cookies & Castles went off without a hitch! Congratulations to Bidtellectual Katie Broussard. Read more about her amazing work here.

  • Cheers to a fun Ugly Sweater Happy Hour! See photo above!

Happy Holidays!

Charlotte

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Charlotte Otremba is Sr. Manager of Communications and Marketing at Bidtellect.

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Yeah, We Had To: Holiday Cocktail Recipes That’ll Make Santa Smile

Yeah, We Had To: Holiday Cocktail Recipes That’ll Make Santa Smile

Happy Holidays! The holidays may look a little different this year, but wherever you are, you could probably use a cocktail. Our last Quarantine Cocktail Recipes to Spice Up Your Routine was a hit, so we slapped on a Santa hat, sprinkled a little magic, and found some new ones. Enjoy these holiday cocktail recipes to try!

peppermind winter wonderland christmas holiday cocktail in maritini glass

Winter Wonderland

Wow, if something screams “candy cane” plus “Christmas” it’s this, baby. I’m dying to try this and it feels like the perfect dessert holiday cocktail.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • .75 oz peppermint schnapps
  • .75 oz white chocolate liqueur
  • Candy cane
  • Red sugar

 

Method

Mix and chill ingredients. Pour into a red sugar-rimmed martini glass. Garnish with a candy cane hanging on the rim.

From Morimoto Asia at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida via Town and Country Magazine. 

gin apple fiz cocktail glass with apple

Gin Apple Fiz

This cocktail has been a go-to at my home this Fall – it’s easy to make and easy to adjust to taste. It’s the perfect pre-dinner cocktail that feels special while not complicated. Enjoy!

.Ingredients

  • 2 oz Alibi Gin
  • .25 oz lemon juice
  • Agave nectar, to taste
  • Sparkling apple cider
  • Garnished with thyme and apple

Method

Pour gin in shaker, add lemon juice and agave nectar, shake, and then pour into a high ball glass and top with sparkling cider. Garnish with fresh thyme and an apple slice.

From The Ebbitt Room at the Virginia Hotel in Cape May, NJ via Town and Country Magazine.

north pole nog spiced eggnog in glass with cinnamon stick

North Pole Nog

Yeah, no one feels like making homemade eggnog. Especially in 2020 (unless it’s the next sourdough trend, and if that’s the case, then how far have we fallen?) Anyway, combining spiced rum and bourbon adds a wonderful depth to this eggnog akin to a warm hug. Choose your favorite ‘nog – this list can help – and get spikin’. You can easily triple (or more) the recipe and serve in a glass pitcher. Bonus: there are great egg- and dairy-free eggnog options, too, so all the more reason to drink more? 

.Ingredients

  • 6 oz eggnog
  • 1 oz spiced rum
  • 2 oz bourbon
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon, for garnish
  • Cinnamon stick, for garnish

Method

Add spiced rum and bourbon to eggnog and stir to combine. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with cinnamon stick, for garnish

From Andrea Correale of Elegant Affairs via Town and Country Magazine.

cranberry margarita in glass holiday cocktail

Cranberry Margarita

I couldn’t not add a margarita – and a holiday margarita? Yes, please. I’ll be making this tonight, probs (def).

.Ingredients

  • 2 oz cranberry Juice
  • 1 oz fresh lime juice
  • 1.5 oz blanco tequila
  • .5 oz Cointreau (optional)
  • .25 oz simple syrup or agave syrup
  • Fresh cranberries and lime for garnish

Method

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until outside of shaker is frosty and cold. Pour into a salt rimmed glass over fresh cubes. Garnish with cranberries and lime wheel.

Created by Trisha Antonsen, chief cocktail officer at Drizly.com via Town and Country Magazine.

.

swedish glogg mulled wine glass

Swedish Glögg

Glögg is a Swedish spiced mulled wine with a little more oomph than your usual ho-hum forgotten-ten-dollar-wine-you-threw-on-the-stove-and-hoped-for-the-best. In Sweden, glögg is served at every meal in December and signifies the start of the holiday season.  The number of ingredients makes this look a little more complicated than it is; once on the stove, this glögg will fill your home with the scent of the holidays.

.Ingredients

  • 2 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • 1 tsp. cardamom pods
  • 1 small piece ginger, peeled
  • Zest of ½ orange
  • 6 whole cloves
  • ½ cup vodka
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
  • 1 cup ruby port or Madeira
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla sugar
  • ½ blanched whole almonds
  • ½ cup dark raisins
 

Method

  • Crush cinnamon and cardamom in a mortar and pestle (or put them on a cutting board and crush with the bottom of a heavy pot.) Transfer to a small glass jar and add ginger, orange zest, cloves, and vodka. Let sit 1 day.
  • Strain vodka through a fine-mesh sieve into a large saucepan; discard spices. Add wine, port, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, almonds, and raisins and heat over medium just until bubbles start to form around the edges.
  • Ladle glögg into mugs, with a few almonds and raisins in each one. Keep any remaining glögg warm over very low heat until ready to serve (do not let it boil).
 
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook ‘Aquavit and the New Scandinavian Cuisine,’ by Marcus Samuelsson via Bon Appetit.

We hope you enjoy these easy holiday cocktail recipes and give them a try – at home, with family, or wherever the holidays (safely) take you this year. It’s never been more important to relish the little things that bring joy. Who knows, maybe one of these will become a new holiday tradition? Happy Holiday Cocktail -ing and sending you love from the Bidtellect family!

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Charlotte Otremba is Sr. Manager of Communications and Marketing at Bidtellect.

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This Week in Digital Advertising: SPO, Programmatic Power Players, and Taylor Swift Saves 2020?

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Hello Bidtellectuals!

The celebration of Hanukkah is underway! Sending a Happy Hanukkah to all those who celebrate!

Congratulations to Bidtellectual of the Week Carolina Escobar, who fights for the very best user experience on our platform each day!

SPO: The Future Is Already Here. What’s Holding Us Back?

These days, there are more hops in the programmatic supply chain than a well-crafted IPA.  In one PwC study, 15 advertisers had nearly 300 distinct supply chains to reach 12 publishers. Craig Aron, Bidtellect SVP of Growth and Strategic Business Development, dives into the issue on Adexchanger: the answer is already here, but there’s one thing holding the industry back. Read the piece here.

 

On 2021: Colors of the Year and eMarketer Predictions (and Facebook)

  • eMarketer released its 10 Key Digital Trends for 2021 and there’s nothing too surprising: privacy will still be on everyone’s minds, with an emphasis on first-party data and new targeting techniques. It’s also stark reminder that things won’t be “bouncing back to normal” anytime soon. Digital events will reign, as will streaming and social entertainment.

  • We’ll still all be talking about Facebook in 2021, since the FTC just sued the social media giant for monopolization and years-long anticompetitive practices to maintain its dominance.

  • And Pantone announced 2021’s colors of the year: “Ultimate Gray” and “Illuminating” Yellow. Apparently they signal natural strength and positivity.  We’ll take it.

 

Adexchanger’s Programmatic Power Players

It’s the the digital marketing industry’s first searchable guide to the best agencies, tech providers and partners in the business. Bidtellect earned a spot on the coveted list and we’re in great company! Check it out here.

Bidtellectual Spotlight: 

Katie Broussard Makes a Difference for Dallas Children This Holiday Season

As Chair of the hugely popular annual Cookies & Castles fundraiser, Katie Broussard would usually be gearing up for a big day of decorating. Instead, the event benefitting Scottish Rite for Children Orthopedic hospital in Dallas, TX has had to adapt to the pandemic with a whole new operation.

Read more about her amazing work here.

Katie Broussard and Co-Chair Cookies & Castles Event Scottish Rite

Good News: Taylor Swift, Secret Santa, Workouts on Us 

Everyone: 2020 can’t get any worse
Taylor Swift: Hold my drink

  • Taylor Swift dropped a second surprise album at midnight and it’s giving us all the feels.

  • Elfster is the coolest virtual Secret Santa and its underway here at Bidtellect! We highly recommend it for teams big or small. We also loved Holiday Trivia yesterday on Kahoot! Thanks to Courtney for organizing!

  • Bidtellect is offering a free workout class this Wednesday at 12pm EST! (See below!) It’s been a hit – don’t miss out!

 

Stay safe, friends,

Charlotte

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Charlotte Otremba is Sr. Manager of Communications and Marketing at Bidtellect.

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Bidtellectual Spotlight: Katie Broussard Makes a Difference for Dallas Children This Holiday Season

Bidtellectual Spotlight: Katie Broussard Makes a Difference for Dallas Children This Holiday Season

Where’s your current remote work setup? For Bidtellect’s Katie Broussard , it is surrounded by half-decorated gingerbread houses at Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. As Chair of the hugely popular annual Cookies & Castles fundraiser, she’d usually be gearing up for a big day of decorating. Instead, they’ve adapted to the pandemic with a drive-through gingerbread house pick-up operation.

We asked Katie about her amazing work as Chair of the event, her connection to Scottish Rite for Children, and how they’ve adapted to this year’s unusual circumstances.

Scottish Rite for Children is one of the nation’s leading pediatric orthopedic centers and gives children and patients a chance to live their dreams with state-of-the-art prosthetic needs and services no matter the cost. 

Katie Broussard and Co-Chair Cookies & Castles Event Scottish Rite

Thanks for sharing with us Katie! What is the Cookies & Castles event and whom does it benefit?

Cookies & Castles is a Gingerbread Extravaganza! It’s typically a weekend long fundraiser at Scottish Rite where the community comes together to decorate gingerbread houses and gingerbread men. Typically, attendees select delicious decorations from our famous “Candy Bar” filled with 6,000 pounds of sweet treats.

This year is our 13th year, and our first-ever drive-through only event due to safety precautions. It’s still an “extravaganza” in every sense of the world: 2000 gingerbread houses (the most houses we have ever ordered ) and 6500 pounds of candy (the most ever). Last year we raised over $140K… this year (even with the pandemic) we are on track to meet that again.

When did you first get involved with the event and Scottish Rite for Children?

I started volunteering with Scottish Rite through Cookies & Castles 6 years ago. 

Tell us about your role as Chair of the Cookies & Castles Event!

I lead a team of 40 women alongside my co-chairman. Our main goal is to make friends for the hospital and share the joy of what they are doing for kids around the world. (Yes, from around the world – not just Dallas!)  All while raising money for the Prosthetics Department.

Together, we start planning the weekend-long event early in the year, securing corporate sponsorships, creating marketing campaigns, recruiting volunteers, organizing event registrations and logistics, and liaising media relations. We have a fantastic group of volunteers that work all year with us to make this event possible. We sell out QUICK every year. This year required a lot of problem solving and reimaging how things would look due to increased health and safety concerns caused by the pandemic. We shifted to a drive-through only event instead of in person. 

The event has been so successful that this year we helped launch a satellite event in Frisco, Texas. There are now three Cookies & Castles events throughout the Dallas-Ft Worth Metroplex with talks of expanding even further.

child decorating gingerbread house Cookies & Castles event
child playing guitar prosthetic arm Scottish Rite
child decorating gingerbread house Cookies & Castles event
Katie Broussard Cookies & Castles Event in Mask
gingerbread houses Cookies & Castles

What is Scottish Rite for Children?

Scottish Rite for Children is one of the nation’s leading pediatric orthopedic centers and treats a wide range of orthopedic conditions from injuries to neurological disorders. 

The Orthotics & Prosthetics department at Scottish Rite provides state-of-the-art, custom-made orthoses and prostheses for patients with special orthopedic needs. But did you know that the cost of one prosthetic can range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on the complexity? Patients receive treatment regardless of the family’s ability to pay. The team at Scottish Rite for Children is on-site (in both Dallas and Frisco) and has the ability to collaborate with doctors, therapists and other medical staff during the child’s visit. There are only a few facilities like this in the country!

What drew you to the cause?

My cousin was a patient years ago and I have had many friends be the beneficiary of the life-changing treatments from Scottish Rite.

My first time visiting the hospital I was hooked. It is filled with joy and hope. From the security guards to the VPs on staff, everyone here is sweet and caring. You walk through the doors and feel welcomed and at home… and that’s just me walking in as a volunteer. Can you imagine how calming and encouraging that would feel if you were a patient walking in feeling that way?

This hospital gives kids the chance to live their dreams… no request is too big. The prosthetics department makes speciality devices for kids to run, be artists, play the violin, archery, cheer.. You name it! That is what makes this place so special… all of this and at no cost to the families. 

Events like our Cookies & Castles come in to help support the Prosthetics department and give the kids the opportunity to literally ‘chase their dreams’ 

Favorite part?

Easy: the joy you see from the patients here. Hearing their stories and how they’re living their best life now thanks to Scottish Rite makes all the long hours and hard work putting together this fundraising event worth it. 

Oh! And the endless amount of Chewy Sprees + Hot Tamales don’t hurt either 🙂 

Finally, how can we help?

We just launched a new campaign called the Wagon of Hope to help raise $5,000 to gift 12 specialty prosthetic devices to patients this holiday season. We have 2 of 12 fulfilled. These specialty prosthetics allow patients to participate in sports, play instruments, and participate in other dexterous activities.

You can donate on any of our social media channels (@cookiesandcastles) or online here

For more information about services available at the Dallas or Frisco campus, volunteering or donating, visit scottishriteforchildren.org

Scottish Rite for Children Stats on Cookies & Castles

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Bidtellect Charlotte Otremba employee photo

Charlotte Otremba ​is the Sr. Manager Marketing & Communications at Bidtellect

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