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Can matchmakers compete with online services?
It may seem that online dating services like Tinder, Match, and eHarmony (to name but a few) have taken over the world, but don’t count matchmakers out of the dating game just yet. The limits (and drawbacks) of online dating translate into strengths for their more traditional counterpart.
Matchmakers seeing steady growth
While online and mobile apps dominate the dating scene in 2015, nearly a quarter of dating revenue share still comes from offline or traditional matchmaking services – and the market is expected to continue to grow, both on- and offline, at an annualized rate of 3.9% over the next five years.
Clients are willing to invest more
The opportunity for local matchmakers may be small(er), but it is more lucrative, and it is poised to withstand the tidal wave of digital dating sites and applications. The average value of a personal matchmaker client is $400 - $500, whereas dating websites would need to retain a customer for nearly two years of paid monthly memberships to make that much.
In this digital age, why are more and more people turning to matchmakers?
Matchmakers earn more trust
First, and foremost, the biggest draw of matchmakers is their ability to screen and even reject clients. The dating services industry is largely unregulated, and online daters are leery of frauds and exaggerated qualities. Rightfully so: over half of daters online lie on their profiles, according to a survey from Opinion Matters, and the Pew Research Center found that 54% of online daters said dates “seriously misrepresented” themselves in their profiles. This has created an environment of mistrust ripe for deception. The ability for matchmakers to run background checks and meet with clients in person to confirm identities reduces the opportunity for falsified dates and instills a sense of confidence for daters.
Matchmakers bring a personal touch
Matchmakers are also able to take the time to match clients personally based on interests and preferences. For the time-constrained, this hand-selection of matches is a top appeal. The analogy of digital dating to thrift store shopping illustrates this benefit best: dating online is akin to wasting hours upon hours sifting through lots of unnecessary junk in a thrift store with the hope of finding treasure. To save time – headaches and heartache – hire a personal shopper to do the digging for you. And that’s exactly what matchmaking services do for their customers.
Finally, the ability to coach and prepare clients for dates is a significant competitive advantage, leading to better dates and more frequent second dates.
So, how can matchmaking services capitalize on these strengths in a digital word?
Personal service still requires an online presence
While services may happen offline for local matchmakers, the ability to connect with prospective clients and showcase the benefits of a more personal dating service makes digital a critical component of local matchmakers’ marketing mix. The amount of information social sites afford create the perfect place for recruiting prospective clients. Targeting singles who are likely using online dating sites and mobile apps opens the possibility of messaging to their pain points.
Share successful connections
While discretion and privacy are top priorities for local matchmakers, there is an opportunity to highlight success stories and bring to life the benefits of a personalized dating service experience through a digital presence. Doing this distances local matchmakers from impersonal sites and apps, and shifts the conversation to one of value and investment in a more personal and authentic way.
A match made in heaven
Social targeting and building a digital presence are specialties of ours. We can help navigate the trenches of data to identify prospective clients for dating services – and we can help to activate and engage them. Contact us or call 607.798.1325 for your free custom consultation today
Carter, Britanny. “Ready to mingle: Niche and mobile-based dating services will drive revenue growth” IBISWorld Industry Reprot 81299a Dating Services in the US IBISWorld April 2015
Ritchie, Carrie. “More Singles Turn to Matchmakers for Personal Touch” USAToday 10 Feb 2013
Fottrell, Quentin. “10 things dating sites won’t tell you” MarketWatch 19 Aug 2015