The power of marketing lies in the connection you make with your customer: Anukool Kumar, Tinder

Sneha Medda
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Anukool Kumar

Social Samosa traces Anukool Kumar’s journey and finds out what he has in his marketing arsenal for Tinder, his marketing mantra, and the vision to lead the platform. Kumar also acknowledges 30 under 30 nominees.

Anukool Kumar is the current Head of Marketing at Tinder. He is an engineer turned marketing maverick, who started his marketing career with the e-commerce company Groupon. He later moved on to, wherein he led 360-degree marketing activities across above-the-line and below-the-line channels. He later joined OkCupid as its Marketing Director in India. Along with this, Kumar has been an avid entrepreneur since 2013. He was involved in Co-founding Slurp Hospitality which ran Restaurants by the name of The Backyard & Soo Yung across Delhi-NCR. Thereafter, Kumar consulted and helped launch NOONOO, a lifestyle brand for men. 

Having dabbled in both business and marketing sides of the world, Kumar’s strengths lie in brand building, brand management, innovations, and integrated marketing communications, along with an understanding of how the business runs. 

At Tinder, he prioritises consumer connections while building marketing strategies for the platform. 

“The power of marketing lies in the connection you can make with your customer and how they see themselves as part of your brand”

Anukool Kumar

More than half of Tinder’s users across the globe are 18-25-year-old individuals. The dating landscape has shifted drastically and Kumar keeps changing consumer behaviour at the core of marketing activities. 

Sharing how dating patterns have shifted, Kumar said, “Young adults today are embracing new experiences, connections and self-discovery. They’re also incredibly intentional in both who they choose to date and how they choose to date.” 

To incorporate this into their communication, Kumar said that he focuses on promoting realness, respect, and relevancy among their users at Tinder. 

For example, the brand’s ‘Let’s Talk Consent’ campaign aimed at discussing consent and safe dating by sharing creators' and influencers’ personal experiences – making it relatable for young adults. 

Tinder’s ongoing series titled ‘Swipe Ride Series’ is their way of driving meaningful conversations about what Indian women truly want from their dating lives and normalising conversations around female desire, body positivity, and self-care.

Tinder’s other campaign named ‘You Up’ highlighted today’s dating scenario and how the audience is open to possibilities and is able to explore their individuality.

Apart from making the platform inclusive for all daters, Kumar said that Tinder aims to reflect this brand value in their communication as well. 

Also Read: There are no plans of monetizing Threads right now: Shweta Bajpai, Meta

Kumar stated, “We consciously ensure that the working team and talent in all our campaigns is representative of Tinder’s diverse and inclusive member base, so the team always thoughtfully casts for a range of ethnicities, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and body diversity.”

Currently, women account for 75% of Tinder’s leadership team and a third of their employees are Gen Z. 

Driving Relevancy on Social Media 

Since GenZ is a key demographic for Tinder, the brand speaks to them in their language on social media platforms. 

While building Tinder’s brand image on social media, which is an important platform for GenZ, Kumar and his team turn to relatable insights that help build a direct bridge and leverage influencer marketing. The three Rs mentioned earlier are followed here, too. 

Kumar further said that social media marketing involves capturing the pulse of their audience’s interests and crafting platform-native strategies, avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach. 

“For Tinder, the truth is there are countless success stories of relationships of all kinds that have been made possible based on features that allow people to explore dating in a low-pressure way. So, for us marketers at Tinder, including for the latest global campaign - It Starts With A Swipe, we go straight to our members to uncover those unique insights that are relevant to them,” said Kumar. 

Similarly, Tinder’s Twitter handle is another example of conversational and engaging marketing where the brand converses with their audience through relatable insights. The brand’s casual yet persuasive approach is a way the brand connects with their audience. 

Earlier this year, the brand ‘helped’ a fan deliver her message to cricketer Shubman Gill, nudging him to create a dating profile. 

This generated extensive chatter on Twitter. Tinder also took to some billboards, and later, in an Ad with Tinder, Shubman took to Twitter to reveal his official Tinder profile. The Tweet read, “Dekh toh liya, ab tum dekho theek se. @Tinder_India made me do it.” (I saw the billboards and now you can check out my Tinder profile too)

Another tactic the brand uses is actively conversing with their Twitter followers. Recently, the brand urged their users to drop their solo pictures and in return the dating app would suggest them who to be friends with. 

The tweet received 122.8K Views with 400+ users engaging with it.

To keep the banter on social media active, the brand jumps on relevant topical moments as well.

The brand’s Instagram heavily emphasises on influencer marketing. “Influencers play a significant role in connecting with our target audience and amplifying our message on social media,” noted Kumar. 

One of their segments is rooted in building Realness and Respect, two Rs out of their marketing tactic, involves showcasing real-life stories of ‘Matched on Tinder’. And to do this, they collaborate with content creators to better connect with the users and create brand awareness, credibility and loyalty.

Co-marketing at the Core

Tinder’s marketing activities have also had a history of leveraging the power of other brands to drive conversations. Through co-marketing and collaborations, the dating app has tapped into various categories in the past. 

Giving insights on what goes behind co-marketing, Kumar said, “Our partnerships revolve around our members, keeping their interests and insights at the heart of everything we do, whether it is interesting such as food, music, travel or pop-culture trends.”

Most recently, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Kumar mentioned that the brand joined hands with Bira 91 to launch a limited edition beer called ‘Strawberry Cream Ale.’

This partnership was inspired by Tinder’s year in Swipe Report which highlighted food and music among the top 10 interests for Tinder users within the app.

Food and restaurants have played a major role in Tinder’s marketing paly. In the past, the dating app has matched with a couple of food chains that go well with the brand’s ethos. 

A few years ago, Pop Tate’s wanted to talk about their exclusive Valentine’s Day Menu. To deliver this, the brand collaborated with Tinder and engaged with their audience on the dating app.

Similarly, last year Faasos targeted singles on Valentine's Day by creating a Tinder profile for its wraps and engaged with the audience through the dating app.

Gen-Z is a special cohort for Tinder as more than half of the users globally fall under this group. Anukool Kumar, who is also a jury member for Social Samosa’s 30 under 30 said that he is truly inspired by this set of audience who possess resilience, determination and willingness to confront the world’s most pressing issues head-on. He further added, “I am betting on Gen-Z to create a more meaningful world for all of us!

Social media marketing strategy head of marketing Tinder 30Under30 social media tinder Anukool Kumar