Valentine’s Day marketing isn’t for me, it has nothing to do with my business.

3 weeks left…and I’ll bet some of you are thinking “Valentine’s Day has nothing to do with my business”.

So what? Who says the jewelry stores and florists get to have all the fun???

Here are some examples of thinking that results in a strategic marketing use of Valentine’s Day.

If you are an attorney, offer a counseling evening of some kind for couples who are worried that they are heading for divorce. DONT try to sell them something. Send non-romantic valentines to your clients, wishing them well.

Pet stores: Pets deserve valentines too. Send them cards. Give them red bows after grooming. Groom 1 dog, get the 2nd for $x, ie: Bring a Date (doggy date) to the groomer, do doggie makeovers for Valentine’s Day, and so on. Many people love their pets like a child. Create special experiences for the pet owner and their critters. Limo pickup for that special pooch who is on their way to get a deluxe grooming? Think how you CAN use what others do, not how you cant.

If you are an accountant, its tax season, so you may just want to hide:) However, “the love of money” is a theme that is hard to ignore. If you need more tax clients, its a theme you could easily use to attract those who want to break up the romance between the IRS and their bank account.

If you sell cars, don’t forget that people have a love affair with their cars. “Treat that special someone to a detail job for Valentine’s Day”, for example. Send their CAR a Valentine, and include an offer inside the card, of course. Offer a special service or bonus (not a discount) to anyone who brings a red car in for service (or a pink car).

If you own an oil change place, give red carnations to ladies who get their oil changed, send your female customers a valentine (with an offer…), send valentines to the cars of your clients, change the oil in red cars at no charge on Feb 14 if they buy your prepaid oil change card, and so on.

If you own a movie rental store, offer a free bag of microwave popcorn to share with any rental of a “date movie”, romantic movie or similar.

Home stores – have a special spa night where you open the store and fire up the hot tubs, complete with tuxedo’d wait staff and the works. Offer free installation or delivery specials to anyone who attends the event. Its about romance, remember?

Department and Clothing stores – Romance, romance, romance. What about a makeover? Do a “What not to wear on Valentine’s Day” for one lucky winner who has pre-registered for a Lancome skin analysis in our makeup department.

If you own a bookstore, offer a romance novel special, have a special reading, plaster the place with red, give a red carnation with any book purchase, dress up like your favorite romantic character, etc.

Use the number 14 in your specials and offers.

Have your staff wear red for the next 3 weeks, or a red button.

Valentine’s Day is about love. How can you express your love for your customers? “We love our customers so much, that we’ve arranged for a …..”

Look at the great romances over time and use them for special events. “Your Romeo and Juliet evening at Sarducci’s Italian starts with a limo arriving at your door to whisk you away on a romantic journey that includes ….”  You could have Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton look alikes, or stand up cardboard figures, or have a dress like your favorite romantic couple night at your hotel or restaurant.

Singles are another untapped market. Restaurants can open their banquet room for a singles night. Gotta be single, no baggage, just come in, mingle, have a great meal. Turn it into a movie night where no romance movies are shown.

Dont just do it, remember to PUBLICIZE what you’re doing.