Gone are the days when all-knowing aunts were pressed into service to seal suitable alliances for eligible bachelors and spinsters. When it comes to matchmaking, online is the way to go. With hordes of people taking the plunge into Internet-arranged marriages, India's e-matrimony business is poised to grow to Rs 1,500 crore by 2017, according to ASSOCHAM.
Matrimony.com owns a huge chunk of the cyber matchmaking pie market. With brands BharatMatrimony.com, CommunityMatrimony.com EliteMatrimony.com, MatrimonyGifts.com, Tambulya.com, and new business models like AssistedMatrimony.com (a virtual relationship manager-based service, for those who find hunting partners online daunting or don't have the time), the Chennai-based Internet company is nearly twice the size of all of its Indian competition put together.
"We cater to a large number of online matrimonial search subscribers searching for soul mates in the virtual space. We have about 8,000 members registering every day on our website, and that number's been swelling with every passing day. We have about 1,500 marriages reported in a day," says J.K. Iyer, chief strategy and analytics officer, Matrimony.com.
It has in subscribers in nearly 5,000 Indian cities, and NRIs from almost 150 nations. The Brand Trust Report 2014 ranked it as India's most trusted matrimony brand.As great as having all those members was, there was a flip side: It made it very hard for Matrimony.com to understand and engage effectively with smaller groups with specific needs.
The bedrock of successful cyber matchmaking is organized communication; communication between Matrimony.com and its members, and between members themselves.
One of its communication goals is to motivate members to complete their profiles. Another is telling members how to improve responses to a prospect.To do this, Matrimony.com interacts with its subscribers through multiple channels. These include a 2,000-plus telesales team, a customer support team that handles 3 lakh calls a day, its feet on the street, via SMS, and e-mailers, and using its website, its mobile site and 180-plus brick and mortar offices.
But as Matrimony.com grew, communications started to take place in silos. It was a knotty affair, for example, to pull out the communication history of a single customer across e-mails, telesales, SMS, customer support, feet on street, and retail stores, among others."Our communications are multi-channel and multi-wave. Not all our members will respond at the same time or respond to one channel. So, communications need to be multi-stage. If we now add other communication agenda, the communication agenda becomes very complex," he says.
The second big ask was analytics. "We wanted to know who responded to our communications and campaigns, and which member sent out alliance requests to other members. We also wanted to garner deeper insights from who married who. It is obvious that such intelligence will be extremely useful in delivering our brand's core promise: 'Find someone who cares for what you love', and, of course, the larger and ultimate goal of happy marriages," says Iyer.
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