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in. Deep dive into the unknown industry specifics. O ver the past decade, we have seen the emergence of new online tools that have revolutionized the way people meet. The future of online dating is the matter of an entire future generation, including our. There certainly is a challenge to make this place more positive but no one can dispute the fact that meeting online is inherently part of the new lifestyle and all the adoption figures can support it.
However a large majority of investors have kept a distance from this industry. But why is this market perceived as complicated? Why investors believe that any exit is tighed to one player? Is there a general reation? What are the root causes? And more importantly, why has it been so complex to overthrow Tinder? Users are highly dissatisfied and according to Match group have in average 3. Why has no other apps managed to bring something new and successful over the past 8 years? I think the time has come for a major disruption. There is no doubt that by the end of this decade, Tinder will step down as the one player globally.
As an entrepreneur in the industry myself, I have thoroughly reviewed what has been done in the Online dating is not successful by benchmarking other players and their product there is a large cemetery of dating apps. I have listened to investors, entrepreneurs and their experience in this industry. This is how I came up with this shortlist of most important reasons for failure. Chances are high that I need to add further Online dating is not successful to this list in the future. Maybe mine. At least it will serve potential future disruption. They are two main reasons for failure, 1 there is a lack of strategic considerations of what can truly brake network effects, and 2 tactically the approach of most entrepreneurs ignores key metrics to follow.
Lack of strategic considerations of what can Online dating is not successful brake network effects:. Tactically, the approach of most entrepreneurs ignores key metrics to follow. I wrote in The future of online dating that dating apps will need to initiate a transformation towards a platform that will look more like a social network than a stack of profiles without any contrast.
More emphasis needs to be put on the profile and what makes each user unique, original content. This step-by-step transformation requires an iterative and product-focused approach. A good marketing concept can easily attract many first-time users, a great marketing concept can make the user come back 2, 3 times but on the long run they will come back to the product that has the highest marketing spending, the most users and the strongest brand, i.
There is a good reason why Tinder is continuously growing not only in users but paid subscribers. Each time a user comes back, chances that he switches to a paid subscription increase. Indeed it supposedly offers a solution to one of the greatest frustrations we can feel as a human being. Reality of the product catches up, it is actually not different from Tinder, you still see the people around you and the app is not able more than any other location-based dating apps to show you this very person you have crossed path with.
A different reality combined with high expectations and you get a worse judgment than with another app. Tinder as part of the Match group will rely on other apps to drive future growth, when Happn will only be able to observe a declining trend.
The problem is even more important from a country to another, movements between cities within a country being more frequent than movements between countries. It is indeed capital intensive to grow globally on a city by city basis but unlike Uber or Lime that require local assets and operational team deployment, they are ways around it for dating apps. Growth hacks, social product features, unfair advantages, multiple options exist and need to be thought through from day one. I am convinced that the future -one player in the field will not roll out by the books on a city per city basis.
Only a limited of people would actually drill down to the reasons why some other KPIs would actually make more sense in a specific industry. Online dating is an industry of its own. You can qualify dating app users as ultra-high-frequency users. In fact, the typical dating app persona uses the app very intensively until finding a potential partner then stop using it, and eventually comes back at it again and so on. Dating apps are in a league of their own, you need the network effects of social networks however not to the same level of liquidity as two-sided marketplaces, see belowand the specific usage that is made out of them, makes them more suitable to a subscription-based business instead of an advertising-based business like social networks.
In fact, in comparison to two-sided marketplaces the right liqudity can be achieved faster for an online dating business and product innovation in that case can beat network effects. At the level of a city, there is only a limited or profiles that you can scroll as a user over a 1-week intensive usage and this is enough as long as the profiles are fit for you this is why niche dating apps can sometimes work. To break the network effects of Airbnb or Uber is a different kettle of fish.
To compete with Airbnb you need be able to offer an exhaustive supply of homes accross multiple areas and users might switch from an area to another just to find the best home. In addition, dating app users are using on average 3. Misunderstanding the network effects impact can lead to poorly spending marketing budgets see below reason 4.
The notion of acquisition cost is highly heterogeneous in an ultra-high frequency business. It highly depends on the historical data and type of users you are acquiring, the first, second, third, fourth etc. Customer acquisition costs should be split according to these segments. The reason why Tinder has been and to a certain extent will continue to be a strong player is that it managed to build a strong brand. And brand is the key intangible asset you need to build and it takes time and early efforts to avoid as much as possible acquiring the same customers each time.
For any industry, each euro or dollar at the start of a business are determining. And what applies for other businesses should apply here as a rule: at the start budget should always be mostly focused on product development and marketing should serve as an enabler. This is where it can get ugly quickly. This was the case of Smartdate for example in France in Its strategy was to go acquire customers not only in France but also in multiple neighboring countries after they raised 3.
Besides these spectacular cases, there are two ways of poorly spending a marketing budget at the start of a business. You can either 1 underestimate local network effects and acquire users from different regions at the same time, or 2 overestimate local network effects by acquiring too many users at the same time instead of privileging steady user growth vs. Conclusion : dating apps are a business of their own, difficult to compare with any other consumer business, be it in terms of consumer behavior or defensibility metrics.
However we can surely predict that the usage of these services becomes a key part of our lives, a tool that helps us connect but at the same time disconnect from our IRL networks. No doubt that in the future a tool of such importance for our lives will attract more interests and investments. Get started. Open in app. Daniel Cheaib. in Get started. Get started Open in app. More from Daniel Cheaib Follow. More From Medium. Hot In Social Media. The five core elements of predictable selling. Martin Weiss. Erin Sturm in Personal Branding.
Brand Suitability Is a Good Thing. Ronn Torossian. Kirti Deshmukh. Faisal Khan in Technicity. About Write Help Legal.Online dating is not successful
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How to be better at online dating, according to psychology