Honest, sincere marketer seeks……………..

Come on……….how many of you have done it?

Internet dating.

I have.

I’ve met some right ones – the guy who mistook the site for a sex chat line and couldn’t even spell the things he wanted to do; the guy who quizzed me for several emails about where I got my clothes and then decided we had nothing in common; the guys who say they’re 5ft 8 and I tower over them in flats (I’m 5ft 4); oh,  and the ones who say they’re looking for fun……aka a bit on the side or the sort of sex most men have to pay for in a seedy part of town.

I’m not being sexist – I’ve also chatted to guys who could easily have a case under the Trades Description Act - women who put up a picture of a svelte siren and end up being 20 stone in the flesh ; women who are ‘happy-go-lucky’ then bombard men with paranoid text messages at all hours of the day and night; ‘sincere’ women from other countries, who are looking for a husband (and citizenship); women who spell finance and fiancé the same way.

Get my drift?

“Life is like a box of chocolates,” as my old mate Forrest Gump said – “you never know which one you’re gonna get.”

An internet dating site is a pretty big box of chocolates – and a very good insight into good and bad marketing.

Why describe yourself as a praline when you’re really a champagne truffle?

Anonymity and the immediacy of the internet make it very tempting to ‘big up’ your offer, or slightly stretch the truth,  but unless you’re happy to spend your life chatting on line, you’re going to meet up in the end – and your sins will find you out.

Far better to spend the time spell checking your submission (many of us find poor spelling and grammar the ultimate turn off), posting the right kind of photograph (a bit of mystery goes a long way in my book – I don’t really want to see your boxer shorts before I’ve even met you) and being honest about what you really want.

As a consumer, you have to decide whether you’re reading a profile that’s ‘from the heart’ or a clever piece of copy – and ask yourself, if the person you think you’re talking to turns out to be a stone heavier, or a bit older, does it really matter to you?

It’s sad, really, that in today’s world we have to resort to marketing to find romance. Isn’t it meant to be about chemistry and emotional connection?

Whether you see internet dating as a marketing exercise or the chance to find your soulmate, the bottom line is the same as it is in any marketing campaign: –  Tell the truth or it’ll come back to bite you.

Now talking of biting – I could murder a Belgian, white chocolate nut cluster.







About Philippa

Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is a no-nonsense South Londoner with a passion for communications. Since graduating in English from London University in 1983 she has established herself as an expert communicator for a variety of brands in the private, public and voluntary sector with great success – she’s one of the best business writers in the business.

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