New research from intelligent media delivery firm Valassis shares strategies to help brands retain loyal customers and capture the hearts of new ones this Valentine’s Day. The company’s Dynamic Shopper research reveals only 34 percent of consumers have one preferred retailer by purchase category—meaning marketers have an opportunity to build loyalty and improve long-term relationships with existing consumers.

“Today more than ever there’s fierce brand competition and if marketers don’t take the time to engage consumers in meaningful ways, consumers are more prone to look elsewhere for better service, deals or personalized offers,” said Curtis Tingle, chief marketing officer at Valassis, in a news release. In order to foster brand loyalty, marketers must focus on individual preferences by using data intelligence to ensure offers and campaigns are appropriately targeted to activate consumers during their unique purchase journeys. From there, this information should be used to reach and engage consumers in their preferred ways—across print, digital and emerging channels.”

With the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday, Valassis recommends marketers follow these three strategies to increase brand loyalty—and love—this year:

Integrate print and digital campaigns

Brands must ensure they are reaching current and prospective consumers with both print and digital campaigns to share offers, coupons and messages. Twenty-eight percent of consumers say receiving a print and digital ad encourages them to shop a new a store or website or one they don’t shop very often so there is an immense opportunity for brands to acquire new customers.

To activate prospects, brands need to hone in on consumers’ online behaviors, like abandoned shopping carts, and follow up with email and print offers to convert them. Based on the research, nearly three out of four consumers indicate they can be swayed by advertised promotions and sales.

Offer relevant promotions/rewards

Everyone loves a good deal. Marketers have insightful data about consumer behavior and shopping preferences at their fingertips. As they develop campaigns, it’s important to personalize offers based on consumer interests, location insights and purchase habits. Is there a baby in the household? If so, send a buy-one-get-one coupon for diapers. Frequent shoppers? Try implementing a rewards program to keep them coming back.

Consumers have spoken and 73 percent say they feel more loyal to retailers who reward them with personalized discounts and special offers.

Optimize in-store experiences

Brick-and-mortar retailers are still a prime destination for consumers. According to the 2018 Purse String Survey, 96 percent of consumers shop in-store for apparel, shoes and accessories. Marketers need to engage in-store shoppers at the right time and place by providing a unique shopping experience with specific calls to action.

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