Learner’s From A DATING APP

Learner’s From A DATING APP

3 things businesses could learn from how people (Consumers) engage with a ‘Dating app’.

These are thoughts that were sparked while reading about how a game theorist would evaluate a dating app.

The Context

Due to Covid and lockdowns over the last two years, dating apps saw a lot of traction and interest. 

True for even those who had never interacted with them, but were suddenly left with two choices, stay single for an indefinite time or play along, optimise benefits and find their space in the online world.

The person we are referring to here is an economics professor who teaches game theory and has spent the last decade understanding decision making and counter moves (Predicting what the other person would do in various situations).

And if you think of it, dating apps are a great place to explore strategic choice making, two or more rational players, limited amount of information and restricted or limited set of moves (Right or left swipe).

Learning 1- We are invested and in it for the long run

When it comes to a dating app, there are a few options to choose from and this becomes the first critical decision as to what is right for you as a person.

Tinder is very popular and has a large number of profiles, but that also means there are a lot of unserious players who are there mainly to pass time or collect matches and feel great. 

At the other end there are specific apps such as Datefit which are mainly for those who are super health conscious, thereby reducing the number of potential matches. 

Other apps like Hinge, make participants upload at least 3 pictures and fill out information to proceed.

The idea behind this is that if someone is not bothered to even fill a few lines, how really invested are they in the process.

In the real world, how we as a company come across is critical to think from this lens. Consumers have a lot of potential options to choose from (us and competition), how best can we then demonstrate intent and long term investment is key.

For a brand this means a need to establish identity, stability and show we are here for a long run, especially critical for products that are not ‘use and throw’ or impulse purchases.

Learning 2 – Everyone is never the right audience

When thinking of a swiping strategy, you have two choices to make, swipe right each time and say yes to everyone (High quantity but low quality) or be selective and reduce the number of potential matches (Low quantity but high quality).

For those who want to be everything to everyone, swiping right is a great strategy. However if you want to find the right partners then being selective is a better play.

Very akin to how marketers need to think about communication, you could try to sell to everyone or offer everything, in which case you may have many matches but low loyalty or be specific about what you do and who you want to target and increase the chances of a serious partnership.

Conversely, consumers are often willing to pay more to specialists than to generalists.

Learning 3 – SHOW, dont tell

Let’s think about how people build their profiles, you would find many on a dating app who could say/ claim all sorts of things. 

People next to a fancy car in a suit, tattoos, gym selfies in the mirror or those who like coffee, wine, and travelling etc.

The problem is that this is cheap talk, information that is costless for the sender to provide. Saying one is ‘adventurous’ could mean they have been to Mount Kilimanjaro or that they sometimes try a different flavour of coffee / tea when on discount.

This is where it’s wise to look for a signal, a picture of someone skydiving or rock climbing, meaning they would have to actually go up a mountain face or jump out of a plane to get the picture. 

In this day and age, consumers also look for costly signals and discard the cheap talk. Saying you are the best or have the best product is just that- cheap talk.

Someone at an agency even went on to say that communication should never be about telling a consumer but rather showing a consumer, don’t say – ACT.

Lastly, another key learning was that women on dating apps who disclosed a higher education often intimidated potential matches. Even though men often and earnestly claim to want someone who is intelligent and smart, the decision to swipe is often taken based on the pictures uploaded. 

This is critical to think about for two reasons

1. What are the rules of thumb at play in your category on which you will be judged / included in the consideration.

2. What consumers say is often very different from what they choose, they are not lying, they just don’t know better. The fact is the human mind is very good at misleading itself.

Also, there are always ways to cheat and upload a better profile but as we all know, the only way this will end is failure.

False promises, crafty claims and smart framing will never be able to save a poor quality product.

No Comments

Post a Comment