Combined, these two facts can attract and secure the revenue from customers that are yet to visit a personals website better than the competition. Consequently, expansion to medium-term relationship can have a multiplying effect in the capturing of future customers of the online personals industry. There certainly are some counterarguments to the expansion of Rehearing’s membership criteria but the possible benefits from expanding far outweigh the cons involved.
One might argue that including non-marriage oriented members might “scare” those who trust Raymond as the best website for finding marriage. In addition to a proper marketing strategy (label Raymond as a place for “serious”, or meaningful relationships), Raymond can modify its interface to serve none marriage-oriented and marriage- oriented members a little differently. Perhaps a less extensive questionnaire can be made available for those seeking medium-term relationships so that those seeking marriage can assert their intentions when creating their personality profile.
Others can also argue that the current average time it takes a member to get matched with someone that they will eventually marry (4-6 months) is too high for medium term relationships. A simplified questionnaire, however, with less matching criteria would feed less data into an algorithm that will in turn generate more potential matches in less time. A thorough analysis of the various implications involved in accepting singles looking for medium-term relationships should leave little doubt as to why it would be strategically recommended.
Besides retaining those who seek arraign, a careful expansion of its membership base can draw the line between “serious” and “none-serious” relationships and make Raymond the leading expert in the first category. Its algorithms and matching processes will enable the website to achieve greater market power through product differentiation in the future. More importantly, a new type of member should be viewed as a reason to further invest in R, believe in the current business model, and seek the differentiation that will make someone seeking a medium- or long-term relationship to want to pay a price differential for Raymond.