Cupid's arrows start flying between single wireless subscribers.
Valentine's Day may have come and gone, but love is still in the air. Just when I thought I'd heard everything about our wacky online world... this came in. Are you sitting down? Leading dating site Match.com has partnered with none other than a telecom company.
I'll give you one guess which it is. Yes, it's AT&T Wireless. As of last week, matchmaking became mobile. Match.com and AT&T Wireless launched a new product called Match Mobile. The product provides dating and matching for AT&T customers via their wireless phones.
"The popularity of wireless phones with young adults will expand the reach of our network while providing a matching tool that is convenient and fun to use in their daily lives," said Tim Sullivan, president, Match.com, a unit of USA Interactive and the number one online dating site in the United States.
Here's what it will offer:
Whether you agree or disagree with this type of service, it's certainly a great example of personalization. It also puts together two very hot trends.
Visits to online personal sites grew 31 percent -- 26.6 million visitors -- last year in the U.S., according to comScore Networks. Many Web sites have launched personals within the past couple of years. Here's how comScore says they stack up:
Meanwhile, wireless has been picking up steam. A while back, I wrote a column about mobile commerce (m-commerce), and Accenture predicts it will be a $20 billion market in the U.S. by 2005. Mobile phones have become ubiquitous. Approximately 150 mobile phones are currently in the U.S. today, and seemingly just about everyone is carrying around some sort of mobile device.
Connectivity is top of mind to media folks like me. We look at the opportunity with wide eyes for several reasons:
Like any other form of advertising there are things to watch out for:
Many advertisers are said to be asking for cell phone information via online registration on Web sites. Man, does this open up a whole can of worms. As I take my marketer hat off and put my consumer hat on, let me say there is no way I'd give up my number. Would you?
It'll be fun to watch the world go wireless. Love seemingly has beaten the CPG companies to it. Go figure.
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Seana Mulcahy is vice president, director of interactive media at Mullen (an IPG company). She's been creating online brands since before the first banner was sold. Her expertise includes online and traditional media planning and buying, e-mail marketing, viral marketing, click-stream analysis, customer tracking, promotions, search engine optimization and launching brands online. Prior to Mullen, Seana was vice president of media services at Carat Interactive. She's built online media services divisions for three companies and has worked with clients spanning financial, telecom, high-tech, healthcare and retail. Not surprisingly, she has taught, lectured and written about the industry for numerous trade associations and publications.
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