COURTLAND BROOKS - Apr 27 - The CEO of Match.com, Mandy Ginsberg, just left Match to head Tutor.com. Then we just heard from Art at DatingCoach.org who heard from one of his clients, that Chemistry.com is introducing personalized coaching (see image). Hmm, interesting!
The Courtland Brooks team agrees that dating coaching is a huge and rather challenging opportunity. Jim Safka, a prior (all-star) CEO of Match.com had a vision to build Match to a billionaire dollar a year company using matchmakers, but ended up nixing the alpha program to use matchmakers. I'm sure they realized it was fraught with danger for the Match.com brand. People will forgive $30 a month if they don't meet the love of their life. They won't forgive $2k+ in matchmaking fees. And often they will go online and ream a matchmaking brand if they feel they haven't performed. Most of the time matchmakers fail. But people need help. Match.com realized this a long time ago when they engaged Dr Phil. But that didn't work out. But still, people need guidance and feedback and 'tutoring.'
So is Mandy Ginsberg behind this new coaching element on Chemistry.com? She did pioneer the brand. She was responsible for the brands initial growth and success. I first met Mandy at a press meeting in New York where Jim Safka was communicating his vision for building Match.com by expanding Match services to higher price points...and matchmaking. This is critical for the future of Match. People need help. Match knows it. We know it. But noone has successfully integrated personal high-end customized advice with iDating.
Ultimately dating sites are missing a huge retention mechanism by not 'completing the loop.' Let me explain. The internet dating business is broken. We match people, then send them off on their merry way. There's a huge disconnect. We need to be part of the entire relationship continuum by not only helping people with finding suitable people, but also with knowing how to better present themselves, what mistakes to avoid, and most importantly how to keep that person.
I kid with my wife that I realize 'getting the girl and keeping the girl are two entirely different things.' Actually, I'm not really kidding at all. It's a very serious point. People need help not only to meet a suitable partner, but also to keep them. Many people simply lack the ability to reflect and self-analyze and behave appropriately in relationships. You know what I mean? People need help, and we need to help them. And in helping them we can complete the huge disconnect in our businesses.
Bear with me. Here's what we mean. Internet dating sites should all conduct exit surveys when people opt to leave. You should know why your users are leaving. It's crucial, crucial feedback. And it's simple to do. Just ask them when they stop paying or want to delete their profile or don't login for a month. Via your website or email. Be personable. If they like your brand and you've built a good relationship with them, they'll respond. That feedback is important for your product design and matching algorithm. But its also important so you know how to market to that person next. If they've met someone, start coaching them on how to keep that person. If they didn't, offer personalized assistance to find out why (also great feedback for you!) and help them to do better next time.
Yeah, I know, easier said than done. But if it was so easy, others would have thought of it. What you see with this latest move by Match.com is evidence that they are pursuing this 'holy grail' again, with Chemistry.com.