How to avoid spending too much on Valentine's Day

MEN are expected to fork out around $94 this Valentine's Day, compared to just $56 by women.

University of Southern Queensland marketing lecturer Dr Rumman Hassan said it was anticipated that Australians will spend a whopping $528 million this Valentine's Day.

"In addition to the traditional gifts like flowers and chocolates, consumers are expected to spend heavily on dinner and drinks," Dr Hassan said.

"Dinner, drinks and flowers have traditionally been the top three spending categories."

This year marketers have started a new trend to target singles.

"Marketers have realised that this is a segment that can also be potentially tapped into during this specific occasion.

"The whole concept of Valentine's Day revolves around tapping into human emotions and the need to love and be loved.

"Retailers are using various mechanisms of tapping into this human emotion.

"Some of the traditional strategies involve the use of props that include flowers, heart symbols, etc.

"For people who are not in relationships, marketers are promoting the concept of self love and encouraging consumers to buy gifts for themselves."

Some of the clever tricks that retailers will be using to lure you in include discounts and freebies, special discount codes on websites and more.

And the hype around Valentine's Day is getting harder to ignore.

"Just like other events, due to the intense penetration of social media, the hype surrounding any event is now more intense.

"One does not have to physically go to a retail outlet or even be glued to the TV to be exposed to the campaigns surrounding Valentine's Day. Our hand held mobile devices expose us to the campaigns with greater frequency."

Mr Hassan said when it came to avoiding getting sucked in by marketing campaigns it came down to your mindset.

"It really depends on the individual consumer's mindset, socio-economic status, relationship status, and a number of other factors.

"People who tick the relevant boxes and are actively interested in Valentine's Day will seek out products and services that satisfy their needs during this occasion.

"Those that do not tick the relevant boxes might turn a blind eye and will not be lured by marketers during this time. Given that social media campaigns are active during this period, it makes it difficult for the consumers not to be exposed to campaigns surrounding this event. Again, exposure does not guarantee that it will transform into behaviour." 

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