Marketing Relationships

By Matt Hawkins
March 14, 2014

Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist when Kerrianne Mellott graduated from Bradley in May 2006. However, her studies in advertising and marketing paved the way to become eHarmony’s social media manager in 2013.

As the online dating service’s social media expert, Mellott interacts with eHarmony users, develops and evaluates social media strategy and analyzes company growth — all duties related to her college degree.

She recently returned to Bradley to visit students in the social media marketing program.

“I’m blessed to use my major,” she said. “Every day I use advertising and marketing, which helped me form a career. Social media is new, advertising and marketing aren’t. I’m just applying principles.”

Mellott moved to the Los Angeles area after graduation and started her own consulting business. She mastered social media marketing after Facebook and Twitter opened to public use late in the summer of 2006.

Over time, her client network grew to include a range of businesses, entrepreneurs, celebrities and life coaches.

“A lot of them, strangely enough, were relationship experts,” she said.

Relationships — through business networking — opened the door to the eHarmony job. When she visits classrooms to share her experience, Mellott emphasizes the importance of relationships in the professional world.

“Networking changes everything,” she said. “It changes your life trajectory the way relationships impact you. Things don’t just fall into place — it’s a domino effect.”

Mellott’s dominoes began to align during a summer internship under the guidance of Professor Emeritus Dr. Ron Koperski. Mellott spent the summer at CSE Software in Morton and it began to push her toward consulting.

“What I learned was huge,” she said. “It was a project I could’ve charged a big number of dollars and Dr. Koperski encouraged me to look into consulting.”

Then, Mellott and classmates visited Los Angeles during a January trip with Koperski. She made connections and returned to the West Coast to reconnect with contacts over spring break.

That networking set in motion the dominoes that led to the pleasing work relationship with eHarmony. This journey enabled her to excel at building relationships with the company’s current and potential customers.

“I still get to be a human but I represent a huge brand,” Mellott said. “It’s an opportunity to help people on a personal level that helps their lives.”

Mellott’s web monitoring enables her to see the company’s positive impact as she reads tales of more than 600,000 eHarmony-made weddings and resulting “eBabies.”

“It’s rewarding and emotional when you see things like that,” she said.