The Scoop: Mark Brooks is an internationally acclaimed consultant with his finger on the pulse of the online dating business world. He brings over two decades’ worth of industry knowledge to his consulting business and can expertly break down the business strategies of online dating giants such as Match, Tinder, JDate, and Hinge. Mark supports and advises dating companies with his team through IDEA, the Internet Dating Excellence Association, as well as through his dating news website Online Personals Watch (OPW). His forward-thinking team encourages online dating companies to collaborate with one another and brainstorm new products and services to benefit singles everywhere.

Throughout college, Mark Brooks organized popular parties, trips, and events for his fellow students. He said he’s always loved bringing people together and seeing them grow together.

Mark moved to Silicon Valley in 1998 and founded an events group called ACE Club to help local professionals network with one another and get outdoors. This club grew to include over 3,600 members, including Tim Ferris, author of “The 4-Hour Work Week,” Jonathan Abrams, the Founder of Friendster, and Andrew Cornu, the Founder of FriendFinder.

Photo of Mark Brooks, Founder of Online Personals Watch

Mark Brooks has consulted with hundreds of well-known dating companies and professionals.

The ACE Club successfully turned business leaders into friends and partners, and that experience gave Mark an idea. He saw an opportunity to do a social good by encouraging greater collaboration and communication among professionals in the dating industry.

Mark spent the next two decades establishing himself as an authority in the online dating space. He has delivered keynote addresses at 45 iDate internet dating business conferences, and he has facilitated conversations among many dating companies.

As a consultant, he used his experience to develop business strategies for industry leaders, including PlentyofFish.

Today, Mark helps movers and shakers stay on top of the latest trends by capturing the intelligence in the news and doing CEO interviews for his niche news website, Online Personals Watch (OPW).

Launched in 2004, Online Personals Watch has positioned itself as a go-to news source for busy executives who want to know about everything going on in the online dating market. Mark forwards the news of the day to influential dating site owners and executives to help them understand what’s happening and inspire them to innovate and improve their services.

Mark stated, “The main idea is to stay connected with the industry and foster bigger-picture thinking.”

This Niche News Site Speaks to Decision-Makers & Execs

OnlinePersonalsWatch.com is a news site for movers and shakers in the dating industry. It’s not meant for the Average Joe end-user. Mark and his team speak directly to experienced executives who own, run, or partner with online dating brands.

Over the years, Online Personals Watch has positioned itself as a must-read for the CEOs of dating companies around the world. The site is interested in keeping these high-level individuals informed with insights that can help them grow their products so they have a positive impact on people’s lives.

As a result, every paragraph in every article on OPW is packed with information and intel. This fluff-free website gets straight to the point and summarizes the news so busy industry leaders can skim through the articles, learn what they need to know, and get down to business.

In the last decade, Mark has also interviewed over 300 online dating executives for his niche website, Online Personals Watch (shortcut URL at OPW1.com). During these interviews, he asks knowledgeable CEOs to share the secrets to their success and where they see the dating industry headed.

Online Personals Watch logo

OPW’s concise articles deliver key points and takeaways from the day’s headlines.

Sometimes Mark leads interviews with dating professionals, and other times he participates in interviews as a notable dating professional in his own right. Media companies often reach out to Mark seeking his expert opinion and commentary.

Mark has been quoted over 260 times in the press, including in 17 articles in The Wall Street Journal. He said he is proud to speak on behalf of the industry and clarify not only what’s going on but where the online dating industry is going.

Most recently, Facebook’s announcement that it was entering the dating game has been the main topic of conversation. “Facebook has the ability to complete the feedback loop and know how the date went and if the relationship was successful,” Mark said. “Ultimately, in a few years, it may get better at matching because it will have so much data and so much science to work from.”

Mark said that Facebook has the potential to use a colossal amount of personal data to enrich human relationships and turn the tables on today’s online dating giants. If they develop the science of matching and commit significant resources to that cause, it could be a game changer. “But based on prior Facebook market entries, they probably won’t get it right,” he said.

IDEA Consults With Companies Worldwide

Throughout his career, Mark has gained extensive knowledge on how online dating works and what it can do for millions of people around the world. He has seen and helped dating sites like PlentyofFish thrive by understanding and meeting the needs of modern singles, and he is passionate about helping online dating products and services become the best they can be.

Mark founded the Internet Dating Excellence Association to help the internet dating industry grow to serve more people and reach its full promise and potential. This association and consulting group provides CEOs, marketing executives, product designers, and other dating professionals with time-tested business strategies and insights. The consultants are all former industry employees and executives and help ensure that online dating brands grow responsibly and with an eye toward the future of dating.

Mark and his team of 26 seasoned dating business experts have helped over 100 companies keep up with marketing, media relations, as well as trending technology, and to exceed industry standards to become leading online brands. IDEA’s clients include PlentyofFish, Cupid, Meetme, iovation, and Besedo.

Screenshot from IDEA's website

IDEA collaborates with big thinkers in the industry to improve the overall quality of dating services.

Whether they’re urging marketers to emphasize authenticity in branding material or advising developers to create mechanisms for getting feedback from users, the Internet Dating Excellence Association makes a point to show business leaders that what’s best for online daters is also best for their brand’s growth and success.

IDEA is on a mission to revolutionize online dating by helping top-level executives meet the needs of singles and offer high-value and high-integrity dating services.

“What we do is influence the decision-making process for executives in the industry,” Mark said. “We want to help the industry grow — that’s what we stand for.”

Starting a Conversation & Sparking Collaborations

OPW gives intelligence to industry without taking up too much time. It should take no more than five minutes to read the day’s headlines and blurbs and get the gist of what’s going on. Mark makes it a point to keep things short and sweet. The editors pull news articles from reliable sources, including leading magazines, newspapers, and online news outlets, and then post succinct and informative summaries.

Photo of Mark Brooks speaking at iDate 2012

Mark Brooks has keynoted at 45 iDate conferences worldwide.

When readers peruse these summaries, they get a feel for what the industry is like and who the big names are. That can help them plan for the future and collaborate with companies and people who have had proven success.

Many dating executives have learned from Mark’s experience and followed his advice to grow their influence and their bottom lines.

“Mark knows the dating and social media space better than anyone I know,” said Dennis Yu, CTO at BlitzMetrics, who formerly worked as the data analyst at Yahoo Personals.

Mark said his ultimate mission is not only to inform executives (though, of course, that is on the agenda) but to empower them to collaborate with one another and raise the industry standards. He highlights business leaders, helps host conferences, and consults with dating companies in the hopes of uniting the best in the business and helping them to move forward in a way that benefits everyone.

“When great minds meet, great ideas happen,” Mark said.

Mark Brooks Brings Today’s Movers & Shakers Together

Mark Brooks has spent his career connecting with CEOs, executives, entrepreneurs, and other influential figures in the online dating industry. He engineers strong business matches based on his experience and know how. He has spent decades watching over the industry and keeping an eye on the future of the dating scene. He became an internationally recognized authority on online dating out of a desire to help people connect online and offline.

Since 2005, Online Personals Watch has facilitated intelligent conversations among powerful individuals in the industry. Its news articles focus on where online dating is and where it’s headed, which makes for a very interesting read.

Mark’s savvy website and consulting group deliver thought-provoking insights into what makes online dating tick. By informing clients, readers, and other professionals, Mark intends to turn competitors into collaborators and show business executives how working together can be good news for everyone.

“I want to do what’s right for the industry,” he said. “I connect people who are passionate for the industry. My clients are decision-makers who have been around a while and want to make a difference. That’s something we work on together.”