There’s no shortage of dating sites available for those looking for love to trawl through, and yet online dating site eHarmony doesn’t see apps such as Tinder, Happn and Coffee Meets Bagel as competitors.
“They’re definitely in that market and in that space, but eHarmony plays in a very different space which is for people who are looking for something more meaningful, not those casual encounters,” said Marie-Claire Ducharme Sayers, senior PR and communications manager at eHarmony.
There’s a lot of gimmicky dating apps out there, many of them free, which Ducharme Sayers says those apps need to draw people in. And while some are based on a mutual interest, such as whether two people like dogs, Ducharme Sayers said the eHarmony team doesn’t believe that’s enough to make a successful relationship.
“We don’t really feel the need to compete like that and get into the gimmicks,” she said.
eHarmony’s senior marketing manager Lynsey Tomkinson – who recently chatted more in depth with us about eHarmony’s direction – said the launch of Tinder helped broaden people’s minds.
“When eHamonry launch in Australia in 2007 it was very much ‘we need to persuade people to online date’ because they weren’t comfortable doing it, it was brand new,” she told B&T.
“Whereas now we’re at that place where people are quite comfortable online dating. There’s a lot of choice out there.” She noted eHarmony’s offering was quite different from what a lot of the other apps offer.
Echoed by Ducharme Sayers, she said the hook-up culture perpetuated by the likes of Tinder has helped normalise online dating, especially with the younger crowd.
“Often people may be in a phase in a relationship where they’re not really ready to settle down yet, they want to go on some dates and hook up. So they might start there.
“But what we see is people actually graduating to eHarmony, they tire of that pretty quickly. We call it the dating merry-go-round.”
The online dating site is gearing up for a big marketing push, bringing on host of Network Ten’s TBL, Fiona Falkiner as the first ever ambassador for the site.
Alongside Falkiner and her documentation of her dating journey, Tomkinson said eHarmony is continuing on with TV ads, as television is such a big driver for the brand, as well as bringing back some success couples from the site.
“We’ve done a lot of work in segmentation,” she explained. “Last year within our digital activity we saw that there is an opportunity there to really become a lot more efficient with our marketing, to really drill down into who are the customers that we’re talking to, rather than have a broad, mass approach.”
Figuring out exactly who the demographic is was also critical. Tomkinson said the core demo is sitting around the 30-45 year old market.
“The segmentation study allowed us to be a lot more targeted with our creative and tailor our messaging.”