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[BU Today] Rethinking Valentine’s Day Marketing for the Unattached or Lonely

Most people are no strangers to the massive amounts of marketing emails sent around holidays. For some, these emails simply make it to the delete folder without a second thought, while for others, they can be a stark reminder of painful memories.

Barbara Bickart

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February 9, 2022

Most people are no strangers to the massive amounts of marketing emails sent around holidays. For some, these emails simply make it to the delete folder without a second thought, while for others, they can be a stark reminder of sad times. There is a growing movement from retailers calling for more thoughtful marketing around sensitive occasions like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day.

BU Today sat down with Barbar Bickart, Associate Professor of Marketing, to discuss whether this movement is here to stay or just a temporary fad.

“Allowing opt-out for certain holiday pitches could help marketers in the goal of fostering a deeper loyalty with consumers. Providing this option could suggest to consumers that the brand really does care about their well-being.”

Barbara Bickart
Associate Professor of Marketing

Barbara Bickart is an Associate Professor of Marketing. She studies how the context of communication influences consumers’ inference and judgment processes. Her research was one of the first to demonstrate the persuasive impact of consumer-generated content on social media relative to marketer-generated content. Current projects explore how social media influencers strategically use disclosure of personal information in an online setting to create connections with their audience, how brand-related bragging on social media affects perceptions of both the communicator and the brand, and how engaging in social TV affects consumers’ enjoyment of the experience.