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Case Study:

SHELLY’S CONNECTION

K. Michele Kacmar (who goes by Shelly) loved love. She enjoyed introducing people to see if any kind of spark would fire. She had “set up” several friends who wound up dating and even marrying each other. Shelly’s other major talent was web design. These two skills led Shelly to believe her calling was to set up an internet dating service. She created one for the Los Angeles area, where she lived, called “Shelly’s Connection.”

Shelly’s Connection had two twists. First, the site was designed only for local people, those living in Los Angeles and the surrounding counties. She was not trying to set up a national service. Second, besides simply making high-tech introductions, Shelly’s Connection offered social events. These included evening “meet ups,” where people sipping coffee or soft drinks circulated through the room and visited with five to ten potential dating partners in a 90-minute time span. Also, Shelly’s Connection had singles parties and mixers where people who had expressed interest in three or four potential dating partners could pay a cover charge and then attend the event; light snacks were

served, dance music was played at a volume low enough for people to talk, and a cash bar was available. Shelly’s marketing idea was to create a “fully integrated” dating program.

Internet dating services are not new. Two of the more popular ones are eHarmony and Chemistry.com. They are plagued by several problems. First, unless properly screened, married people sign up to start dating “on the side.” Second, some people confuse dating services with online escort services and prostitution rings. Third, most dating services offer nationwide prospects rather than just local arrangements. Sifting through all of the clients to find one close to home can be a problem. Fourth, some people shy away from the services because they feel like joining makes them seem “desperate.”

To combat these problems, Shelly believed a high-quality advertising campaign would be needed. The ad should clearly spell out what type of service she offered, warn away married people, and emphasize that dating and meeting people is time-consuming. Shelly’s Connection was set up to offer convenience, help people who want to use their spare time wisely, and have fun. Armed with some venture capital from local investors, Shelly’s Connection began operations. Time would tell if love would bloom and Shelly would enjoy a successful Internet business operation.

Source: Based on Ray Jutkins, “13 Ideas That Could Lead to Successful Web Marketing,” Advertising Age’s Business Marketing 84, no. 6 (June 1999), p. 27.

Answer the following questions:

1– Are there any potential problems Shelly has not considered in creating her company? (List and discuss)

2– Which media should Shelly use to promote her website? (For the media or medias, provide research data by sourcing STATISTA)

3– Prepare the Shelly’s Connection “Creative Brief” that should be use in its advertisements and convey the desired message. Use the five basic components of a standard creative brief provided in Chapter 5, Figure 5.15.. Download the “pdf” file with a Sample of a “Creative Brief” use the sample model to develop your own Shelly’s Connection version.

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