When used properly, pet power can significantly increase sales, even in ultra-competitive markets where large brand names dominate the market. The fundamental concept of ‘pet marketing’ is that we hook into pet owners’ first love – their pets – and then, once we have their attention we get their furry friends to do the hard lifting in terms of persuading others to buy their products.
When I explain how this persuasion method works and how to make it work for you, I’ll go through the psychology of human behavior that underpins it.
FORMING A LONG-TERM CUSTOMER BASE
The first face-palm moment I experienced was when I recognized how effectively the marketing power of pets had manipulated me. yes, even a stoic digital marketer like me can be swayed by marketing gimmicks from time to time.
The whole thing started when I was looking for a remedy for a stomach problem that my tiny 11-year-old terrier mix, Dixie, was experiencing. A quick Google search revealed a bunch of pet-related web pages, but the ones that drew the most attention were those where other pet owners were leaving comments. I was grateful to have received good, heartfelt advice from individuals who cared for their animal companions in the same way that I cared about mine.
Of course, I paid close attention to the goods that my fellow pet owners recommended to me. Irrespective of the products, the owners’ comments had an impact on my decision to upgrade Dixie’s food brand as well as my decision to purchase certain supplements.
And, I’m happy to report that the issue has been resolved. Now, I’m even a repeat customer for things that I hadn’t previously used or purchased.
The above narrative, while brief, is only one example of a personal experience with the pet marketing industry. In this particular instance, the subject was pet supplies.
It piqued my interest, and I began to consider how this method may apply to other types of products.
It was through my reflections that I realized how another personal experience with pet marketing had an impact on me. This time, though, it had nothing to do with pet products.
Traveling is something that my family enjoys doing. We enjoy having Dixie and her younger “sister,” Ellie, who is three years old, with us on our travels.
Finding reputable hotels that accept pets and don’t charge extra for them can be difficult to come by.
That’s how we got to know Mac. The man in question works as a “spokespet” for a big hotel chain.
He’s so cute and, what’s more, he has a lot of persuasion power.
Mac can be found all over the website for the hotel. He raves about how much he enjoys his time there. And my, how the people who work at the front desk compliment him on his behavior. He invites pet owners to come in with their furry companions and relax for a time with them.
That was all it needed to persuade my family to always schedule vacations around the locations of Mac’s hotels and motels. When Dixie and Ellie accompany us on our travels, that is the only location we can stay.
So far, I’ve discussed how we got to be devoted clients for two quite different types of businesses, both of which were influenced by pet marketing strategies.
I’m confident that I wouldn’t have to look too far to find examples of how other firms have used this method to influence my decisions.
It elicits a response from me since I adore my dogs.
This technique has a magnetic attraction that goes right to the core of the matter – mine.
As a marketer myself, I’ve come to recognize how much I was influenced by ‘pet marketing.’
As a result, it begs the question of what other businesses are capitalizing on the popularity of pets in their marketing strategies.
What I learned was the psychological underpinnings of why this method is effective.
More importantly, I realized how it can be implemented in any organization to achieve the best possible results.
THE PRINCIPLE OF PERSUASION ON WHICH EVERYTHING IS BASED
Pet marketing is built on a powerful persuasion technique known as social proof, which serves as its foundation.
Social proof is a well-known concept in the marketing world.
Marketing for pets, in particular, lends itself well to this concept. It functions similarly to a social proof accelerator.
For me, endorsements from other pet owners had a greater impact on my decision than ordinary testimonies did. I paid greater attention to the opinions of other pet owners since their comments were voluntary and sincere, unlike mine. It surfaced on discussion forums, blogs, and social media platforms without any obvious request from a company.
Then – BINGO! You’ve achieved your goal of generating automatic recommendations.
Mac’s hotel endorsements, by the way, serve as social proof in two different ways. The first is very subtly ingrained in the subconscious mind. Mac comes across as a satisfied customer, despite the fact that we are aware that he is not the one who is saying anything.
The second type of comment is one made by a human visitor to one of Mac’s postings. They’re unsolicited, yet they’re also convincing.
PET POWER CAN BE ACCESSORIZED
Providing the fuel for pet marketing is a consistent supply of satisfied consumers who own pets.
The success of your normal marketing methods in attracting them in the first place is dependent on how well they are already performing.
All of the most efficient methods of accomplishing this necessitate the use of strong marketing text in every part of your digital presence.
Maintaining a visually appealing website, disseminating plenty of advertisements, developing a strong social media presence, developing effective bait pieces for building a subscriber list, sending out newsletters, recording audio, and video podcasts and videos, and putting together an abundance of blog posts, press releases, magalogs, and eBooks, to name a few examples, is virtually endless.
Convincing writing is at the center of all we do here.
Once that is complete, the next three stages will allow you to take advantage of the potential of pet marketing.
1) Allowing your customers to brag about their dogs on social media is a great way to build brand awareness. They’re going to go ahead and do it anyway. You might as well ask them to post it on your company’s social media platforms as well.
The use of social media platforms is a significant factor in this.
Pet owners’ videos and photographs are a valuable source of interesting and informative content.
All that remains is for you to curate it.
It is a fantastic attention-getter for any business when delighted clients post pictures of their little companions on the internet.
2) Climbing the social proof ladder to greater heights.
The benefits of collaborating with an influencer in your area are numerous in terms of social credibility.
Consider what it would be like to be associated with Mannie the French Bulldog. 1.1 million Instagram followers, 7,600 YouTube channel subscribers, and 1.7 million Facebook fans, according to the most recent data available.
Getting a word in edgewise from Mannie carries huge ‘canine’ social proof from the top-dog on the internet.
Mannie is knowledgeable about a wide range of products. His own website sells drinkware, clothes, art, and face masks, among other things. Furthermore, he promotes pills, CBD products, and even a vehicle wash on the internet.
He’s not the only one. A short search on Twitter for other pet marketing influencers yields a useful list of individuals. The most popular accounts at the moment are @remixthedog, @tinkandmeek, @milliegthegolden, and @coconutricebear, to name a few.
Keep in mind that, despite the fact that I’ve only talked about dogs so far, the same tactics apply to cats as well.
Check out the Instagram accounts of ThatLittlePuff, Nala Cat, Venus the Two Face Cat, and Smoothie the Cat to see what I mean. These cats are all major feline influencers in their own right.
3) Responding to inquiries and making comments.
Answering questions on forums and leaving comments on blog posts are two easy but effective strategies for establishing credibility and trust on the internet. Forums and blog commenting are available in every field.
If you execute it correctly, the authority you build there will elicit responses from other people. The greater the number, the better.
Voila! More social proof is needed.