Home > Dating, Love, Online Dating, Uncategorized > Love is Selling Online

Love is Selling Online

One of my best friends, and an avid supporter of my blog, sent me the link to this fairly amusing Advertising Age column Love for Sale: What Marketers Can Learn From Online Dating by Matt Brennock.

Brennock’s introduction includes the following paragraph.

“Those looking for love online may be lacking in fancy marketing degrees…and, more than likely, a healthy sense of reality. But give them due props for going about the business of selling with a similar acumen to most seasoned marketers. We can all learn a thing or two from the brave and the crazy, riding down, down into that cyber tunnel of love, for roughly $18 a month, or about $3 a whack job.”

I don’t consider myself crazy, or brave, for taking the very small leap necessary to join an online dating site. And while the writer’s arguments about how marketers can learn from people like me are intriguing, I’m not sure the best way to go about starting the column is to insult the thousands of people who don’t think it’s so very strange, or unrealistic, to find a date online.

Brennock follows up his introduction with a bullet point containing this line, “The vast majority of people out there are hurting, confused, bitter, uncertain, cynical and, yes, crazy. So, once you’ve weeded out those potential targets, you’re left with only a small percentage of people who are at their keyboards with arms wide open.”

I’m guessing he isn’t spot on with this one. The friends I have who have successfully, or unsuccessfully, tried online dating have gone into it believing it was one more way to find a booty call, a date, or a relationship. I would not have described the online-daters who are friends or friends of friends as any of the six adjectives Brennock lists above. I don’t disagree that some people who online date fall into those categories, I just don’t think, without evidence, the sad, pathetic group should be claimed the “vast majority.”

Further down the page, the writer started to make a bit more sense to me. I am fully aware that when it comes to my online profile, a man’s first impression is based on the nine photos I have posted. And I agree that knowing the argument for why that is can help marketers.

On this subject Brennock writes, “We are all biologically programmed to be ‘about looks.’ Apple has built a small empire based on its remarkable aesthetic.”

I work online. I often hear co-workers gripping about the low quality ads that appear on sites they frequent. A close-up of belly fat or a dancing hot dog don’t do the trick with my 20 or so cubicle mates. You’d think good marketers would start taking some lessons from Apple and clean up their look.

Brennock nears the ends his strange ode to online dating with the following: “Forget metrics and science and whatever else they teach in business school. While the tools of communication change, the truth will always come down to this: We are just people trying to connect with other people in the same way we always have, whether we’re selling love or linen sheets.”

And on that point, I can agree.

  1. Caitlin
    August 25, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    He’s definitely unnecessarily harsh on the dating world, I think because he imagines it’ll be funnier to act that way. Instead, I think you’re right – he alienates a lot of readers who aren’t crazy and desperate and (this made me the most mad) unrealistic. Online dating doesn’t have the same stigmas attached that it used to. As more and more people try it and have successes with it, it’s become a perfectly viable way to meet people. Face it, you’ve discussed this yourself, it’s hard to meet people these days, and the places we go to meet members of the persuasion we’re interested in are usually trolling for booty calls and not much more. The web gives you a chance to search for someone with like interests, and to chat a bit before you go on a date. It’s easy to fake some things, sure, but people fake plenty face-to-face as well. It’s just a different kind of “you don’t know me yet” game, and sometimes you can actually find someone who’s no longer looking for games, and looking for something you can appreciate.

    Ironically, the marketer failed to recognize his market, and lost them before he got to his good points at the end. C- from Professor Hill for burying his lead, and leaving his nut graph til the end.

    • lady&herboysclub
      August 27, 2009 at 11:01 am

      Thanks Professor Hill (so cool to call you that!) Agreed on all accounts. I can’t imagine how his editor let him go to that extreme. I’m sure he’s gotten A LOT of feedback from people like me. And maybe a few other blog posts about it. 😉

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