Marketing to Those Who Are on the Market

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Tinder was released in 2012, forever changing the way we view dating. But could we have foreseen the way it would change business software purchases?

My coworkers and I aren’t shy about our dating details, sharing meet-cutes, mishaps and makeouts. So, when we began to see advertisements for business software interspersed with potential matches on Tinder, it was naturally a topic of interest.

It’s important to note that we’re a group of people who are uniquely researching business software 75 percent of the work day. Part of my job is to constantly look at software homepages, which does a number on my targeted ads. With that in mind, it’s reasonable to believe this marketing is geared toward things the app perceives us to be purchasing. Demand side platform software is just one way to continually gear advertisements toward specific consumers.

Tinder recently joined the Facebook Audience Network, which lets advertisers use data from Facebook to inform additional marketing campaigns.

“Tinder’s partnership with Facebook means advertisers will be able to serve ads on Tinder’s app by choosing Audience Network as one of its placements,” reads a February 2017 article on Advertisemint. “Tinder users that fit the ad’s targeting description (gender, location, hobbies, interests, etc.) will see the ad.”

From this data, we can infer that software companies might not be looking to Tinder to run unique marketing campaigns. Rather, companies are going to applications where we already “hang out” to target users with perceived interest. This doesn’t make it any less strange to swipe left on a software, I’ll tell you.

READ: Advertising Reach in the Online Ecosystem

An additional intrigue in this strategy is the juxtaposition of user intention. Those swiping through Tinder are usually looking at profiles to determine potential romantic interest or compatibility. Advertising software on Tinder is like trying to make a vacuum sale at a Halloween party: You could have the perfect pitch, but you’ve caught everybody at the wrong time.

Another criticism of these ads is their total ignorability. Whereas YouTube makes viewers watch at least a portion of an ad, Tinder ads can be completely swiped left — rejected — with little to no attention. It’s difficult to see significant consumer engagement with an ad that requires no, well, engagement.

A Forbes contributor advises companies adjust their strategy to fit the app’s purpose. The article cites examples such as the Atlanta Hawks using Tinder to raffle off a “Love Lounge.”

“Throughout the night, users were able to access lounges where they could meet up with local matches face to face,” the article reads. “By connecting users with matches, the Hawks proved to customers that they were taking their desires seriously.”

Software on G2 Crowd’s Spring 2017 Grid® for Mobile Advertising was rated highly for its Reach feature, receiving an 83 percent average satisfaction rating. Reach was rated higher than any other feature under the Campaign Management umbrella. This feature is determined as, “the amount and quality of inventory partner sites on which ads can be placed.”

Advertising on Tinder certainly has a long reach, seeing as the app has more than an estimated 50 million users. This number only grows as smartphones evolve, increasing the amount of people who can be advertised to via applications. Vendors here are not struggling to be seen. The question remains, is a dating app a great place for advertisers to be seen and heard?

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