Make Em Laugh

Match Game

Sure, jon han didn't start posting pictures of his customers as a marketing/matchmaking ploy, but that's what it turned into. Clients of his Washington, DC, dry cleaning business, Uptown Valet, began inquiring about meeting each other, and before he knew it, Han was hooking the lonely hearts up with one another. Pretty soon, Han's customer appreciation wall was an all-out dating service.

By putting up a customer mural, Han inadvertently started a marketing campaign aimed at singles--not a bad move in today's singles-heavy world. Tailoring marketing efforts to this demographic group makes sense: "More people are getting divorced, and those statistics keep going up," says Concord, Massachusetts, marketing consultant Nancy Michaels. "Plus, people are delaying marriage," she adds, making marketing to singles increasingly important if you want your product or service to have widespread appeal. How to reach this hot group? Restaurants can sponsor events where singles are seated together, food manufacturers can single out portions--the list is only limited by your imagination.

"Singles have different needs and wants [than married people]," says Michaels. "Listen to your customers-- and not just to what they're telling you about your product or service. Find out who they are. Get a sense of where people are in their lives. And then figure out your marketing campaign based on that information."

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This article was originally published in the December 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Make Em Laugh.

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