eHarmony Strategic Marketing Case Study
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eHarmony Strategic Marketing Case Study

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For my capstone marketing class at Western Washington we were given a case on eHarmony (from Harvard Business School) and had to decide which strategy they should use for the future.

For my capstone marketing class at Western Washington we were given a case on eHarmony (from Harvard Business School) and had to decide which strategy they should use for the future.

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    eHarmony Strategic Marketing Case Study eHarmony Strategic Marketing Case Study Presentation Transcript

    • eHarmony By: Keshia Carlson, Zoe Robinson, Melanie Peters, and Whitney Bevelacqua-Haggard
    • Type of Case What type of case is it? Decision Case Why? As stated in the end of the case, eHarmony’s CEO needs to decide on how to address short-term competitive threats and position the company for long-term success
    • eHarmony Background  Founded by: Dr. Neil Clark Warren (PhD in Psychology) and Greg Forgatch  When: 1998  Why: Saw an opportunity to help singles in their search for a serious long-term relationship.  Launched: in 2000 after receiving $3 million from an investment firm  Today, eHarmony has over 20 million registered users  eHarmony currently owns 13.9% of online dating market share
    • Internal Environment  2004: Technology Crossover Ventures and Sequia Capital invested in eHarmony  2005: New CEO and President  Grew to 230 employees, half of which were in customer service  2007: eHarmony Labs open  Goals:  Turn results into insights that would help them create new business opportunities  Convert users to paid subscribers  Become the leading match-making company in the long-term relationship segment
    • Major Competitors  Paid Do-it Yourself Sites  Match, Yahoo! Personals  Free Do-it Yourself Sites  PlentyOfFish, SinglesNet  Niche Sites  BlackPeopleMeet, Jdate,  ChristianSingles, SugarDaddyforMe  Social Networks  Facebook, Myspace, etc
    • Industry 5 Forces  Threat of new entry: Low  Competitive intensity: High  Buying power: Low  Threat of substitute: High  Supplier power: High  In this case, suppliers = customers
    • Match.com  eHarmony’s biggest competitor  Owned by InterActiveCorp (IAC)  Owns 28.1% of online dating market share  2003: AOL and MSN co-marketing leads to overseas expansion  2006: Chemistry launched, entered serious relationship segment  2007: Ad spending increased to match eHarmony % of sales
    • Customer Environment  Social acceptability  Privacy concerns  Trends:  Only 16% of US singles (7% of adult population) reported currently looking for a romantic partner  Men less active in dating  Marriage rate on the decline  Divorce rate changing
    • Segmentation  Gender, marital status, race, age, education, employment status, and income are all factors in determining compatibility  Type of daters  Casual daters and lurkers  “Medium” daters  Serious daters
    • Targeting & Positioning  Targeting  Heterosexual  Single  Looking for a serious relationship  If you’re looking for a life partner, you use eHarmony  Positioning  “eHarmony is committed to helping singles find love every day, and with over 20 million registered online users, we are confident in our ability to do so.”
    • Core Competencies  Matching algorithm based on science  Extensive registration process filters lurkers and casual daters
    • Competitive Advantage  Differentiation Advantage  29 Dimensions of Compatibility  Ability to match people effectively
    • What Should the CEO Do?  Defend position as the leading matchmaking company in the long-term relationship segment?  Broaden customer base to include more casual daters?  Grow a new business based on eHarmony’s own research and development efforts?  Rapid geographic expansion?
    • What Should the CEO Do?  Defend position as the leading matchmaking company in the long-term relationship segment?  Broaden customer base to include more casual daters?  Grow a new business based on eHarmony’s own research and development efforts  Rapid geographic expansion
    • New Business Opportunities  Opportunities to build sites catering to niche markets  Same-sex couples  Dating sites for ethnic groups  Religious dating sites  Dating & relationship advice  Pregnancy & parenting advice  Built upon eHarmony’s existing research
    • Global Expansion  Expand first to English-speaking countries  Next, expand to countries with similar cultures and values  Use eHarmony Labs to obtain information  Compete with Match.com on a global scale