REASON FOR SHARING
In December 2015 Communicorp One launched online dating site http://www.koort.me in association with Today FM. Koort.me is Ireland’s newest dating website and it demonstrates a commercial opportunity that developed from our deep understanding of the audience and their interests, particularly around dating and propensity for online dating. In its launch month Koort.me signed up 3,000 members, a testament to the correlation between the product, the audience and their relationship with Today FM.
- The online dating market is a cluttered and busy arena are for a brand to launch a new product and our mission was to create standout buy focusing on our USP; namely the relationship between Today FM and its audience. By leveraging this we could create a dating website that had a commonality; the shared interests and outlooks of the Today FM audience.
- We also had the challenge of creating a product had a dual free and paid model, we needed to create a hook to encourage basic members (free) and convince them that a full sign-up (paid) was worthwhile and would have a ROI.
- Creating a robust and reliable e-commerce platform was another challenge identified. To ensure that all data was protected we chose a partner that had year of experience in the online dating field – White Label Dating.
Today FM presented itself as being an ideal fit for launching Koort.Me with 11% of Today FM listeners indicating an interest in online dating (TGI 2015), however this is a cluttered market with many newcomers. The relationship that Today FM has with its audience would be key in building trust with an online dating brand, to this end we needed on-air talent to voice ads and talk about the product on-air to reinforce the message and alignment with the Today FM brand. UK research (Mintel, 2015) also showed that dating events were of particular importance in encouraging paid members and increasing loyalty and long-term users. Past experience with Anton Savage’s ‘Savage Singles‘ had shown us how true this is for Irish singles too.
A deep-dive into the available research into online dating, as well as White Label Dating’s experience, told us there was a spike in interest and traffic following Christmas, as people seek to meet new people going into a new year. Based on this, we knew we needed to launch at this time to capture this surge.
We know that social media is a great platform for creating awareness and so our social platforms were key in launching the new product, particularly leveraging the Today FM channels. By amplifying the launch through Today FM social media and digital channels we forecasted an increase of 25% in registrations, which was realised in week 2 of the launch.
In October 2015 Communicorp One chose White Label Dating (WLD) to power our first fully-branded online dating site for Ireland’s largest independent radio station, Today FM. The partnership was created to will serve as a proven third party revenue stream for Communicorp One, as well as an engaging extension of the Today FM brand.
We wanted our solution to provide its members with an authentic Irish dating experience, filling a gap in the Irish online dating market. Creating a memorable and relevant name for our audience was of utmost importance and so Koort.me was born; a play on court/courting which is part of the Irish dating vernacular. We wanted the site to represent the playful side of the Today FM audience and stand out in this cluttered market.
How we communicated the message to our audience was key in building trust in our new online dating product:
Today FM presenters Dermot Whelan and Paula MacSweeney voiced the male and female 30” ads to launch Koort Me to build an affinity between the Today FM audience and the site. The ads were playful yet informative and using well-known station personalities reinforced the relationship with Today FM:
“Are you single and looking to mingle? Are you tired of being set-up on dates with people you wouldn’t share a pint with not to mention your big beautiful heart? Fancy meeting somebody you might ACTUALLY hit it off with? Well Today FM have launched Koort Me! A brand new dating website that finds out who YOU are and who you’re looking for and gives you both the chance to meet each other.
Koort Me is the best matchmaker you ever met as it could introduce you to the best person you have never met. Koort Me – There’s somebody we’d like you to meet! Go to Todayfm.com/dating to get your Christmas love lights on!”
The ads ran daily across key day parts to direct our audience the new site and encourage sign-up. The spikes in both traffic and conversions when the ads ran were phenomenal and reinforced our insight into the impact of radio on digital destinations.
To convert our digital audience and raise awareness of the launch to our 750k Unique Users on TodayFM.com, we developed and ran billboard and MPU display ads.
The ads were tested across 2 weeks to determine the best performing day parts so that we could weight the activity at these time; the morning commute, early afternoon and throughout the evening converted particularly well for us.
In the first month of our soft launch we signed up 3,000 basic members with a conversion rate of 18.75% to the paid subscription model. When compared with White Label’s other partners’ conversion rate (6% to 8%), both in Ireland and in the UK, this is a phenomenal result and reinforces the affinity between the Today FM audience and Koort.Me.
In the coming months we will be taking Koort.Me to TV screens and tactical billboards across the country; this will be in tandem with a series of events and experiential activity to take Koort.Me from online and into the everyday lives of our audience.
Deborah Carpenter, Head of Solutions and Insights at Communicorp One, commented:
“As a personality driven station, it was really important for us to launch a brand that would resonate with our listeners and add value for our audience. White Label Dating’s wealth of experience made them the perfect partner for our first launch into the online dating market.”
Steve Pammenter, COO of White Label Dating, commented on the partnership:
“It’s great to welcome one of Ireland’s premiere radio stations as a White Label Dating partner. The launch of ‘Koort.Me’ is perfectly timed to enable Today FM to capitalise on online dating’s highest-revenue generating period of the year. This means that the station is well placed to advertise their own online dating site in unsold ad slots no cost to them, making up for any lost revenue and more through online dating subscriptions. We look forward to working with Communicorp One and watching their online dating division grow.”