Being Stalked by an Online Dating Site

Share this article:
Being Stalked by an Online Dating Site
Being Stalked by an Online Dating Site

Online dating! Why not? For those individuals who are unattached—and even for some of those who aren't—it's a common New Year's resolution to find a romantic companion.

In February, we have a rippin' Battle of the Brands pitting the two major online dating sites against each other, but that of course neglects the niche dating sites that have piled up like holiday calories. There's Date a Cougar for young men interested in older women, Ashley Madison for married people who want to cheat, Grindr for gay hookups, Blendr for straight hookups, JDate for people who are Jewish, Geek 2 Geek for the nerd set, Plenty of Fish for the unscrubbed masses, and OKCupid for the young and overly-educated (read: Poor hipsters).

Obviously, I've been exploring a lot of dating sites lately—on my work computer to boot, which I hope won't be an HR problem—and I've been getting a lot of dating-related banner ads. The site that's most prominently featured? Christianmingle.com.

And this is baffling to me because while many of my recent search queries have indeed centered around online dating sites, nothing in my search history—I don't think—indicates that I'm Christian or that I'm at all spiritual. Of course, I signed up for the service—which paired me with a bunch of women in their 50s based out of New Jersey. So, no, definitely not the sort of dating site that's right for my lifestyle.

That got me thinking: Shouldn't marketers for services as personal as dating do a better job of targeting? Now, because the banner ads for Christianmingle.com showed up on my work computer, on which as a journalist I search for a pretty wide range of queries, I accept that some of the targeting elements might be a little skewed. But still: I research a lot of tech queries and government regulations and marketing campaigns. I book travel. Clearly I'm busy. If anything, I would think Match.com would be a better ad to surface than Christianmingle.com.

All of that irritation comes from the marketing journalist in me.

But from a personal standpoint—the standpoint of a consumer still slightly wary of online tracking—I'm actually kind of grateful that whichever network pushed Christianmingle's banners didn't know enough about me to send ads from a dating site that is actually relevant to my interests.

So for some products and services—say I'm in the market for a new ski shell—I definitely want targeted ads that present me with more options. But for others that are a little more personal, like online dating, I'd want the marketers to step off and let me figure out what I want by myself.

Share this article:
You must be a registered member of Direct Marketing News to post a comment.
close

Next Article in Direct Line Blog

Sign up to our newsletters

Latest Jobs:


Company of the week

Data Services, Inc. meets the needs of today's data-driven marketer by providing front-end database management and data analytics platforms alongside our expertise in global contact data quality, database building and ongoing maintenance that comes with our 45+ years in business.


Find out more here »

More in Direct Line Blog

Omnichannel Represents a Sea Change in Marketing

Omnichannel Represents a Sea Change in Marketing

Instead of thinking about channels first, marketers need think about customers and outcomes.

Will American Wallets React to Jack Ma's "Open Sesame"?

Will American Wallets React to Jack Ma's "Open ...

Observers pooh-pooh Alibaba's chances to challenge Amazon and eBay, but the boss of China's e-commerce giant vows rapid U.S. expansion following his IPO.

Getting Email Out of the Friend Zone

Getting Email Out of the Friend Zone

It may not be the sexiest channel, but it is the most reliable.