Animal health is an industry where the heart matters as much as the head. Pet owners want to believe the companies they buy from care about their pet as much as they do. If you don’t, why should they buy what you’re selling?
Being successful in the animal health space requires getting ahead of industry trends and standards while staying true to your end customers (the fluffy ones). You need to know how pet owners are voting with their pocketbooks — and their emotions (and they will tell their friends). Want to better tailor your product story to the modern pet owner? I’ll give you a clue. In today’s market, they want easy access, personalization, and holistic care for their furry friends.
Here are a few things we’ve learned about marketing to pet owners, based on what they want from you.
What They’re Thinking
We know through data analysis and research that pet owners are putting more of an emphasis on quality-of-life products and innovations for their pets. That could mean the best ingredients, the newest diets, or even dog yoga (it’s a thing). They’re not just buying products that help manage diseases and improve joint health after a bad diagnosis. They’re being proactive about their pet’s health, armed with more information and more options than ever before.
Those options go well beyond health and well-being. Individualization and customization reign, whether the product is a necessity or a luxury (think monogrammed cat collars). And with e-commerce, they can have all of that at their doorstep in a day or two.
As the door to the world of boutique pet care has been thrown open in the digital age, pet owners are no longer limited by whatever their local pet store carries. And for people who see their pets as family members (don’t judge my fur babies), the narrative is no longer “Oh, he’s a dog, he’ll eat anything.” It’s, “He deserves the best because he’s my family.”
And the best is just a click away. So, are you offering the best?
What They’re Saying
At EPiQ, we like to think of ourselves as animal whisperers. We talk to animals all the time, even if it’s only through the pet owner (someday someone will invent that machine…).
Still, knowing your (human) audience is paramount. Are they worried about fleas and ticks? Being driven crazy by their dogs during thunderstorms? Going to goat yoga? (Also a thing.)
Knowing this information can help you make crucial decisions about how best to tailor your existing products to meet these demands or help you determine whether you should invest in creating something new. So, dig through social media, blogs, and the latest industry news. Interact, learn hashtags and trends, and discover where your products can best fit into the lives of the pet owner and animal.
What You Need to Tell Them
Once you’ve homed in on your niche and determined where your products can best thrive in the market, it’s time to tell your story. Let your customers know more about the personal side of your business — the history of your organization, the people who help make it great, the problems that you solve, and the innovation that’s helped your company flourish. Show pet owners, veterinarians, and distributors they can trust you by being proactive about meeting their needs. Marketing to these essential customers is all about making a great impression and practicing what you preach.
Most importantly, never lose sight of the fact that your products are created to care for the animals people love. Pet owners are their advocates and that makes them your greatest resource. So don’t let them be an afterthought in your communication strategy. Learn about the pets you’re helping by talking to, and learning from, the people taking care of them every day.
Ultimately, we’re all here for the animals. When you keep them at the heart of everything you do, everyone wins.