Commentary

What Marketers Can Learn From Tinder

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, August 9, 2017

Tinder singled-handedly started the revolution of “swiping left or right,” and scores of apps continue to make themselves the “Tinder of something.” To name a few: Jobr for Business is the ‘Tinder of Hiring,’ Entrée is the ‘Tinder of Food,’ Grabble is the ‘Tinder of Shopping,’ and so on.

While it’s debatable whether aligning and comparing your business model to Tinder is a smart branding move, consumers increasingly want a Tinder-like experience when it comes to any decision — their next purchase, their next job or even a soulmate.

B2B marketers can start by taking some cues from the dating world — making the buying process personalized, embracing relationship selling, being honest and building trust. However, those same B2B marketers grapple with the reality that customers are 57% through the purchase process before they approach a supplier.

it’s worth diving deeper into the swiping phenomenon for a few critical insights. Here are three:

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Embrace video

Video is a chorus that marketers in general have been trumpeting for several years now, but often gets overlooked, especially in the B2B space, where face-to-face interactions and personal relationships still reign supreme. However, if you step back a second and examine the aforementioned Tinder-like dating apps, you realize just how integral video can be to robust engagement.

In the dating world, the apps have begun to embrace video, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to see a potential mate in video form before deciding ‘right’ or ‘left’?

Applying that to marketing, video is essentially the medium for trying before buying. 

Gamify the Experience

Talk to anyone you know who is a fan of Candy Crush and with that interest comes some level of addiction. Why wouldn’t you want your potential customers to be engaged on such a deep level that they return again and again?

Tinder and other dating apps learned this early on and simply baked gamification in, making the experience much more fun.  It also capitalized on a number of other features, such as social-media networks. They not only helped to scale the business but also overcome the stigma of this new dating approach. When you’re friends are all chatting about Tinder on Facebook, it becomes far less odd.

Find a way to add a gaming element to your sales and marketing funnel; it will make the buying experience enjoyable. After all, who doesn’t want to engage with a company like that?

Authenticity Wins

One of the pervasive traits about Millennials is being authentic and transparent. As time marches on and Millennials become a larger part of the workforce, and by extension, a stronger and more influential part of buying decisions, it behooves every marketer to pay heed to this attitudinal shift.

Similarly, in the dating app world (which includes many Millennials), some the most egregious sins are: lying about your age, posting inaccurate or out-of-date photos or not revealing key elements like having children. Authenticity rules the day. As a marketer, whether you are selling a car, laundry detergent or a software platform, trust is the new gold standard.

Take a page out of the dating swiping book — be real, earn your customers trust, staying true to your perspective or POV — and the rest will fall into place.

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