(cross-posted on the Inside AdWords Blog

More and more people are falling in love with Valentine’s Day. According to a recent survey by ORC International, Valentine’s Day is now the number two gift giving holiday, right behind Christmas, with 88% of Americans saying they plan on giving a present to their loved ones. This should be great news for businesses, but marketers still have trouble making a love connection with consumers based on charts that look more like dated EKG readings than real-time insights into the heart of the consumer.

Since getting the affections of one person is hard enough, below are some timely insights from Google’s “database of intentions” to keep you ahead of the game as you create your Valentine’s Day campaigns.

Search is where the heart is
Already we’re seeing Google searches related to Valentine’s Day increase 35% compared to last year. Not only are more people searching, they’re searching earlier - last year people began looking for Valentine’s Day ideas on January 9th. This year the upward trend began two days earlier, on January 7th.

Across categories, jewelry is seeing a 42% increase in mobile and desktop queries compared to January of last year; gifts jumped 27%, and flowers saw an 18% spike.

Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice
The results from this graph show women look for gift ideas earlier and more often than their male significant others. Maybe men are more last minute about buying gifts than women, but it doesn’t mean they’re cheap about it! In 2011 the average man spent $158 for Valentine’s Day, about $80 more than women.

Looking for a change of heart?
Valentine’s Day is less than three weeks away, which means that this is this is the great opportunity for marketers to influence people with their products since consumers are still searching for ideas. If you look at the word cloud below (spoiler alert!), a good chunk of people are searching for “diy valentines gifts” and “valentines day baskets,” which means there will be quite a few people unwrapping homemade gifts or pre-made gift baskets this year. The biggest cluster of phrases, “valentines day border,” “valentines day drinks,” and “valentines day meals,” signal that people are also planning on celebrating in style. Now would be a good time to promote recipes and decoration ideas in your campaigns.

For more useful trends and tips for your campaign, download and review the 2012 Valentine’s Day Consumer Intentions Deck on Think Insights. Hopefully it helps you steal away some hearts!

Posted by Christina Park, Product Marketing Manager, Think with Google