If you wouldn’t go on a date with every male or female in the world, why would you target your marketing that way? Digital Marketing Guru Lisa Villano dives into the world of online dating to see who’s looking for love and how marketers can take a cue from their values targeting approach.

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 online, 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 that perfect someone.

So in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun to take a deep dive into the world of online dating and look at some key characteristics, beyond demographics, of the men and women (ages 18-54) currently looking for love online.

Here are a few highlights of what we found:

Men                                                                                                              Women

Values Values
  • Men looking for love online are 35% more likely to value personal enjoyment in relationships.
  • They are also 24% more likely to value a sense of accomplishment.
  • Closeness to family and friends and a sense of belonging are least important to these men when it comes to settling down and building a life with someone.
  • Women looking for love are 48% more likely to value shared experiences in a relationship.
  • They are also 42% more likely to value a sense of belonging.
  • And they are 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 be motivated by the desire to live an exciting life and 59% more likely to seek recognition from peers. Finding a mate who understands these desires is important to them.
  • They are 195% more likely to be motivated by a desire to find love and 380% more likely to desire sexual relationships.
  • Women are 37% more likely to seek social and professional status and 25% more likely to be motivated by a sense of individuality. Their respective partner would need to understand and support these desires in a relationship.
  • They are 235% more likely to be motivated by a desire to find love and only 4% more likely to desire sexual relationships.


Media Consumption Habits Media Consumption Habits
  • Top three magazines of choice are ESPN The Magazine, Men’s Health, and Rolling Stone.
  • They prefer Cable and Subscription Networks such as HBO and FX and watch shows such as Ballers, It’s Always Sunny, Vice Principals, and Westworld.
  • Top three magazines of choice are Glamour, Cosmopolitan, and The Oprah Magazine.
  • They prefer network television shows such as This Is Us, The Mindy Project, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, and So You Think You Can Dance.


Product & Retail Preferences Product & Retail Preferences
  • When it comes to product selection, men looking for love go for products that are considered fun/exciting, innovative, and enjoyable.
  • Practical, safe, and family-friendly products are at the bottom of the priority list.
  • They are 111% more likely to shop at stores with fast and responsive staff.
  • Women looking for love prefer products that are considered rewarding, the best looking, and healthy.
  • Energy efficient, durable, and innovative products are at the bottom of the priority list.
  • They are 67% more likely to shop at stores with strong loyalty programs.

Source: Resonate 02/2018

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 sit back and let technology bring the best matches directly to you!

At Resonate we know that searching for love online is really no different from marketers searching for their ideal customers.  You need to understand their values, motivations, and beliefs in order to effectively reach them and establish a personal, individual connection. But in lieu of a dating app, here’s how we’d suggest brands make sure they’re connecting with their perfect match…

  • 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 strike a match? It’s important to also share the things that make you tick. What do you value? What do you like to do in your free time? What motivates you to get out of bed each day? These are the types of data points you need to collect in order to reach the right people for your brand.
  • 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 (aka wasting budget dollars on the wrong people). Instead, choose characteristics that are important to you, like what they like to do for fun or if they value time with friends and family. Then layer these attributes on top of demographics to effectively target and reach people who will take action.
  • Select a platform with quality and scale – Once a target audience is defined, you need a comprehensive technology solution at your fingertips to make sure you’re finding the best match. And just like in the world of online dating, the platform does matter! Yes, you want a big pool of potential suitors to choose from. But you also don’t want to jeopardize the quality of those suitors in the process. When seeking out your ideal customers, you should have high standards, so don’t settle for a technology that fails to deliver on both fronts.
  • Fine tune your target based on insights and experiences – Sometimes in love and marketing, what you think you’re looking for isn’t always the case. And after you’ve gone on a few “dates”, you learn and refine your definition of the perfect match. 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 website are more concerned with price. Finding the perfect match is a learning process. And for marketers, it requires continuously optimizing and refining your targeting approach based on what you and your customers both value and care about the most.

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 Sr. Manager, Digital Marketing & Activation Solutions at Resonate