Carlos A. Espitia

I was going through old client documents on my computer when I came across an article I had written over 10 years ago. As a young & single marketing research analyst, I became enamored with the idea that I could apply marketing principles to my (then) dating life. In 2005 (when I wrote the article), there weren’t too many websites or articles on “dating for dummies”, “Internet dating tips”, or making a killer dating profile.  Wait, “killer” is probably a bad choice for this topic; making a superb dating profile.  After reading this little gem from the past, I figured I’d publish it as free dating advice.  Enjoy 🙂


Dating Tips From a Marketing Professional

dating for dummies tips from a marketing professional

Marketing & Dating; they’re not that different

I’m a business analyst/consultant and marketing is my forte.  This is why I have $25,000 in student loans debt.  For my latest project, I had to put together a strategic marketing plan for a relatively large company.  The more I dove into it I realized that most, if not all of the marketing principles can apply to dating.  So I decided to write about it in unison with my current business project.  If you have always thought of marketing as boring and you  are currently having dating woes, you might want to read on.  I realize that there must have been several articles or even a book written about this subject.  Being that I’ve never read any of them, this shall be my own unbiased and untainted analogy of said topic.

I will preface this article with some marketing background for you out there in Internet land.  Marketing can only do so much.  A basic principle or rule of thumb is that it doesn’t matter how good your marketing efforts are if you have a broken or sub-par product.  For the purposes of this exercise, you, I, all of us are the product (individually).  So, if you are “broken” or have major issues (personality problems), you may want to first direct your attention to R&D (research and development) and go back to the drawing board and make a new model, it worked for Chrysler.  Marketing attempts to hype a busted product are destined for failure.  You’ll end up broke (emotionally) and with one or more unhappy customers.


Mission Statement = Dating Profile

The foundation of any marketing plan is first answering the question, “What business am I in and where am I going?”  The answer is your mission statement.  The mission statement is based on a careful analysis of benefits sought by present and potential customers.  Yeah, blah, blah, blah … how does this relate to dating?  In relation to Facebook (or your dating profile), this is essentially your “About Me” piece.  I’ll repeat the most important part of this paragraph in case you missed it; a careful analysis of BENEFITS sought by potential customers.  Customers, in this case, are your potential partners or dates.  What does this mean?  Basically, what do you bring to the table?  Do you cook a mean Shrimp Fra Diavolo?  Are you currently employed and own your own transportation?  These are things that you bring to the table that may influence others to say; “Hey, this guy has all his teeth, I might talk to him.”


Marketing Objectives = Dating for Dummies

The second piece to this 6-piece puzzle is establishing your Marketing Objective.  A marketing objective is a statement of what is to be accomplished through marketing activities.  To be useful, these objectives should meet several specific criteria.  Essentially this is the part on your dating profile where you state; “Who I’d Like To Meet.”  In business, a poorly stated objective would be; “Our objective is to maximize profits”, or “Our objective is to be the best that we can be.”  This is the equivalent to stating; “I’d like to meet a nice guy.”  Everyone wants a nice guy, just like every company wants to make money!

Internet dating for dummies: tips from a marketing professionalThese objectives have to be realistic, measurable, and time-specific.  Every girl wants to date a Brad Pitt, however, a small percentage actually will.  This is called a “reality check”.  For some, a realistic objective may be; “I’d like to date someone that’s a cross between Brad Pitt and Elmer Fudd.”  The term “measurable” inherently deals with numbers; “I want to meet someone that can change my oil in 10 minutes flat”, or “I want someone that is 5’10”.”  Finally, when should the goal be met?  Do you want to meet someone now, next couple of weeks or months?  Of course, keep in mind that you don’t have to (and probably shouldn’t) spell it out for everyone; “I want to get married within one year”.  This may be as catastrophic in the business world as saying; “We want to charge as much as possible before we go out of business.”  Prudence and judgment should be exercised here.


Situation Analysis = The SWOT of Dating

The third piece is referred to as a SWOT analysis or situation analysis.  SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.  Performing a SWOT analysis allows firms (people) to identify their competitive advantage.  This is a set of unique features, or “skills” as Napoleon Dynamite might say.  These skills that you possess may be perceived by your target market as significant and superior to the competition.

dating for dummies: tips from a marketing professional

You can’t tell me that this doesn’t apply to dating also!


For all you business majors out there, we will not be covering competitive advantage in detail here.  So, to put it simply, what are your strengths and weaknesses?  Your list of strengths may be suitable for posting on Facebook or your favorite dating site.  However, I would advise in keeping your weaknesses as a mental note or on a Post-It.  The important factor here is to (internally) recognize these attributes or lack thereof.


Internet Dating Tips

dating online safetyNow that you have your little list you must now examine external opportunities as well as threats.  This is also known as environmental scanning.  Environmental scanning helps identify market opportunities and threats and helps in the design of your marketing plan.  The six most often studied macro environmental forces in business apply to dating as well, and these are social, demographic, economic, technological, political and legal, and competitive.  Again, for all you business majors, we are not covering this topic in depth.

Here are the Cliff Notes, though: You may not be a big hit in bars or clubs but you’d probably score big at a bookstore or coffee shop.  You may be predominantly liked by a particular demographic (or ethnicity), and likewise, predominantly disliked by others.  Economics are always a big factor, whether you’re looking for someone with money or trying to use money as leverage to find someone.

Technological, political, legal, and competitive are pretty much self-explanatory.  The technological component could be exemplified by someone who communicates better through instant messaging or emailing.  On the other hand, you could be a kind of techie-nerd and use your powers to blackmail someone into dating you.  The legal part?  Well, if you’re in jail, or on house arrest, your choices are limited.  On the flip side, some girls or guys may find that a turn-on!

Stay tuned for part II of my dissertation.

Carlos A. Espitia

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