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A CRM Love Connection
An attentive, semicaptive audience is what CallMe Corp. offers to companies and advertisers willing to purchase its Double Blind Date technology.
Posted Mar 11, 2003
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How and when to deliver a message are as important as what type of message a company is trying to convey, and to whom. Focused, targeted advertising campaigns are often a staple of an enterprise's CRM plan. Having an attentive, semicaptive audience doesn't hurt either.

That's what CallMe Corp. is offering to companies and advertisers willing to purchase its Double Blind Date technology. Used mainly as a means for online singles to place anonymous phone calls to one another, CallMe offers both private and secure phone calls for singles, and advertising opportunities for its partners and their sponsors.

Mark Callahan, vice president of emerging markets for CallMe, explains that its technology allows people who are logged onto an online dating site like Wildindigo.com to click a button and have an anonymous phone call placed between them. CallMe uses normal phone lines to connect users, so a high-speed connection isn't required, making its technology accessible to almost everyone.

"While a user is waiting for the phone connection to be made, they receive a pop-up message on their screen instructing them to stay on the line until the call is connected," Callahan says. "Along with that message we have the opportunity to present our audience with a variety of messages and ads."

According to Callahan, by using the database information provided by the user's dating profile, the ads can be tailored to target the specific demographic that person fits into.

"We're able to use any number of factors to determine what message to display. Thanks to the database information we have on the users, we know their sex, age, ethnic group, lifestyle preference, and dozens of other relevant pieces of information," Callahan says. "That way, anyone partnered with our customers can use this to deliver a very focused message to the consumer groups they wish to reach."

Since privacy is a major concern for both online dating sites and their users, CallMe is very conscience of what information it accesses. Only the basic information about the person is used to pick the display ads, Callahan says. Advertisers never receive the users name, phone number, or email.

In the past online dating was seen as the refuge of the lonely and disenfranchised. In the past two years that has shifted greatly as more and more busy, Web-savvy professionals have begun to use online dating to find partners. According to a USAToday.com article from early February, 17.2 million people viewed online personals in 2002 and 2.5 million of them paid for online ads. Callahan believes that not only is online dating a great market for companies looking to reach new customers, but that CallMe's technology will be able to cross over into other markets to help people connect with each other and advertisers to connect with them.

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