After collecting the data (the marketing messages/advertising appeals) from all of the dating websites I found, my Professor- Aditi Paul – prepared a sheet with seven different motivations which make the potential customers join a certain dating service in order to do coding manual. The motivations are the following:
M1 (Motivation1)- Relationship; fall in love, build a serious relationship etc.
M2-Sex; find a sexual partner, seek someone with the same sexual interests etc.
M3-Peer pressure; because everyone is doing it, to be trendy etc.
M4-Socialize; make new friends, flirt, broaden social network etc.
M5-Entertainment; for fun, combat boredom etc.
M6-Design; ease of use, visually appealing, free of cost, geolocality etc.
M7-Indetity; Try new identities, escape from who you are, live out a non-sexual fantasy etc.
However, before this step, we had to discuss some problems that arose while working on our research. One of them was the determination of what the advertising appeal is. It is essential because, in order to compare the motivations of these marketing messages, we have to choose and know how to choose the same text-meaning our advertising appeal. Hence, I got to know that all the applied methods have to be the same for each element of the sample. Therefore, we decided that the advertising appeal is the most visible inscription which shows up after going to the website, without scrolling it down. Sometimes, when this rule cannot be applied, depending on a case, we established how to deal with it (i.e. when the advertising appeal is visible on the window tab of the web browser, we choose it as an advertising appeal even though there are some inscrolled-down inscriptions on the website). This was challenging for us because there were so many different instances to consider.
Furthermore, another problem we had was connected to the server we use. Because we work on American ones, the dating websites search results were dedicated to specific minorities who live in America and look for people from their community (i.e. dating website Expatica dedicated to French people who live in the US). Probably, some of these search results would not pop out, if we were looking for the dating services in a certain country (i.e. Expatica might not show up in France). After discussions, we got to a point that even though these search results might not occur in a specific country, the dating services are still trying to convince a certain group of people no matter whether they are in the US or in anywhere else (i.e. Expatica will still try to appeal to French people, meaning that they will consider their culture, behaviors, traditions etc. which meets our research’s target- which is to analyze different motivations which reflect among others cultural differences that make people be willing to join a certain app).
Thanks to these hardships, I know how careful you should be, to find the most objective and unbiased results of the study. I can say that it already helps me because it lets me realize that before reading an article about new discoveries, the methods used by its authors indicate the reliability of the information. Therefore, now I know that the first thing I should do before reading a paper is to look at the way someone explored something.
Currently, I am working on coding manual which is the coding of the messages according to already mentioned seven motivations.