Valentine's Day is here and it's a great opportunity to look at how to use our content to help retailers reach out to their customers.

Research beyond just who is reading the paper can help you work with advertisers to reinforce the value of your newspaper to help them talk to their customers. Our readers use newspapers for the information we provide, but numerous studies have shown that they also want to see the ads. So having more information on the shopping habits of readers can help sales staff demonstrate the value of newspapers more directly to their advertisers.

Across Canada, 61% of adults are married or living together and these are a sure bet for Valentine gifts. The 25% that are single and 13% who are widowed, separated or divorced can also be in the market for Valentine gifts.

What to buy that sweetheart? Jewelery, lingerie, or fragrances? All good choices. Nearly half of all adults have purchased jewelery and or watches in the past three years, 44% have purchased lingerie or undergarments and 35% fragrances. But who is doing the buying and how do we reach them? It turns out that women are more likely to purchase all these items than men! So for Valentines we need to get those male shoppers out buying those personal gifts for their sweethearts.

A newspaper campaign for Valentine's Day shopping is perfect for reaching men with a message about gift ideas. Men are more frequent readers of daily newspapers than women, particularly on weekdays. Weekday editions present a great opportunity for retailers to convince men to get out and buy their women some great Valentine gifts.

Over half of all men who purchase jewelery and watches, lingerie and fragrances read a newspaper on the average weekday; over 80% read each week. And what about those male readers who aren't already shoppers? Combining the readership and purchasing behaviour gives us the extra information to demonstrate value with customers. And having an opportunity to talk to readers who could be shoppers is the one-two punch!

Targeting ads within the newspaper can also be effective. Arts and entertainment pages are regularly read by over half of all readers and read more often by those who dine out and attend movies. Adults who are married or living together are more likely than other adults to read arts and entertainment pages and the food pages. These readers more likely to go to movies and dine out. Time to put together a Valentine's package with advertisers to get those readers out for an evening on the town!

Newspapers have the content to provide great ad compatibility, and our readers expect to see ads, which they find them useful. Using all the available research at your disposal on readership and consumer behaviour will help to build your case with advertisers.

Newspapers provide broad reach and targeted messages, an ideal combination for advertisers. Because newspapers are in front of people every morning they provide an ideal environment to pitch short-term campaigns for holidays like Valentine's Day.