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The Dating Game: 7 Ways Inbound Marketing is Exactly like Dating!

The dating scene is a competitive place.  Going out on the town and getting numbers can be a tough chore when you and 10 other dudes are all after the same girl.  If you think about it, the entire practice of dating, from getting the phone number to going on dates to getting serious, is almost exactly like the marketing process.  Let me lay it out for you…

Dating in the real world is nothing like in the movies.  Unless you’re Brad Pitt or Will Smith, cheesy pick-up lines, goofy one-liners and odd bar tricks and gimmicks probably aren’t going to work for you (and if they do, it most likely will be with limited success).  Beyond the disastrous one-liners; fake spray tans, gaudy rhinestone encrusted t-shirts and faux-hawks are also quick ways to either fail miserably or attract the wrong type of girl for you.  Do these tactics seem familiar in a marketing sense?  Insincere advertising targeting anyone with quick hits and gimmicks regardless of if they are interested or not; yeah, I’d peg that as traditional marketing.

How about a different approach to dating?  What if you took the time to understand the kind of person you wanted to date and based your decisions off of that?  What if you stopped casting such a wide net and started working to find and accept only qualified ladies?  That sounds exactly like inbound dating to me!  As you may know, we here at Revenue River believe that inbound marketing tactics are far superior to traditional advertising methods, so here’s our take on the 7 ways we believe that the wholesome act of dating is exactly the same as inbound marketing, enjoy!

1. Creating a Buyer Persona is Just like Figuring out Your Ideal Girl

We all have a mental of image of what our "ideal girl" is.  It can be as general as body type and personality or as specific as hair and eye color, education level and sense of humor.  No matter the specificity, you at least have an idea of who you think you would be most compatible with and more likely than not, that’s the kind of person you tend to target or date.  What you might call your ideal girl; inbound marketers call a buyer persona.  These personas are our ideal customers and contain descriptions of them that range from the industry they’re in, to the job titles that they hold all the way down to more personal demographic information such as age ranges and marital statuses.  Just as you make dating decisions based on your mental image of the "ideal girl", nearly all of inbound marketers’ decisions are dictated by the buyer personas they’ve created.

Key Takeaway: Take the time to figure out who your "ideal girl" really is and keep her in mind when making all of your dating decisions going forward.

2. CTA’s Act in the Same Way as Your Appearance and First Impression

First impressions are everything in the dating world, so showing up in the right clothes is crucial!  Sharp looking, clean clothes help you stand out much better than dirty old ripped t-shirts, just like vibrant and exciting CTA’s work much better than boring, single-toned buttons.  But just because you’re wearing nice clothes that don’t stink doesn’t ensure success!  Be sure to keep your buyer persona in mind when it comes to picking out your clothes and where you go for the night.  A suit and tie might not work out for you if you’re at a dive bar and your ideal girl is a punk rocker, just like a CTA for Denver social media marketing is useless when put on a page about web design.

Key Takeaway: Be yourself, but do it in a way that is going to get you noticed in the right way by your target audience.

3. TOFU Offers and Landing Pages are Your First Conversation and Number Exchange

So you’ve made it out to the right bar with your ideal demographic in mind and you’re wearing the right CTA’s, I mean clothes, now what?  Well it’s time to start talking to your target audience and introducing yourself as an idea to them, because that's what they're looking for.  You should be the solution to their problem; the funny guy they had never met or the interesting one that made them think differently.  Be Mr. Right.  In reality, you can only lose this kind of an opportunity by not meeting one of her qualifiers, so don't be boring and don't be a creep!

Once you've met all of her qualifiers, it's time for you to ask some of your own, just to make sure they really do fit your buyer persona.  Man, that sure sounds like a top of the funnel offer tied right in with a form on a landing page to me!  Maybe if they like what they see and hear, they’ll give you their contact information in exchange for a chance to get to know you better!  Sounds like you just got yourself a qualified lead, right?  Depending on where you’re at in life and your intentions, you might be ready to start collecting as many qualified leads as possible!  Some Denver marketing firms can be such players.

Key Takeaway: You can only lose your chance here, so don't be dull or creepy.  Be the solution to her problem and spend more time finding out about her and less time about yourself!

4. A Follow-Up Email is Just like Texting/Calling the Girl

Once you’ve got their number, you’re probably going to want to talk to them to set up a date or another time to just hang out, so you call or text them (play it cool though, don’t want to be texting them 2 seconds after they’ve left).  Not only are you reminding them who you are and how awesome you were to them, but you’re also trying to get that first date!  A follow-up email is exactly the same.  After a lead has taken you up on an offer or filled out a form, a follow-up email looks to keep you front of mind and push them further down the sales funnel to a middle or bottom of the funnel offer.  Just like with contacting the girl from the bar, make sure you do it in a timely manner (not too soon, but don’t wait forever either) and in the right amount (don’t spam the poor girl, that might just come off a little too strong).

Key Takeaway: Stay front of mind by reaching out soon after getting the digits.  A well worded, well timed message will have her coming back for more.

5. Dinner and a Movie is Your MOFU

Now that you two have exchanged information, it’s time for a real date!  Time to learn a little bit more about each other and show off a bit more of what you have to offer.  Take this time to position yourself as a passionate, different, thought leader.  Conversations tend to go longer during these dates, so you'll get the opportunity to find out new things about your new acquaintance and slowly figure out if she’s the right one for you.  Maybe you’ll even find out what they’re really looking for in a relationship.  Did they just fire their last Denver marketing firm and are on the rebound?  Are they looking for a reputable agency to sign a long-term contract and nurture little leads with?  Or maybe are they just looking for a quick one-time web design?  Oh no, I’m mixing my comparisons!  Anyways… A MOFU is much the same, looking to establish your brand as a thought leader within the industry by providing leads with more advanced information that will help move them further through the sales funnel while also gathering more personal information that helps qualify leads to a greater extent.

Key Takeaway: Take this time to distance yourself from the crowd of rejects she still may be considering and also get a better understanding of her wants and needs.

6. Unofficially Dating is Officially a BOFU in My Book

Things must be going well!  You’ve been hanging out and have gone on numerous dates but haven’t yet “defined the relationship” as Nathan Miller would say.  That’s ok; sometimes the best way to convert a lead into a customer is with a trial run or demo!  Just because you impressed on the first few dates doesn’t always mean she's ready to buy, so by giving her a trial run you’re letting her really get a feel for who you are and vice versa! 

Key Takewaya: Let her get a taste of the good stuff and decide if she likes it or it's just not her flavor after all.  If it turns out that she can't get enough, then soon enough you'll have...

7. A New Girlfriend, Just like a New Client

Congrats, you’ve found yourself a new significant other!  Looking back on it all, you definitely had to work for it; dressing to impress, putting yourself out there to get the digits, qualifying her and then wooing her with your fresh and new content, I mean personality!  Now the work really starts though.  While you may have formed a great relationship, it’s time to start providing everything that you were promising during those first few dates.  It’s time to start growing that relationship!

Key Takeaway: Strong relationships take time and effort, so don't start slacking off after the contract.  The hard work starts now, but soon enough you'll have a much closer relationship for it.

Dating is a complicated game that, if done wrong, can be a very arduous journey.  Finding your “ideal girl” is not always the easiest thing to do, but if you take a look at it with an inbound perspective then perhaps you’ll deal with a lot fewer of the “crazy ones” and find yourself a "keeper" through your qualified leads.  So listen to this Denver marketing firm and sit back, let your qualified leads come to you and watch the magic happen!