OPW INTERVIEW - Jan 4 - Tim Schiffers is the CEO of the PARSHIP ELITE Group. Together with their shareholder ProSiebenSat.1, a German media company, they acquired eharmony. I interviewed Tim Schiffers yesterday about the acquisition of eharmony. – Mark Brooks
What do you think of the term 'serious dating'?
We think 'serious dating' is a very good position in the market that cannot be attacked so easily. Classical dating services have come under pressure from apps such as Tinder and Badoo. This did not happen with Parship – it even helped us. With the rise of dating apps, online dating has become more and more normal for people, and as soon as they are looking for a serious relationship, chances are high that they will turn to services such as Parship or ElitePartner.
What will you do with eharmony?
eharmony is a pioneer. They are the inventor of online dating based on scientific methods. We feel eharmony has lost some relevance over the past few years by way of their communication and their approach to media and online marketing. In addition, their platform is not completely state of the art. Therefore, the challenge is similar to the one we faced when we acquired ElitePartner three years ago.
Will eharmony move to the Parship platform?
Yes, we are planning to bring the services together on one shared technical platform, the Parship platform. This migration project is quite challenging and will probably take up to 12 months to complete. As far as marketing activities go, we are well on the way with a number of initiatives around brand, media, online marketing and CRM.
Why does the eharmony deal make sense for Parship?
We share the same mission: Bringing people into happy relationships by believing in the concept of scientific matchmaking. That is what Parship and ElitePartner as well as eharmony have done for years; that is what drives every one of our employees. There are also other similarities such as strong, renowned brands and the need for a focused, effective marketing strategy.
What's your thoughts on Facebook Dating?
I see them more in the classical dating camp. They have brought online dating onto the agenda for more people, which is helpful.
Is Parship considering more international acquisitions/options?
We will be very busy with integrating eharmony, working with eharmony on marketing, CRM, and platforms. That is already a big piece of our internationalization; we are broadening out into the US, Canada, UK, and Australia. As you said, it's a match made in heaven. If we see something else that is a fit however, maybe there is another move.