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The pet industry is on a tremendous upward growth trajectory. More and more people are bringing furry friends into their lives and are discovering how quickly they become family. The pet grooming business doesn’t end when someone stops by the animal shelter or pet store and comes home with a cute puppy. It’s far more complex than that, so it stands to reason that marketers should approach pet owners in a complicated way.
A common marketing trend in the pet industry is to throw anything and everything on the market and see what sticks. But like any other industry, it’s important to understand your customers and their needs. If you cast your net too far, you will miss the big catch.
Sharpen your focus with four specific strategies and you’ll soon see your pet care business grow:
Understanding the customer persona that each of your products serves and crafting your brand to fit those customer profiles is key to reaching the right pet parents. Your client may be a cat person, but is their feline friend a kitten or a senior? Do they have long coats that need grooming or an easy-to-manage short coat? Indoors only or do they have access to a garden? Getting to the bottom of your customers’ needs is undoubtedly the best place to start transforming your marketing strategy.
Related topics: Do you offer your customers personalized experiences? Here’s why you can’t afford to ignore it any longer.
2. Understand the life cycle of pets
Puppies and kittens are wonderful, but that time represents a very short period of time in our pets’ overall life cycle. If your pet care business only markets to this stage, you’re missing out on an entire segment of the market.
As pets grow, their needs change. Their feeding needs are different and they interact with different toys. Dogs can take part in training classes and teenage cats may need scratching posts when they start to flex their claws. Older pets in particular have very specific needs. Older pets have no use for toys or training clickers; The focus is on keeping this pet pain free and relaxed as it ages. If necessary, consult with a veterinarian to understand the life cycle of the different types of pets you are marketing to. Especially when you focus on exotic animals that might have a much shorter or longer life cycle than the average dog or cat.
3. Pursue like a hound
The pet industry is quite unique, but one thing it has in common with all other industries is the need for accurate attribution. It’s important to understand how each pet parent became your customer, the channels they used, and the marketing efforts that caused them to move through the sales funnel.
It’s also important not to make assumptions about your customers based on their past known interactions with your company. Watch their movements and reactions to your campaigns carefully to understand what drives them.
If there’s one aspect of attribution that almost always gets forgotten, it’s phone calls. Pet owners have questions. They want to be 100% sure that what they buy for Tiger or Fido is right. And you can be sure that the vast majority of these customers will want to speak to a human to reassure them. Phone calls are an essential part of the sales process, whether the person on the line is asking questions or complaining. If you’re not tracking phone calls, you’re missing out on a whole leg of your customer’s journey.
See also: Man’s Best Friend — and Investing: The Thriving Industry of Pet-Related Franchising
4. Get creative
There is no one-size-fits-all marketing campaign in the pet industry. What resonates well with one pet parent may mean nothing for another, so it’s important to get creative with your campaigns.
Just like human parenting, parts of the pet parenting journey are often not discussed. You’d be surprised how many customers will respond to a campaign on less discussed topics like separation anxiety or bladder weakness.
The tail end
While these marketing strategies are particularly helpful for the pet industry, they apply to most industries with some minor modifications.
By implementing these marketing strategies, you can dramatically increase your ROI and put your marketing spend to good use.
Animal care is an exciting and fulfilling industry to work in. When you learn to focus on your customers as individuals and understand their needs, you will build lifelong brand relationships with them and their furry companions.
Also see: 4 Reasons the Pandemic is a Boon for the Pet Industry