The UK’s online dating market is booming at the moment with its value rising by over 70% in the last five years to reach £165m according to Mintel. Swiping apps such as Tinder – which, like Match.com, is owned by IAC – have also become the cultural norm among singles.
There are even rumours that IAC is imminently looking to launch an IPO of its dating department The Match Group on Wall Street.
Jeremy Corenbloom, Match.com’s marketing director for UK and Ireland, told Marketing Week the brand must focus on innovation to continue to grow.
He said: “I think with the rise of Tinder it’s made us look a lot more at what the consumer is doing – so geo-location tracking on smartphones for example – than we perhaps did in the past. We have to ensure we reflect what’s popular among consumers.
“I think in the future video will play more of a role in what we offer singles and our consumer experience team is looking at different approaches such as introducing heart rate monitoring on wearables to analyse how an individual is responding to a date.”
Match.com already has an app for the Apple Watch but its features are relatively basic. The heart monitoring feature would represent a significant update.
Avoiding dating clichés
Corenbloom said the brand is also looking to avoid dating clichés through its advertising. Match.com has already championed “more reality-based dating” through its Love Your Imperfections campaign and Corenbloom said that its major TV campaign for 2016 will continue this theme.
“We have developed our brand in recent times to really build on the realities of dating and to move away from the style of brand building sometimes synonymous with this industry – so the hunky man riding in on a white horse skimping up a lady to live in a castle,” he added.
“It just isn’t real, we want the brand to reflect reality as that authenticity is what will keep us relevant among younger singles.
“As a global business, we have taken the approach of featuring two girls as a gay couple, moving away from the primarily heterosexual approach, as we think Match.com must be modern when it comes to gender and sexuality.”
Vloggers and Mariah
Match.com has “tried to ride the wave of vloggers” through its sponsorship of ITV2’s new youth-orientated Love Island reality show according to Corenbloom. It has partnered with ITV.com to use Match.com’s resident relationship expert Kate Taylor as an agony aunt to viewers.
The dating brand has also started to use its profiles as a brand platform with pop singer Mariah Carey getting involved.
The ‘Heartbreaker’ songstress recently launched a profile on Match.com to premiere her music video for the single “Infinity” and promote her brand among the service’s primary audience of 25-35 year olds.
Corenbloom concluded: “We are talking to a lot of clients who tell us how young audiences are moving away from traditional TV and the role online content is playing within that – so hosting brand profiles is certainly an approach we are looking at.”