Marketing wins in the wooing game

February 15th, 2014

With more than 40 million American adults using online dating, romance is a serious business. In sheer numbers the competition is daunting. It’s no wonder the Pew Research Center reports one in five online daters seek help in developing their profile.

How do you send the right message to thousands of complete strangers, hoping to catch the attention of ONE who will make a perfect match? I propose that finding a mate is like wooing a customer. Lonely hearts would do well to borrow a few pages from the business world to snare the attention and win the heart of that perfect Mr. or Ms. Right.

Teaching economics for two decades led a Stanford University professor to apply those principles to his own online dating experience. Amy Webb, a data analyst, created 10 male archetypes and posed as a man to evaluate responses online before finding her match. And Yours Truly tested her marketing skills by placing a personals ad in the back pages of the Chicago Reader. While I can’t remember the exact wording of that ad, my strategy was similar to Amy’s: I considered which women’s ads would catch my attention if I were a man. Then I deconstructed those ads for language, voice and tone to construct my own.

Here are five tips to speed up the matchmaking process:

  1. Market research: Get to know the competition.
  2. Target audience analysis: What do they care about?
  3. Short & sweet messaging: Craft a message that compels them to want to know more.
  4. Feedback: Listen carefully. Read between the lines.
  5. Values assessment: No one’s perfect so decide what really matters for a lifelong match.

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Posted February 15th, 2014

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