Using data from Google Analytics, The Nielsen Company, and Experian Simmons, we examined 2012 web traffic and behavioral data across several leading online dating sites. Our goal was to determine patterns in online dating around Valentine’s Day, and to see who was doing what with whom online.
We found that online dating traffic doesn’t go up on Valentine’s Day, but actually peaks several days after. Based on the data, we determined that Valentine’s Day is largely irrelevant to people actively dating online. It does, however, have a delayed effect on singles (and other daters), causing a brief but prominent spike in traffic a few days after Valentine’s Day.
The Effect of Valentine’s Day on Marketers
As marketers, it’s important for us to understand that Valentine’s Day isn’t an exciting, romantic day for everybody. In fact, messaging that only highlights that aspect of the holiday could alienate singles who feel disconnected from romantic sentiments.
This doesn’t mean that singles can’t be reached with romantic imagery. We just have to do it a few days after Valentine’s Day when they’re most active online.
Additionally, targeting a primarily white, single dating population of daters may not be the most effective strategy, as our research shows that African American people actually make up a majority of online daters. And we’d do well not to ignore the 24% of online daters who are married (yikes!), or the significant population of daters in the 60-64 age bracket.
The point is that Valentine’s Day doesn’t apply to everyone in the same way (or even on the same day), so do your seasonal persona research when planning your seasonal marketing campaigns.