Types of Russian Marriage Agencies
by: Annas Agency®
There are many different kinds of marriage agencies offering services in the market. By understanding the workings of each agency, customers will be in a better position to understand the options available to them. In segmenting the market providers, the following critieria was used (the following criteria was considered most critical after conducting a survey of 500 men):
Reliability of Services
Scale (global vs. western vs. regional vs. local)
The segmentation achieved is as follows:
Tier One (Professionally managed, registered and licenced, global reach with affiliations with major western organisations)
Tier Two (Semi-professionally managed, registered and licenced, predominantly western focused, affiliations ONLY with other businesses in the industry)
Tier Three (Firms purely opportunity focused and usually unregistered, with few affiliations)
Tier Four (Russian firms with western links)
Tier Five (Russian firms operating independently)
Tier One agencies are extremely professional, brand conscious businesses with strong links to professional businesses and organisations. They do not simply operate within the industry, they strive to reinvent the business. Annas Agency ® is an example of one such industry. The agency operates across the entire value chain of the industry and has redefined many of the principles by which the business is conducted. The agency is the primary licence holder and sponsor of the Miss Russia World ® contest – a multi-million dollar beauty contest. The agency is trying to create a strong brand in the market by branding Russian beauty.
The agency is investing up to 7% of turnover into research and innovation to change the industry. The agency is the founder of two separate movements; the Anti-Trafficking-Movement (ATM) and the Association of Russian Marriage Organisations (ARMO). By having an aggressive focus on customer satisfaction and special feature programmes, they have managed to move from a cost focus to a benefit focus. Annas Agency® is still the only agency providing advice to law enforcement agencies. This is a testimony to their ethics and principles.
Figure One: Segmenting the service providers
Agencies in this segment can best be described as businesses with good intentions but lacking the resources, knowledge and capacity to satisfy demanding customers. There are multitudes in the market. Most gain credibility by being founded by men married to Russian women.
These businesses have enormous strength in that they provide much information (extremely subjective information) to a market, which is starved for information. They tend to place a strong emphasis by focusing on testimonials and advice to men. They do not protect the women they work with and tend to ignore claims of abuse as a result of their work.
These firms can be described as information exchangers. They do not screen information nor do they verify any claims and data received. This model tends to be used by free personal sites. They place ads (any advertisement submitted) and charge men and women fees to manage the communication process.
If a client is interested in any service except exchanging letters, they will usually refuse to help. These sites tend to be hot spots for women and men searching for gullible people. To their credit, some sites do provide disclaimers stating the extent of their capabilities
Tier Four firms can be very reliable or very unreliable – for the men. Some businesses provide valuable support services for men in terms of screening women, providing accommodation and looking for women. A case exists of a women in Volgograd who made almost $100 000 in one year by catering for western men during their stay in Russia. She provided all support services to make their stay that much easier.
These agencies however tend tolerate women merely as a means to receive payment. Women are served only because they can bring in money.
A few Russian agencies do exist which are ethical. However, most are not. It is recommended western men refrain from using the services of Russian based agencies unless they can verify credentials.
A segment, which is growing largely due to the naïveté of Russian women. A large number of these agencies serve as a front for trafficking activity. Women are usually made to pay a fee to join the business. There details are then sold or passed on to larger agencies. Read more about this segment in the section on Anti-Trafficking.
About The Author
Annas Agency® is the leading and most respected Russian Marriage Agency. Annas Agency® is the first Russian Marriage Agency to be managed by a team of professional business experts. The owner is married to a Russian womanand is a respected business strategist. Successful efforts to regulate the industry led to the agency being case-studied by an A-rated US business school and led to an elite law enforcement agency forging a relationship with the marriage agency to fight corruption. Anna’s Agency® owns the Miss Russia World® Contest. Please go to http://www.annasagency.com for more information or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
This article was posted on April 04, 2004