Being a newlywed, it is safe to say that the story of how I met my husband is one that I have told many times in the last few months when people ask how we came to be. Thanks to the help of OKCupid, I’m proud to say that I found the love of my life – and my true partner – online.
And all in all, my experience was a great one because I was able to be as selective as I wanted to be with whom I chose to meet. I believe the growing trend of online and mobile dating has actually made men and women much more discerning in selecting their mates. Suddenly, we have an expansive pool of could-be partners literally at our fingertips. Not only do we have the opportunity to meet a diverse set of people we might otherwise have never met under “normal circumstances”, but we don’t have to settle for anything less than what we are looking for in a partner. If one date doesn’t deliver up to our expectations, we can continue the search to find one that does. This theory worked perfectly for me.
This very same phenomenon is facing brands in today’s marketplace. As more and more brands are reaching consumers through multi-channel methods, they, too, are opening themselves up to quite a diverse group of untapped potential. And consumers are able to be as selective with the brands they align with than ever before, never having to sacrifice expectations or settle for second best. So what can both date-seekers and brands do to make their profile stand out from the crowd?
For me, it all boils down to that solid first impression. Finding a way to attract your target with merely a visual, a headline, or a few words in the span of a few seconds is an important consideration when hoping to hit your mark.
When I think back to my online dating experience, I realize there were three key factors that seemed to either motivate me to open the lines of communication or pass over a profile altogether. And in many ways, these same trigger points should be considered by brands today:
Originality Trumps All: Some might argue that if you’ve seen one online dating profile, you’ve seen them all. And in many ways, I completely agree. Perhaps this is why I always looked for originality in a profile. The same goes for a brand’s website, or Instagram page, or Facebook page. What stood out was someone (a person or a company) who bucked the trends and didn’t simply fill out a standard template listing the things they thought I wanted to hear, like the last book they read or the most played song on their mobile device. Dove is one brand that really stands out for me, as its “Real Beauty” campaign shared a message that no other brand was sharing in quite the same way.
Pay Attention to Me. There’s no bigger turn-off than realizing the newest message in your Inbox is a copy and paste job that no doubt was being read by dozens of other women at that very moment. If you want to pique my interest, show me that you have something relevant and authentic to share, something that aligns with what I am passionate about. At Kelton, I see brands investing time and money to uncover the things that get their consumers excited – consumers just like you and me. Diet Coke is a perfect example. This iconic brand conducted a series of research initiatives to understand what made Millennials tick morning, noon, and night and to find the relevant place for Diet Coke in their lives. Doing so launched a host of advertising campaigns, and even if they were somewhat controversial, the ads allowed the brand to reach a whole new consumer effectively.
In the Land of Smart–Everything, Be Smart. Just because we live in a world where text language and slang is considered an acceptable part of our vernacular, I still appreciate intelligence and good old-fashioned grammar and can leave the LOLs and the IDKs to more friendly banter with my actual friends. In short, talk to me in a way that doesn’t underestimate my intelligence. Financial services brands like Merrill Edge – with the help of consumer opinion polls – have done a terrific job of educating consumers about the things they don’t know, and being a resource for the things they do.