It used to be simple to market pet-care products. The message used to be “You love your pet. Your pet loves our high-quality product. Make your pet happy.” But that message is no longer enough for connected consumers in a hyper-competitive digital marketplace. You can no longer try to warm the hearts of consumers and assume your work is done. They’ve come to expect brands to do more than just offer a great product. They want you to throw them a bone or two. Let’s take a look at how to successfully market pet products in our high-tech world.
Data Will Drive Dollars
We’d bet you didn’t know that 1 in 4 pet parents report that they spend more money on technology for their pets than for themselves, but according to Veterinarian’s Money Digest, they do. According to their survey, 47% of those spending on pet-tech use nutrition apps, 46% use veterinary telemedicine, and 31% invest in fitness trackers. Of all the pet owners surveyed, more than half said they’d be interested in pet tracking technology or microchips, and 40% expressed interest in pet monitoring cameras. As owners begin to carefully track their pets’ health and nutrition, we’d recommend you ensure that your product is truly beneficial to the health of their animals.
This ties into another trend in the market, an increased emphasis on healthy products. Among consumers who favour organic food, or low-carb, high protein diets, almost half fed their pet in a similar fashion. Other trend watchers have noticed that increasing numbers of pet owners are choosing natural pet products and not just food. Sales of holistic, additive and chemical free toys, cat litter, grooming products, and pest repellents are also on the rise. People want their pets to be just as happy and healthy as they are, and specialized, natural and organic products are a must!
Under the Influence
As many industries have discovered, moms have the most purchasing power on the planet, and they are reached more effectively through blogs, Youtube, and Instagram than through traditional media outlets. By offering valuable advice and recommendations, bloggers, vloggers and their ilk have earned the trust of millions, and by partnering with them you can reach pet owners who are primed to purchase. That’s the reason why industry experts expect influencers to drive more sales in 2019.
Convenience is Catnip to Consumers
Picture a pet food purchase in your mind. You’re probably seeing a harried father lug a massive sack of dry dog chow across a supermarket parking lot. Or maybe an old lady is dragging a crate of tinned cat food behind her on a trolley dolly. Buying pet food has been a cumbersome and Sisyphean task for a long time, but those days will soon be behind us. It has never been easier to obtain the staples that used to drive us to the supermarket. Smart speaker and smartphone apps can add an item to your virtual basket in an instant, and with same-day delivery increasingly commonplace, there’s no need to struggle with bulky bags and heavy tins again.
And pet food is the perfect product for the replenishment economy. The product is unwieldy and has a long shelf life. Demand is predictable. Consumers are loyal to the brands they trust. And smart speakers can transform a time-wasting, labour-intensive trip to the supermarket or pet store into a simple voice command or push of a button. Buying pet food has never been faster or easier. This should sound like great news to pet care companies, but don’t start celebrating just yet.
A Frenemy Named Amazon
Amazon can make marketing, selling, and delivering your product a snap. But by depending on them for success, you’re making the same fatal mistake as the Gingerbread Man. Giving them access to all of your sales data and making your customers dependent on their platform is like trying to cross a river on the snout of a wolf. And the company has already revealed their predatory intentions. Amazon launched Wag, an in-house pet food brand, last May, and they’ve already announced plans to rapidly expand their repertoire of pet-care products, and sink their canines into this $30 billion a year industry.
Marketing Your Way Out of Danger
No matter how established your product is, you’ve become an underdog. But there is a way out of the doghouse. You need to act now to take control of your digital sales platform. Finding a way to offer your customers the ease and convenience available through smart speakers and dash buttons is a must. For a start, shoppable features should be added to advertisements and packaging to make buying your product simple and fast. Inspired Pet Nutrition, a Yorkshire-based, family run firm that is the UK’s largest independent pet food producer, recently teamed with Adimo to launch a series of shoppable videos which allow viewers to instantly add Harrington’s pet food to their baskets and check out from a retailer of their choice. By offering voice shopping and same-day delivery from leading retailers outside of Amazon’s platform, you’re carving out sales independent of your new competitor’s massive platform.
A shoppable ad is a far more effective way to reach consumers because it allows them to accomplish a task as well as inciting them to purchase a product. It offers value to both producers and consumers. As IPN Managing Director Daniel Reeves has said “Adimo’s technology provides our customers with an instant online purchase opportunity. We know that shoppers have a growing range of deliveries to contend with, and so providing an instant checkout across our video and websites means we can make their day that little bit more straightforward. Our results so far show that this certainly secures the initial sale but also keeps customers coming back time and again.”
Change With the Times
Amazon’s foray into the pet food industry has certainly shaken things up. There has never been a better time to take a long look at your pet food marketing strategy and see if it matches the direction technology is taking modern commerce. To stay ahead of the game, ensuring that you maximize new sales and marketing channels is an absolute must!