If you wouldn’t go on a date with every male or female in the world, why would you target your ads that way?

February 14th is a date that’s synonymous with love.  But for many it’s also a day spent thinking about who his or her ideal partner would be as they comb through various dating sites.

When people build profiles and search for matches on dating sites, they are looking at much more than just demographics when considering whether or not someone would be the ideal mate for them. Factors such as values, beliefs and hobbies are crucial pieces of the puzzle when deciding whether or not to date someone. The more detail a person includes in their dating profile, the more likely they are to connect with someone who shares those values and beliefs.

We took a deeper dive into the online dating world to find out what the differences are between the m­­­­en and women ages 18-54 who are currently looking for love online.

Here are some highlights:

Men                                                                                                              Women

Values Values
  • Men looking for love online are 55% more likely to value personal enjoyment and 31% more likely to value personal freedom in relationships.
  • Closeness to family and friends (54%) and taking care of family (55%) are not as important to these men when it comes to settling down and building a life with someone.


  • Women looking for love are 79% more likely to value shared experiences in a relationship.
  • They are also 87% more likely to ensure that the community they settle down in reflects their personal values and beliefs.
  • They are 102% more likely to value having high self-esteem and are looking for partners who make them feel good about themselves.


Motivations Motivations
  • Men are 66% more likely to seek recognition from peers and 60% more likely to be motivated by the desire to live an exciting life. Finding a mate who understands these desires is important to them.
  • They are 91% more likely to be motivated by a desire to find love and 366% more likely to desire sexual relationships.


  • Women are 57% more likely to seek social and professional status and 46% more likely to be motivated by a sense of individuality. Their respective partner would need to understand and support this desires in a relationship.
  • They are 178% more likely to be motivated by a desire to find love and 132% more likely to desire sexual relationships



Media Consumption Habits Media Consumption Habits
  • They are 58% more likely to read magazines for over 5+ hours a week such as Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health, Maxim and Time.
  • They prefer to watch basketball (both NCAA and NBA), hockey and NASCAR.
  • They prefer Cable and Subscription Networks such as HBO, AMC and FX and watch shows such as Billions, Silicon Valley, Tyrant and Veep.


  • They are typically online between 3-5 hours a day and visit sites such as Hulu, Instagram, HGTV, and USA Today.
  • They aren’t very interested in sports but prefer soccer, the NBA and NASCAR when they do watch.
  • They prefer network television shows such as Empire, Undateable, The Bachelorette, and Fresh Off The Boat.



Product Preferences Product Preferences
  • These men are more likely to have consumed craft beer, imported beer or hard soda. Their liquors of choice were bourbon, whiskey and tequila in the last 30 days.
  • They are 41% more likely to have dined at an upscale restaurant more than once in the last month.
  • These women’s drinks of choices over the last 30 days have been hard cider, hard soda, and low calorie beer. Their liquors of choice were tequila, vodka and rum.
  • These women are 31% more likely to have not visited an upscale restaurant in the past year.

Based on the differences listed above, it’s easy to see why online dating is appealing to so many people. You create a profile off of your own proprietary data, build a brief on the type of person you are looking for, and then let technology to do the rest when it comes to finding someone who is similar to you and could be that perfect fit.

At Resonate we know that searching for love online is really no different from advertisers searching for their ideal target customers.  Marketers need to understand customers’ values, motivators and beliefs in order to effectively reach them and establish a personal, individual connection.  We collect proprietary data via surveys on demographics, interests, behaviors, motivations, and values that are used to establish those relationships.

Here’s how we do it:

  • Build a robust proprietary profile – When creating a dating profile, it’s important to share the most relevant information about yourself. It’s pertinent to share gender and age, but is that enough to attract a match? It’s important to also share the things that make you tick. What do you value doing in your free time? What motivates you to get out of bed each day? These are the types of data points that Resonate collects in our survey to insure that we are reaching the right people for your brand to build the best match possible.
  • Hone in on your target audience – Similar to selecting attributes for a dating profile, it’s important to specifically define the type of person you are looking for as a customer. Men ages 25-34 is too broad a set of criteria and you’ll be swiping indefinitely to no avail. Choose characteristics that are important to you, like what they like to do for fun or if they value time with friends and family. When Resonate works with agencies and brands to build audience targets, we layer these attributes on top of demographics to effectively target and reach people who will take action to avoid wasting advertising dollars.
  • Let technology do the work – Once a campaign target is defined and activated, it is up to the technology to make sure that we are finding everyone that meets the required criteria to start serving you potential matches, similar to how an ad impression is served. The most valuable part of the equation is the optimization. Think about campaign optimizations as machine learning, where the people who don’t respond to your ad are removed from the targeting pool. We find look-a-likes of people who are similar to those that react to the messaging. Every time a customer “swipes left” on your ad, they are feeding the dating technology with data on who are better matches than others.
  • Fine tune your target based on insights and experiences – Resonate’s insights are a powerful tool that allow you to get a read on the people who are taking action with your campaign. The insights shed light on the things you may not know about your audience. For example, maybe you are targeting people who make decisions based on environmental factors, but it turns out that the people who are actually converting on your campaign are actually very interested in the price of products instead. After you’ve gone on a couple of “dates”, you learn about the people who truly fit within your target audience. From there you develop a more refined target approach based on what you and your customers both value and care about.

This Valentine’s Day keep all of this in mind as you develop your next marketing campaign. At the end of the day it’s all about establishing personal connections with people. Make sure that your messaging is reaching your targets on an individual level so that you find that perfect match and build a lifelong relationship together.

Lisa Villano is Manager, Client Development & Strategy at Resonate