How a Limp led me to a New Way of Pet Product Marketing
Sometimes you stumble across great pet product marketing tips when you least expect it. A little while ago my dog Alfie started limping and was in a lot of pain. The vet suspected a trapped nerve, but she couldn’t say for certain as he didn’t show any signs of discomfort when she examined him.
He was given some anti inflammatory tablets and ordered to rest. Fast forward a couple of months and the problem came back, and I started researching for supplements to support his joints. The last thing I was thinking about was marketing, but that was soon about to change.
Pet Blogger Outreach
A dog blog that I follow, called Keep the Tail Wagging, wrote about a new joint supplement called Wag by Pet Research. I liked what I read and clicked their link to Amazon, where some further positive customer reviews convinced me to buy the product. I placed an order.
The Power of a Simple Thank You Card
A couple of days later the product shows up – and to my surprise, there was also an envelope in the packet with my name on it. Intrigued, I opened the letter and found a cute greeting card with a hand written thank you message from the people at Pet Research. The letter mentioned that I could always contact them directly if I have any questions about the product and they listed their direct email address & phone numbers. They also mentioned their own website and that they offer free shipping.
As a regular customer at Amazon I know the usual drill, and greeting cards is not usually part of the buying process. In fact, I can’t remember if I’ve ever received a hand written thank you note from a business before! As a customer I was delighted and felt like this company really cared about my dog. As a marketer I was excited at the simplicity and genius of Pet Research’s pet product marketing campaign.
Person to Person Marketing
So what exactly happened here, marketing wise?
Pet Research (who launched a couple of years ago) has found a a very clever way into the consumer’s living rooms through a network of selected and trusted pet blogs. Pet bloggers have a distinct advantage when it comes to spreading your message about pet products or services, as they have direct access to your target audience.
The blogs are usually run by regular people like you and me, and they write about their everyday experiences with their pets. Over time they develop a growing readership, and establish a feeling of trust within their audience. A recent study by BlogHer found that 98% of women would trust information found in a blog. So in simple terms – if a pet blogger recommend a product, their readers are very likely to believe them and have their purchase decisions influenced by your word-of-mouth marketing campaign!
“Marketing has evolved into person to person instead of B2C or B2B. It’s no longer about pushing your message out to people; it’s about making a connection with people who will tell others about you.” Social Media Examiner: 5 Tips for Developing better blogger outreach
Of course, in this example – Pet Research didn’t stop their marketing efforts with just a blogger outreach. They also took the time to write me a personal note to say thank you, and by doing so – made me feel really excited about their brand and their products. Over time, if my dog’s limping improves, I might even turn into a real brand advocate.
How Could you Implement this Strategy in Your Own Pet Business?
Whether you are a dog walker, running a small pet store or trying to launch a new pet product – remember that marketing doesn’t stop with placing an ad in the local paper. Connecting with influencers like pet bloggers and building your relationship with existing and new customers can really make a difference in the way your customers think about your brand (and talk about you with their friends).
- If you are a pet groomer, or pet sitter/walker you often know the name(s) of your customers in advance. Why not stock up on some cute thank you cards and write them and sign them ahead of time? Bonus points for placing a yummy treat in the envelope too.
- Do a google search for dog blogger/cat blogger/pet blogger + your town, and get in touch to see if they might be interested in sampling your services for free in return for an honest review on their blog.
- Consider putting together goodie bags and giving them away for free to new customers. The goodie bag could include sample bags of dog foods you sell, treats and perhaps a small toy plus a menu or flyer listing all your services. Bonus points for including a referral discount if they recommend your services to a friend.
Now – over to you. Have you ever contacted a blogger to promote your product or services? How did it go? Tell me in the comments section below.