Harmony Case Review Key Marking Issue The key marketing issue facing eHarmony is continuing to differentiate eHarmony from the emerging competition, to include free dating websites, by effectively marking their success measures and broadening their customer base. First Marketing Solution The first solution I would consider would be to defend eHarmony’s position as the leading matchmaking company in the long term relationship segment of the market. It is extremely important to market the success measures of the matchmaking website to promote the success and warrant paying for the service.
There are several pros to this strategy. First, while only 4% of committed relationships in the U. S. are formed online, I expect as technology continues to evolve this number will continue to grow. Second, there are over $2 million marriages in America every year and many more individuals seeking a partner; this is a very large customer base to target. Third, while the competitors are continuing to emerge, eHarmony has a track record that is far and above the competitors. There are also several cons to this strategy.
First, eHarmony is one of the most expensive services available, which exposes the company to reduced sales during an economic event like a recession. Second, when customers meet their match, they no longer need the service. Third, by turning down business and not expanding the customer base, the company is limiting their expansion opportunities. Second Solution The second solution I would consider would be to expand geographically and demographically. There is an incredible amount of opportunity outside of the United States that has yet to be captured.
The first opportunity with this strategy would be significantly increasing the customer base. While there are many different cultures and religions, marriage is a staple across the world. Second, by expanding into these markets, eHarmony could become the market leader in many companies. Third, eHarmony’s successful track record will naturally compete with any competition they face in the new markets. There are three primary cons to this strategy. First, without experience with customers in other countries and same-sex marriages, the success measures may not translate to the new markets.
They will need to continue researching and developing new strategies for each market. Second, some competitors are already well known in other countries, so they will need to increase advertising to gain additional market share. Third, by not taking advantage of this expansion, they could lose the opportunity to ever expand into these markets. Strategy I would choose the option to rapidly expand eHarmony into same-sex relationships and across the world. With the nature of the matchmaking business, once someone finds a match they no longer need the service.
With this in mind, it is extremely important to have an expanded base of eligible customers. I mentioned there are $2 million marriages in the United States every year, but this number would probably be very astounding if there was research compiled worldwide. Many of the top companies in the world have a marriage demographic similar to the United States. In addition, same-sex marriages are becoming more common in our country and across the world. At the time of the case, approximately, 10% of internet users had visited a dating website and many more individuals were becoming more comfortable with the idea.
As technology continues to expand across the world, there is an exceptional market to capture and control. I anticipate that it will not take long to break even in these markets once the advertising references the success eHarmony has already experienced. Moving into new markets and more relationship types does expand out of Dr. Warren’s initial expertise, but is in line with the companies’ mission. By properly researching the new markets and matchmaking experts for the new demographics, the company will be able to re-build this strength.
Plan I suggest immediately expanding the website to same-sex individuals and running online and television marketing campaigns to reach this new market. At the same time, I would suggest expanding to Canada, the U. K. and France. These markets are already becoming familiar with online dating websites, but primarily free ones, leading to casual encounters. The first step would be to gather research regarding the new markets and hire dating and psychology experts to consult.
The questionnaires may need to be altered for the new demographic based on this research. I would also suggest running online, radio and television campaigns using the same strategy as in the United States. I would also consider hiring a top psychologist in each market to support and promote the website on television, similar to Chemistry’s promotion of Dr. Phil. Expanding the geographic and demographic cultures of the customers, eHarmony will significantly increase revenue and lead the matchmaking industry for many years to come.