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Cupid Media reaches high-value audiences with Microsoft Advertising

  Article , Retail , Success stories

Global dating platform helps people connect meaningfully

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Background

In the last 20 years, Cupid Media has grown from its initial two founders and a single dating site, into a leading niche dating company with 33 sites covering 200+ countries. It features 40 languages, serves 55 million members, and has joined thousands of happy couples. With their marketing being 100% digital, their main goal has been to acquire new, high-value customers across their network — scaling internationally through social platforms and search engines. Microsoft Advertising, powered by smart bidding, has been a valuable asset in their strategy.

We knew that the Microsoft audience base was valuable, but being able to drive even better performance from the platform really impressed us.

— Matthew Gatley, Senior Digital Marketing Specialist, Cupid Media

The journey

Cupid Media believes that love shouldn’t be restricted to those found close by. They are constantly looking for ways to optimize their technology and platforms to provide the best dating experience to their 40,000 daily new members. Their main goal is to allow users to find meaningful connections anywhere from wherever in the world they may be.

Originally, Cupid Media was using an advertising technology provider to power their campaign bidding that required a team of account managers and a slew of manual optimizations to get results. This was consuming time and resources while lowering the team’s efficiency.

Eventually, they made the switch to the Microsoft Advertising automated bidding solution with the goal of improving return on ad spend (ROAS) while reducing the manual workload and resources through automation. Before implementing this solution, the Cupid Media team required up to 6 account managers who spent 20-40% of their week making manual adjustments. Implementing smart bidding allowed team members to free up their schedule to focus on strategic areas like PR, branding, creative, and retention. Additionally, the automated bidding solution was also implemented with their search ads to target the right customers.

The solution: A better approach to high-value customers

In an effort to continue innovating and improving their advertising campaign performance, Cupid Media built an internal machine learning-based model to leverage their first-party data to predict their customer’s life-time value (LTV). Along with their Microsoft Advertising account team, they were able to securely share their first-party data via Microsoft Advertising’s UET Tag & Conversion Tracking to better inform Microsoft’s smart bidding. Using this unique solution, Cupid Media was able to reach a more diverse audience and drive top leads to their dating sites.

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Prior to using smart bidding, Cupid Media’s target cost per acquisition (CPA) model did not accurately reflect how valuable a customer truly was. For this, the Microsoft Advertising customer base proved to be a highly valuable asset as it matches the company’s target demographic. This resulted in Cupid Media, along with an outstanding account management team, easily targeting high-value customers.

The results

As a result of activating this custom solution alongside automated bidding, Cupid Media saw incredible results, including a 23% reduction in CPAs, a 39% percent increase in channel ROAS, and a 10% increase in revenue. Further adjustment of the ROAS targets allowed Cupid Media to drive the right balance between growth and profitability.

With Microsoft Advertising smart bidding, powered by a predicted LTV machine learning model, Cupid Media can now improve ROAS to acquire high-value customers while reducing the amount of time needed for account management.

Cupid Media, alongside parent company Dating Group, has ambitious plans to explore virtual technologies as the next generation of online dating. Thanks to Microsoft solutions technology innovations, they can continue to help people create more meaningful connections across the world — defying physical barriers, and addressing the challenges of long-distance relationships for thousands of couples. The future of dating awaits.

Microsoft Advertising has always been a valuable acquisition channel for us and now, powered by smart bidding, it has reduced the resources required to manage it while drastically improving the results we're getting from it.

— Matthew Gatley, Senior Digital Marketing Specialist, Cupid Media

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