January marks peak season for online dating sites and many singles look to update their relationship status, with some sites reporting a jump in signups as high as 26%.
Online dating is now a more than $2 billion industry, and it’s growing quickly, according to a November 2014 market research report on the dating services industry conducted by IBISworld. But it’s not just about getting in front of this target demographic through advertising. Smart marketers can take some of these insights and apply them to their campaigns.
There are a couple of takeaways you can glean from dating sites.
Focus: Know whom you’re targeting and craft a clear message to reach them. This also can apply to strategy. Make sure your campaign has clear goals or outcomes and that it’s designed to achieve them.
Start conversations: Online dating sites are often used to start a dialogue and good marketing campaigns can do the same. Learn a little about your customers and then engage them with content relevant to their interests – much like dating.
Marketers should also look to analyze data in much the same way as dating sites. Most sites use algorithms to create matches based on questions and profiles. According to BBC’s Paul Rubens, “Some agencies ask as many as 400 questions, and the answers are fed in to large data repositories. Match.com estimates that it has more than 70 terabytes (70,000 gigabytes) of data about its customers. Applying big data analytics to these treasure troves of information is helping the agencies provide better matches for their customers. And more satisfied customers mean bigger profits.”
This is a principle that marketers can apply – use data to make better recommendations for customers, which can increase sales and profits. It also shows that you’re listening to clients’ needs and providing solutions.
Those who are leaders in data-driven marketing report better customer engagement and growth, according to a Forbes study, “Data Driven and Digitally Savvy: The Rise of the New Marketing Organization.”
“In fact, leaders are three times more likely than laggards to say they have achieved competitive advantage in customer engagement/loyalty (74% vs. 24%) and almost three times more likely to have increased revenues (55% vs. 20%),” the study shows.
So just as online dating sites are gearing up for their busy season connecting people through the creative use of data, marketers should also be looking for innovative and novel ways to talk to customers. Finding out their preferences and desires can help forge connections that bolster the bottom line.