According to Brooks, Tinder’s explosive popularity changed the face of internet dating with its launch in 2012.The app grew from college campuses, Brooks says, as the company used a marketing program to entice “campus connectors” (or the “popular kids,” as he deemed them) to spread the word. “It’s such a hotbed on campuses that you can get these things to take off on campus with the right story and the right product. It’s one of the few dating apps that’s truly sharable.IBISWorld reports the online dating industry was worth billion in 2015 and poised for even more growth.
“This is a total virgin science,” Brooks quips with a restrained laugh from his deck in Malta.Brooks runs Courtland Brooks, an agency that provides strategy, marketing, business development, and media relations for companies in the online dating world.He’s worked with websites like Plentyof and and has seen the industry through multiple eras, from the early days of online personals to companies scrambling for mobile relevance.Competition has grown along with the size of the industry.Reports say there are anywhere from 2,500 to 8,000 online dating platforms worldwide, all with their own unique claim or angle to attract users.
Pew Research Center reports that while few users were online dating in 2005, 15% of all Americans have used online dating sites or apps at some point as of 2015. Pew also recently reported that the share of 18-to-24-year-olds who use these platforms has nearly tripled from 10% in 2013 to 27% today. Just ask Mark Brooks, who has worked in and around the industry for two decades. It's estimated that 15% of Americans have used dating websites or apps, with numbers expected to rise in the next many years. Marketers have played a huge role in helping this industry grow from simple online personals to complex platforms with millions of users. New innovations and a growing user base now give marketers more data than ever to play with in online dating. No website has found the magic method of creating a love connection.Then, in 2003, the company started airing its first radio ads.The ads featured real couples talking about how they met on e Harmony.After about six months, the team translated that storytelling model to TV—and it was a hit.