The recent projection for online dating and matchmaking to reach multi-million dollars by 2029 has been described as a win-win situation for clients and businesses in the sector alike.
This is according to Didi Edet, a matchmaker and an economist. Speaking about the projection in a recent interview, she explained: “An increase in demand for our services as a whole is a good thing; it will influence lots more startups in the industry and create a competitive environment, which means more innovation, service, improvements and more. It’s a win-win for clients and business owners alike.”
Didi Edet, a Howard University-trained economist, got her first matchmaking certification in 2015 and the second one in 2019. She is a cerebral academic with a master’s in Strategy and Economics from the University of Saint Andrews and is presently studying for her doctorate degree in Debt Management at the University of Plymouth, UK.
She also interpreted the positive forecast as a call to action for operators in the matchmaking industry.
“We have to ensure that we keep the quality of service high and not get carried away by the increase in demand. Having high success rates is very important to us over time. We might increase our staff base to cope with the pressure of the increase in demand, but we will not let the quality of our work drop, especially with certain levels of membership that we handle manually,” she said.
Speaking about the benefits of being both an economist and a matchmaker, Didi Edet explained that both disciplines are related, saying: “I work with statistics. I analyse and interpret data, which is very helpful when it comes to matchmaking.”
She added: “There is an obvious and strong correlation between marriage and economic performance. Marriage is a byproduct of matchmaking, which is why I enjoy researching the economic indicators possibly related to matchmaking, as we have economic indicators like income, children, spending-saving ratio and more that can be affected by the marriage institution.”
As for the challenges faced by professionals in the matchmaking industry, Edet, known online as @matchmakerdidi, offered this insight: “There’s no blueprint or previous marketing strategy for matchmaking in Nigeria, so we had to learn by doing. Therefore, the number one challenge was in marketing, but with the success rates of word of mouth, that area became easier to navigate. Our second major challenge was getting the proper staff and educating the staff on what our mission was. We needed staff that would understand what we wanted to achieve as a platform.”
Edet further addressed the fears of potential clients about transactions on matchmaking sites.
Of this, she said: “We do manually verify our premium and VIP members to make sure that a person is who they say they are. This reduces the number of potential ‘catfish’ that would have come on the platform. Nonetheless, safety is important and should be a concern when meeting people online or offline. Mind you, you can meet a saint online and meet a criminal at the grocery store, so safety is not solely an online issue.”
For clients who would be venturing into a relationship after the dating process, she offered some tips: “We focus on the dating process, not the relationship aspect. Even as a divorced single myself, I do find that the relationship aspect of things is very broad. It’s a much wider spectrum than dating. We do focus on the dating process because that is the primary focus of our platform and once our clients decide to be exclusive, it means they’re in a relationship. We do not coach or guide them through their relationship phase. We can recommend relationship coaches for them, but we strictly focus on dating, which is bringing single individuals together.”