Pet owners are a big audience. According to Grandview Research, the global pet supplements market was estimated at USD 637.6 million in 2019. And it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% from 2020 to 2027.
I’ll explain what this strategy is in a moment. Before I do that, let me tell you how it worked on one particular pet owner – me.
One day not too long ago my little terrier mix, Dixie, didn’t feel like welcoming the new morning with her usual excitement.
No tail wagging.
No smiling (yes, dogs do smile!).
None of her regular enthusiasm for life.
None of the “I love you” yawning I came to expect right after waking up.
And she wouldn’t look directly into my face – no “hugging with her eyes” that dog lovers know so well.
Our vet, bless her heart, immediately diagnosed Dixie’s lethargy as a symptom of pancreatitis.
Astute sleuthing on the vet’s part pinpointed the cause as a nutritional deficiency. Dixie just wasn’t getting enough nourishment.
That’s when I went into high gear looking for solutions. Google search results led me to forums and blogs where other dog owners shared similar experiences.
The love and care these people showed for their furry friends really got my attention. It made their stories come to life in my mind.
It’s as if I was having one-on-one conversations with them.
I felt like I was included in a special inner circle with other like-minded ‘pet people’.
The bonus was health advice for Dixie that worked. Now she gets a multivitamin mix in her breakfast dish every day. She also gets a special anti-nausea supplement whenever her symptoms reappear.
And her food and treats have been upgraded to ‘premium’ status.
Dixie’s poor nutrition had been a real threat to her well-being. The education I got from other caring dog owners probably saved her in spite of my ignorance.
Dixie is happy and healthy once again. Months later, she shows no signs of the near tragedy that almost derailed her life.
Because of this experience I’ve made it my mission to spread the word about what I learned and what I did to make sure it never happens again – to Dixie or to any other pooch.
A TEACHABLE MOMENT
This happy outcome occurred because of input from people I came to trust.
What I experienced is what educators call a teachable moment.
It turned out to be a double-whammy for me.
First, I learned how to help Dixie.
In addition, I also learned how powerful that one marketing principle is that I mentioned at the beginning of this article.
The term for this principle, as cited by the Grandview Research survey mentioned above, is “humanization.”
People humanize their pets. I know I do.
In fact, the term comes up multiple times in the Grandview Research survey.
It was also cited in a recent article in Nutraceuticals World as a driving force behind pet supplement sales during the pandemic.
MARKETING FOR PETS AS FAMILY
Using emotions to guide sales is as age-old as marketing itself. Yet this can be taken to the next level when we’re talking about pets.
Implementing the following three strategies will do exactly that when done right. Every step entails acknowledging pets as family.
1) Use the extra advantage of social media.
People love to see posts and pictures on social media related to pets. Nothing humanizes pets better than heartwarming or humorous photos and videos.
2) Partner with a pet charity.
According to the digital marketing company, Optimum 7, 63% of shoppers are more likely to buy from businesses that support social causes.
Pet welfare and adoption agencies are right at the top of the list.
3) Implement consumer-based marketing.
My story about Dixie is just one example of how other pet lovers spoke about specific brands of pet supplements.
Incorporating this strategy is a matter of providing the opportunity for consumers to talk about and show off their beloved pets.
Comments on blog posts, social media articles, and forums offer plenty of opportunity for consumers to add ‘pet power’ to your marketing plan.
Finally, note that marketing for pet products shouldn’t be the same as for any other type of product. A cookie-cutter marketing plan won’t get the job done.
Really standing out from the crowd means incorporating pet humanization into your marketing plan.
That’s the thread running through all three of these strategies.
A FINAL SUGGESTION
Here’s where I would normally sing my own praises as a copywriter in the alternative health niche. It’s one way I attract new clients.
Rather than do that now, I’ll instead qualify myself for ‘pet marketing duty’ based on my lifelong love of dogs and cats.
I do, indeed, humanize my pets.
And just like other pet owners, I’m subject to persuasion marketing that accounts for that.
It’s the icing on the cake of my professional experience and qualifications.
In lieu of loading you down with my huzzahs, I’ll simply suggest we have a conversation about… well, our pets.
One of the perks of having pets in the family is being able to brag about them to others. So I’m encouraging you to brag about yours to me. (I might even do the same! ALERT: I might also want to also talk about another terrier mix, Ellie, and an orange tabby, Dilly. They’re all just so lovable!)
If during our chat we discover how I can help you with your pet supplement marketing, then so much the better.
I’m game if you’re game. Just give me a call or shoot me an email.
Let’s get the (pet) ball rolling today!