Build it and they will come marketing only works in the movies. Add in people need to see an ad 13 times before recognizing it and marketing to the masses is not cost effective as it dilutes the message. The result is a depleted or an overextended marketing budget when trying to reach the general population.
The American Pet Product Association estimates that there are currently 66.75 billion pets in the United States to the tune of seven out of ten pet owning families. Danbury, Conn alone boasts over 9,000 licensed dogs. Include a couple of surrounding towns and that number jumps to around 30,000.
There is plenty of pie to go around. The pet industry is a huge market to tap and the bottom line is that most small businesses cannot accommodate that volume. Instead, spend those marketing dollars wisely by targeting your ideal clients.
But first, let’s Identify Who Your Ideal Client Is
- What is their demographic? This includes type of pets, number of average pets per household, age, sex, income, spending habits. The smaller the demographic group, the more focused marketing becomes. A single mobile pet groomer needs less than 150 regular pets to be successful. Three sites to find demographic information: suburbanstats.com , https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx, and https://www.americanpetproducts.org.
- What do they want? This can be approached in 2 different ways. The first is to find out what is needed and then provide it. The second is to offer what you are passionate it about and convince clients (marketing) they want it. Figure out either or both with a Client/Competitor/Your Business Venn Diagram.
It’s easier to start with competition. What are they doing/selling that is working well for them? What can you do better or with a twist? This exercise can identify both your similarities and differences to other local businesses. It becomes your choice to design a marketing plan that appeals to what makes you the same only better or one that highlights your unique perspective. This exercise can also help to identify types of customers that are not your ideal clients.
Now you know who your clients are and want they want. How do you find them?
- Tell your friends and family. Practice your elevator speech with them. An elevator speech is a term that refers to a brief conversation in which you describe what you do in the amount of time it takes to go from one floor to another in an elevator. It’s more just a statement. It conveys your passion and why a potential client would be interested in your goods or services. A mobile groomer’s might be “ I groom cats and dogs in a nurturing, respectful spa-like environment in my state of the art mobile grooming van. Conveniently in your driveway.” These two sentences clearly indicate the benefits of what is offered as opposed to simply stating a profession.
- Target your message in niche and weekly publications. If you’re not sure if the publication is a good fit, contact the publisher for audience profiles. And if you have never designed an ad, let their design team do it for you. It’s worth the investment.
- In any given day, there are 3.5 billion searches on Google by people looking for a website to solve their problem. While you can put up a quick and cheap website on your own, it may not be effective if you are unfamiliar with what brings your website to the top of a search. In addition, consider adding a blog to your website. Blogs can extend your reach by offering sought after information that is connected to your website.
- Set up a Facebook business page along with other social media sites. Each platform has it’s own way of reaching potential clients. Research which sites will be to your advantage to spend time on. There are plenty of online programs that can help you navigate through the maze and confusion of using social media effectively.
- Get out in the real world and meet people. Almost any live event may be a good fit as 70% of all household’s own pets. That means that 7 out of 10 people walking past your booth is a potential client. Pet shelters usually have at least one event every year. Join a MeetUp.com local pet or business group. While there is a yearly charge if you organize a MeetUp group, it’s free to join any one already set up.
- You are going to need printed material such as business cards, brochures, and flyers to hand out at events. Local printing shops can offer an experienced hand in helping you design marketing materials. But services like Vistaprint are cheaper.
- Network with local business referral associations such as Alignable and Chamber Of Commerces.
Putting the time and effort into identifying who, what, and where your ideal client is can help you focus your marketing dollars into an effective plan.
Next online Marketing 101 for Pet Professionals is Sunday, November 25th at 6 PM Eastern Standard Time. For more information or to register: https://www.pawsitiveed.com/marketing-101/