Even better, using pet power in the right way increases sales despite market dominance by large retailers.
Of course, the basic premise behind ‘pet marketing’ lies in pet owners first becoming customers, then letting their furry friends do the persuasive heavy lifting to drive more sales.
In a moment, I will explain the human psychology of how this persuasion strategy works and how it can work for you.
Create customers for life
The first forehead-slapping moment happened when I realized how powerful marketing pets worked on me.
Hey, even hard-headed research scientists like me have hot button marketing.
The experience began when I searched Google for a solution to the digestive problems of my 11-year-old terrier mix, Dixie.
The pages that interest me the most are the ones where other pet owners comment.
I am grateful to find such good and sincere advice from others who love their furry friends as much as I love mine.
I pay special attention to products recommended by pet owners. He influenced me to upgrade to the Dixie food brand and buy special supplements.
I am now a loyal customer for products I have never purchased before.
The story, however brief, is just one particular personal experience involving pet marketing. In this case it’s about pet supplies.
This made me wonder how this strategy could work for other products.
My thoughts led me to realize how different personal experiences with pet marketing could work for me. This time it has nothing to do with pet supplies.
My family loves to travel. We love taking Dixie and her 3-year-old “sister,” Ellie, with us.
Finding a good hotel that allows pets, without charging extra for them, can be a challenge.
That’s how we met Mac. He is a “spokespet” for a national hotel chain.
He’s cute. He is persuasive.
Mac is all hotel websites. He talked about how much he enjoyed his stay there. And how the people at the front desk told him he was a good boy. They welcome pet owners to come with their little friends and stay for a while.
That’s all it takes to convince the family to always plan a trip where the Mac hotel is. It was the only place we stayed when Dixie and Ellie traveled with us.
So far, I’ve explained how to become loyal customers for two different types of businesses, both driven by pet marketing.
I’m sure I don’t have to dig too deep to understand how other businesses have used this approach to influence me.
I responded because I love pets.
Pull this strategy straight to the heart – mine.
Now, as a marketer myself, I know how ‘pet marketing’ lures me. And how to persuade others.
It raises the question of what other businesses are using the power of pets in their marketing plans.
What we discovered is the psychology of why this strategy works.
More importantly, I also discovered how businesses can implement it for optimal results.
PRINCIPLE OF PERSUASION
The foundation for pet marketing includes a powerful principle of persuasion called social proof.
Social proof is well known in marketing. Its value is so great that my old friend, Dr. Robert Cialdini, talks about it in his book, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.”
It is one of the six keys to persuasion.
Pet marketing is particularly relevant to this principle. It’s like a social proof accelerator.
For me, endorsements by other pet owners have more impact than standard testimonials. I pay more attention to other pet owners because their comments are voluntary and genuine. It appears on forums, blogs, and social media without an explicit request by any business.
[If you’re thinking about generating automatic referrals, then – BINGO!]
By the way, Mac hotel endorsements provide social proof in two ways. First subconsciously very subtle. Mac comes across as a happy customer, even though subconsciously we know he doesn’t walk the talk.
The second is a comment from a human visitor to a Mac post. They are unsolicited and persuasive.
PET POWER HARNESS
The fuel behind pet marketing is the flow of happy customers who own pets.
Getting in the first position depends on how well your standard marketing strategy is working.
All the most effective ways to do that require great marketing copy for every aspect of your digital presence.
It might mean maintaining an attractive website, running lots of ads, building a strong social media presence, creating effective bait pieces to build your subscriber list, sending out newsletters, recording podcasts and videos, and making lots of blog posts, press releases. , magalogs, and eBooks… the list is endless.
Persuasive writing is at the heart of everything.
Once implemented, the following three steps will harness the power of pet marketing.
1) Give customers a chance to brag about their pets on social media. They will do anything. You may need to do it on your company’s social media pages.
Social media outlets are a big driver here.
Videos and pictures from pet owners are the main source of interesting content.
You just have to manage it.
Customers who are happy to share their little friends online are a great attraction for any business.
2) Climb the ladder of social proof.
Partnering with influencers in your niche brings social credibility.
Imagine being paired with Mannie the French Bulldog. At last count, he had 1.1 million followers on Instagram, 7,600 YouTube channel subscribers, and 1.7 million Facebook fans.
Words from Mannie contain incredible ‘dog’ social proof from the top dog online.
Mannie covers a wide range of products. The website itself offers drinkware, clothing, art, and face masks. They are also online promoting supplements, CBD products, and even car washes.
He is not alone. A quick search for other pet marketing influencers yields a good list on Twitter. The biggest ones right now include @remixthedog, @tinkandmeek, @milliegthegolden, and @coconutricebear.
Remember, even though I’ve been talking about dogs so far, the same strategy applies to cats.
To see what I mean, check out Instagram for ThatLittlePuff, Nala Cat, Venus the Two Face Cat, and Smoothie the Cat for some great cat influencers.
3) Answer questions and comments.
One simple but foolproof strategy for building credibility and trust online is to answer questions on forums and comment on blog posts. All niches have forums and blog comments.
If done well, the authority you build there will attract a response from others. That’s better.
Voila! More social proof.
What I’m talking about here is more difficult to do for large online stores than it is for most businesses. Big people rely more on brand marketing. They do not provide the necessary resources to apply the power of pet marketing.
Your bonus is a level playing field. Harnessing the power of pet can give you an edge over even the biggest online retailers.
So far, I have limited myself to basic concepts and strategies for implementing dog and cat sales force.
Of course, as I mentioned before, they all rest on the foundation of good marketing copy. That initially attracted the happy customers we wanted. Social proof from them and pets take from there.
That’s where I can help.