OPW INTERVIEW - Nov 29 - One million users and counting, with a near zero marketing budget. This can happen. Intelligent Elite has made marketing magic happen. Here’s my interview with the co-founder, Dr. Eike Post. - Mark Brooks
You have a rather unusual site. You offer an IQ test, an emotional quotient test and a personality test. So I’m most intrigued with the personality test. Could you tell us a bit more about what kind of scientific basis that it is based on and how it works?
The personality test is based on the personality types proposed by Carl Gustav Jung and the Meyers Briggs typology. We have 4 dimensions that we measure with two extremes resulting in 16 different personality types.
How do you match based on those?
We currently use two dimensions for matching, sensing/intuition and thinking/feeling. The more similar, the better the match. For the other dimensions there are some researchers who say that opposites attract each other, and others who say it is better if you have similar personality types.
Matchmaking is generally regarded as being useful for more serious dating relationships but you disagree. Tell us more.
We think that matchmaking has many advantages over dating. The main advantages are saving time, better matching because we have information that the user doesn’t have or doesn’t focus on, providing the users a hook to contact the potential partner and some balance that everybody gets a chance to be contacted.
And we think all 4 advantages apply not only to the older demographic who are looking for a long term relationship but also to younger demographics who are not necessarily looking for a long term relationship. For example, we have many people on our site who are what we call passive date seekers. They don’t actively go on the site to look for people but if we offer them matches they wouldn’t refuse them. So dating is not attractive but matchmaking is.
People can log in through Facebook Connect. You have over a million users at this stage. How much do you think the Facebook Connect is responsible for that growth? And how much have you spent on marketing so far?
We spend very little on marketing because we got 95% of our users by word of mouth mostly via Facebook. However, it’s not so much Facebook Connect but more the Facebook application, which is responsible for viral growth. We have tried other viral channels such as Bebo, Hi5, and MySpace, however, it has become clear in the last year that Facebook is really the only way to go.
I heard that you spent less than 100 Euro in total on marketing for a million users. That’s quite the landmark achievement. What are your plans moving forward?
Our plan is to improve the matching algorithm further and maintain our leadership in what we call the new space of social matchmaking.
How do you define social matchmaking?
It is the combination of matchmaking like eHarmony on the one hand and social dating like Zoosk on the other.