Marketing is a lot like dating…

Have you ever been set up on a blind date?

Perhaps your mother’s new tennis partner has a son/daughter who she feels would be “just perfect for you”? This is essentially a sales environment… and the same apprehension, intrigue, desire for more detail and risk assessment you might feel going into this scenario is replicated time and again when engaging with choosing which brands to spend your hard earned cash with.

In the same way dating is a set of individuals seeking arrangements, brands are constantly seeking consumers out, wanting to attract them to their products and build a relationship with where they gain trust and ultimately business.

Here are three ways modern marketing is like modern dating:

1. Relationship Goals
In the same way each individual is seeking a partner with similar values, brands need to narrow in on the relationship elements of the target persona that they mean to engage. If your brand is geared towards adventure-lovers, do the research to find out what they like, where they hang out, and what they want in a partner – then, seek them before all others.

2. Keep it Fun and Engaging
Like all dating, brands should engage the audience in ways that are fun and keep them wanting more. In a world of constant connectivity and information overload, there is a lot of research and risk assessment that goes into dating – the same goes for consumers and brands. Brands, just like dating partners, need to be engaging but not obnoxious – enjoyable experiences leave the consumer wanting more… the same goes for dating.

3. Be Yourself
We are attracted to brands just like we are attracted to partners. It’s important to build trust by being honest and genuine in both dating and brand messaging. Keeping secrets will only make for a blow up down the line. Set the expectations of the brand up front and allow the genuine connections.

The analogies could go on. The main point is this: brands need to genuinely understand and connect with consumers so that a strong relationship grows. If a brand can truly identify their target audience – who they are, what they like, where they are located, how to connect with them, and so on, it is on the right path to entering into a long-term relationship and being introduced to their family, friends and future growth.

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11 Responses to Marketing is a lot like dating…

  1. Araz says:

    What an interesting post! You make a great correlation between dating and marketing strategies. As stated, finding a mate is similar to finding a brand you find a connection with. Authenticity plays an integral role when consumers are in the decision making process when choosing a brand or product. Similar to human interaction, the minute an individual senses someone is being fake, you immediately backtrack and look the other way. Brands carry the same qualities and marketers should play close attention when marketing to their target audience. Thank you for your post, I really enjoyed reading it.
    Araz Kuvakian

  2. Diane says:

    It so is!!!! So then why is it I’m so bad about dating but have built a 20 year career in marketing? You have given me some points to ponder about follow up, engagement, and letting go of the old belief system that all the follow up rests on the part of the guy. No ones coming a courting just like no one is going to dig for a product without a message. Fantastic post!

  3. Regi says:

    Nice analogy! And nice analogies! I enjoyed your post and that is an interesting way to look at it. And it is give and take just like a relationship/date where your experience and perceptions lead to loyalty and love for the brand or “new friend”.

  4. Paula Manuel says:

    Great analogies and comparisons between marketing and dating. I especially love your suggestion to keep it fun and engaging. Everyone enjoys an engaging marketing campaign. It makes me think of the “Most Interesting Man in the World” ads and how much those ads draw me in because of how witty and cute they are.

  5. Rachel DeLago says:

    Hi Kimberly, I was completely drawn in at your title and your content kept me reading! What a great analogy. I really liked your point #3. I am really interested in the authenticity of marketing and how difficult it is to compete but still “be yourself”. May be easier in dating?!?

    Just amazing, thank you!

  6. Nathan says:

    Hi Kimberly,
    This is a great post. I hadn’t really thought of it this way before, but it makes sense because so much of what happens in the industry is being influential and drawing people to your way of thinking or being. I really like your second point about keeping it fun and engaging. While I don’t think it’s necessary to be fun in all cases, the point about engagement is key.

    Keeping people interested is necessary in relationships and marketing. The more they get to know you the more they become engaged in what is being said. I started the semester thinking that it’s important for the fun in ads to revolve around the brand, and I still think that’s true, because I see a lot of fun ads selling fun more than themselves. It defeats the point. If you were dating someone that only had fun to offer and no substance in conversation that made them unique then it’d probably get old pretty quickly.

  7. Erika Najera says:


    I love this post! The content is relevant, relatable and the structure is easy to read! This is GREAT!

  8. Dena says:

    Hi Kimberley, great points! Marketing has gone from “transactional” to relationship building techniques in order to keep pace with how consumers are now getting or blocking information. Due to the fast pace of information and ‘places to visit’ on the web/smart phone, marketing has to keep up and continuously seek out where their target market gets their information, commerce, or entertainment from. I believe that this is the “why” behind the need for a relationship building approach to today’s marketing activities over ever-changing channels.

  9. Eren Cello says:

    Hi Kimberly,

    It’s true! Marketing IS like dating. I think another value for your first point in relationship goals is to keep the consumer coming back. A relationship is a two-way-street so building the loyalty is just as important as targeting the right audience. Excellent post!

  10. Mark McLaughlin says:

    Very interesting comparison, Kimberly. I think it also makes me relieved I’m no longer dating! That relief aside, I actually agree with you. I’ve actually felt the same way about meeting new friends in a new neighborhood, or even interviewing for a new job. As you mentioned, everything really does boil down to individuals making arrangements – regardless of what the topic is that’s being negotiated. This was a clever post, nice work.

  11. Faith says:

    Hi Kimberly,
    This is a great engaging post that you excellently showed us the parallels of dating and marketing. It is true as Dena mentioned marketing has become less transactional to more of building a relationship, much like dating. Brandon Rochon articulated it very well on live session that we are in a “tinderized” society…swipe left, swipe right, swipe up, swipe down. It is important that brands grab the attention of their attended audiences and connect with them long term. Just as the ultimate goal of dating is to eventually form a lasting relationship like marriage, so is marketing. Brands want the customer to enter into a marriage with them, hence brand loyalty. I loved the three ways you explained and how relevant they are.