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The pet care industry is on a massive upward growth curve. More and more people are bringing furry friends into their lives and discovering how quickly they become family. Pet care doesn’t end when someone stops by the shelter or pet store and comes home with a cute puppy. It’s much more complex than that, so it goes without saying that marketers have to approach pet parents in a complicated way.
A common marketing trend in the pet care industry is to throw anything and everything on the market and see what catches on. But just like in any industry, understanding your customer and their needs is everything. You miss the big catch if you cast your net too wide.
Sharpen your focus with four specific strategies and you’ll see your pet care business grow quickly:
Understanding the customer personality each of your products serves and developing your brand to fit those customer profiles is key to reaching the right pet parents. Your customer may be a cat person, but is their feline friend a kitten or a senior? Do they have a long coat that needs grooming or an easy-to-groom short coat? Indoors only, or do they have access to a garden? Drilling down to the depths of your customers’ needs is undoubtedly the best start to transforming your marketing strategy.
Related: Are You Giving Your Customers Personalized Experiences? This is why you can’t afford to ignore it any longer.
2. Understand the pet life cycle
Puppies and kittens are great, but that time is only a very short period of time in the whole life cycle of our pets. If your pet care business only gets to this stage, you are missing an entire segment of the market.
As pets grow, their needs change. Their food needs are different and they interact with different toys. Dogs can take training classes and teenage cats may need scratching posts when they start flexing those claws. Older pets in particular have very specific needs. Older pets don’t need toys or clicker training; the focus is on keeping this pet pain free and relaxed in their old age. If necessary, consult a veterinarian to understand the life cycle of the different types of pets you market. Especially if you’re targeting exotic animals that may have a much shorter or longer life cycle than an average dog or cat.
3. Follow like a hunting dog
The pet care industry is quite unique, but it has one thing in common with all other industries: the need for accurate attribution. It’s vital to understand how each pet parent became your customer, what channels they used, and what marketing action moves them through the sales funnel.
It’s also important not to make assumptions about your customers based on their last known interactions with your company. Keep a close eye on their movements and reactions to your campaigns to understand what makes them tick.
If there’s one aspect of attribution that’s almost always forgotten, it’s phone calls. Pet parents have questions. They want to be 100% sure that what they are buying for Tiger or Fido is the right choice. And you can bet that a vast majority of these customers will want to speak to a human to assure them of this. Phone calls are an essential part of the sales process, whether the person on the line is inquiring or complaining. If you don’t track calls, you’re missing an entire part of your customer’s journey.
Related: Man’s best friend — and investments: The thriving industry of pet-related franchises
4. Be creative
There are no one-size-fits-all marketing campaigns in the pet care industry. What resonates deeply with one pet owner may mean nothing to another, so getting creative with your campaigns is vital.
Like human parenting, parts of a pet’s parenting journey often go undiscussed. You might be surprised how many customers will catch on to a campaign around less discussed topics such as separation anxiety or bladder weakness.
While these marketing strategies are particularly useful for the pet care industry, they are applicable to most industries with a few minor tweaks.
By implementing these marketing strategies, you can dramatically increase your ROI and put your marketing dollars to good use.
Pet care is an exciting and fulfilling industry to work in. If you learn to focus on your customers as individuals and understand their needs, you’ll build lifelong brand relationships with them and their furry companions.
Related: 4 reasons why the pandemic is a boon to the pet industry