On Sexual Appeal, Online Dating, and B2B Branding

According to Match.com, 40 million Americans are into online dating services, which is about 40% of all the single people in the US. Such is a reality that is both disturbing and fascinating.

Disturbing, because it’s a large number of people apparently believing in establishing romantic relationships over the internet, and fascinating, because of how it’s becoming a culture of its own, having its own set of norms, mores and customs.

It’s pretty much the same concept as with B2B marketing, where one business invests so much in branding so that it could attract other businesses and see if they would “match”. They use websites, blogs and social media platforms to expose themselves out in the (online) public and see who gets interested.

The difference, though, is that in online dating, one could create a bogus profile with phony names, addresses and other information, and even have someone else’s face as a profile photo. They could interact with as many other users without really having the obligation to be totally honest in describing themselves.

In B2B marketing, that is unthinkable.

To attract other businesses to “ask you out on a date”, you need to be as honest as possible, because trust is the foundation of business relationships (no, it’s not love).

While online daters may focus on enhancing their sexual appeal, businesses focus on “industrial appeal”. A business page is like a Facebook profile; it must have all the essential details – your history, what you currently do, who your friends are, and of course, the contents that you post. You boost your appeal not by physical appearance, but by having a clear, impressive definition of what your business really is.

Dating sites also have “target groups”. Depending on what type of person you want to hook up with, you could venture into “singles only” forums, or “over 40” forums to limit your search to a specific bracket. In B2B, targeted marketing is vital in making sure you would attract the right prospects and not waste time on “non-keepers”.

Of course, the culmination is always the in-person meeting. In online dating, the couple would spend days and weeks getting to know each other until they would meet – a decision that is typically shared by both parties. In B2B marketing, however, the marketer/salesperson would convince the prospect to agree to an appointment, and that’s when the real dating begins.

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