Pet marketing: Top tips for staying focused on the strategy — part 1

The pet market is growing and growing, with no sign of slowing down. With it being so fast paced and exciting, as a pet marketer it can be easy to slip into a continuous cycle of tactics and become less focused on the strategy and the overall goal of the business.

“Can we get on TikTok?”, “Can we send some products to this new influencer I’ve spotted who has a dog?” — if these comments sound familiar, and you want help staying focused on your goals and make the right strategic decisions for your pet business, then you’re in the right place! Read on for our top tips for staying focused on your pet marketing strategy.

Industry insight

One of the most important aspects of having a robust marketing and communications strategy is knowing the industry and being abreast of the opportunities and potential issues within it. While a day away from the desk to attend an event or award ceremony may feel time-consuming, it’s really important to plan in time and not feel guilty for stepping away from the office.

There are a host of groups, bodies and organisations who welcome marketers to share industry insight. They can be a place to learn from others in the industry and build connections, too.

spottydog is an Associate Member of UK Pet Food — a membership body (previously call the Pet Food Manufacturing Association) serving businesses connected to the pet-food market, from supply chain through to marketing. Being an Associate Member of UK Pet Food means we benefit from the raft of support and opportunities available to its members, including its annual reports, insightful market data, training sessions and more.

Another association to consider is the Pet Industry Federation (PIF). The pinnacle of its calendar is the annual PIF Awards — a chance to recognise the best in the industry, but also a great opportunity to mingle with industry figures and learn more about the latest trends and views.

One size doesn’t fit all

We’ve heard pet owners be lumped into the same bracket many times: “It appeals to pet owners” and “Dog lovers will love this!”. And while it’s certainly true that some products and services have a broad appeal, by understanding the different segments within your target audience, you can create more effective marketing strategies that are better suited to the needs and preferences of each group, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Audience segmentation research typically involves a combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods — and while this can seem a lot of work, it’s a really vital step that shouldn’t be missed. Your whole strategy should revolve around the needs and behaviours of your audience — and these are constantly evolving!

Know your key messages – and keep reminding yourself!

Developing key brand messages involves a strategic process that aligns your brand’s messaging with its values, mission, and USPs.

It’s important to recognise what makes you different from competitors: is it the sustainability of your ingredients? Is it that you have the longest-lasting chew? Is it that your pet fashion line is at the cutting edge of doggy fashion?

Once you have defined this, you can brainstorm a list of messages that convey your brand’s USP and values. These should be concise, clear and memorable — too many and you’re forever chasing your tail and trying to do too many things!

It’s not a case of agreeing your key messages and then cracking on — it’s great if you can regularly check back on these to see that everything is still relevant as the market around us keeps moving.

If you need support with any of the above, spottydog has vast experience creating tailored marketing and communications strategies in the pet industry and we’d be delighted to help. Get in touch! And stay tuned for part 2 of this series.

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