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Dating Matchmaking Service Business Plan

Market Analysis Summary

CompuDate has identified two distinct market segments. These segments are identified by age, 20-35 year olds and 36-60 year olds. Recognizing that each group has different goals in a matchmaking service and respond differently to marketing messages, CompuDate will target each group distinctly. In terms of potential customers, the elder group contains more potential customers.

CompuDate is competing against three styles of competitors. The first style of online personal classified such as Yahoo! Personals. The second group is similar to the first however it is not Internet-based, it relies on newspaper ads as the medium form. The last type of competitor is the traditional matchmaker services like the Date MatchMaker that relies on an agency to capture information regarding the applicants and then makes the matches on their own.

4.1 Market Segmentation

CompuDate has segmented their market into two distinct segments. These segments are identified by their age. Demographic and assorted details include:

20-35 year olds:

  • Incomes of $35,000- $85,000.
  • 53% have at least some college education.
  • 23% have a graduate degree.
  • Enjoy spending time with friends.
  • Have friends but have difficulty in meeting interesting single people.
  • Would prefer not to meet people in bar environments, the typical place people of this age group meet others.

36-60 year olds:

  • Incomes of $55,000- $100,000.
  • 65% of the people have a college degree.
  • 41% have been married once.
  • As they grow older they have had increased difficulty finding others their age.
  • Have a tried a multitude of methods for meeting people, generally unsuccessful.
  • Take the position that it cannot hurt to try new methods of meeting people.
Market Analysis
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Potential Customers Growth CAGR
20-35 year olds 9% 54,996 59,946 65,341 71,222 77,632 9.00%
36-60 year olds 11% 64,009 71,050 78,866 87,541 97,171 11.00%
Total 10.09% 119,005 130,996 144,207 158,763 174,803 10.09%

4.2 Target Market Segment Strategy

Recognizing that the two groups are quite distinct, CompuDate will adopt a different strategy for reaching each. The philosophy realizes that the younger age group is somewhat nervous in using a dating service. For a multitude of reasons, there is the common thought that people of this age group should have no problem meeting people. CompuDate must appear to be the "hip" new thing, it needs to give off the appearance as being a cool thing to try, not some last resort for singles. Conversely, for the older crowd, it really matters less that this appears to be a hip option, this option must give off the impression that it is effective in finding someone's match.  Additionally, each group has different goals that they hope to get out of this service. The younger crowd is looking more for someone to spend time with, a short-term commitment type relationship. The older crowd, facing the realities of companionship are looking for a more long-term relationship.

4.3 Service Business Analysis

The matchmaking industry had been fairly stagnant for a number of years, but within the last three years, with the proliferation of online dating services such as Yahoo! Personals, the entire industry has gotten a new breath of life. More and more people are considering dating services as a viable and exciting option. It is not totally clear as to why the online services would have such a positive impact on the entire industry as opposed to just their segment. Industry experts believe that the online services served as a way of legitimizing the industry as a whole as an effective way of meeting quality people.

4.3.1 Competition and Buying Patterns

  • Online services: The competitors in this segment are and Yahoo! Personals. These services took the business model of the paper-based system and moved it online to reach a broader audience and generate economies of scale.
  • Newspaper-based personals: These competitors have a personal classified system where people write a little ad about themselves and/or who they are looking for and people respond accordingly.
  • Traditional matchmaker services: This would be CompuDate's closest competitor, however they do not use a computer for the predictive choices. Questionnaires are filled out and the workers of the company then determine what matches to make.