Social Media vs. Traditional Media

It’s official: social media is taking over. It might be even safe to say that it already has taken over. As a pet store owner, you see it in your customers (both furry and human), you see it in your daily lives outside your store, and you probably see it at home. It’s pervasive in our lives and in our business.

But has it taken over in your pet store’s marketing strategy? Are you planning your business for social media or is social media still just helping your business?

We can’t ignore it. There are new things to come, but it’s important to stay grounded and understand that social media is a tool…even somebody that is “good” at social media needs to work at it consistently to make it work for them. As a pet store owner you should know by now that social media can be a powerful prop for your pet store’s marketing aims, but if you want an expert to handle it all for you and take that off your hands, you should reach out to us!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Freesources segment on social media, you can do that HERE and be sure to check out the rest of the Insider posts HERE for supplemental data, tools, ideas, and strategies to bring profits to your pet store.

Big Benefits to Social Media

Social Media

  1. Reaches out to a maximum number of people

  2. Targeted or client-specific marketing aims

  3. Versatile (can edit and optimize)

  4. Immediate communication

  5. Accurate demographic audience insights

Traditional Media

  1. Limited audience reach

  2. Globalized marketing aims and targets

  3. Non-versatile (pretty set in stone once published)

  4. Delayed communication

  5. Audience data can be outdated or contain inaccuracies

These five major reasons should be primary indicators that pet stores should be shifting some of their marketing budget towards digital spending. At Pet Engine Marketing, we aren’t saying that your pet store should take an extreme black/white stance on digital and traditional media. We have pet store clients who still use coupon magazines that are extremely effective with their customer base and have been for years.

What we ARE saying is that if you neglect social media, you miss out on the huge benefits of utilizing digital and social media like those listed above. When we rely on social media to replace traditional media in scenarios where budgets are tighter or turnaround is shorter, it seems like an unjustified decision. There are places where social media cannot replace traditional — such as developing strategy for regions without strong online presences, or when self-reported demographic data will not suffice.

Therefore, thinking about both as steps within finding, converting and keeping customers seems like a mentality shift we all need to make. This has already proven true.

Understand Your Audience

Digital Media Per Adult User

Our insights regarding brick and mortar pet retailers tell us that, in general, customers are older (35-64) and female. However, millennial segments are growing as our clients utilize the tools and resources available to them to reach and convert that audience.

Let’s look at some of the data.

Wifi Networks.JPG

The graphs to the right indicates that audiences are increasing time spent on their phones and other devices every single year. While traditional media may still have it’s advocates and strongholds among demographics and certain populations, it certainly hasn’t increased in the same way that digital media has over the past 10 years.

Ecommerce Percentage of Retail Sales.JPG

Similarly, we aren’t here to advocate that you close down your brick and mortar store and go full out towards eCommerce. In fact, it’s worth mentioning that according to Pet Business, Petco is losing ground to independent retailers after 20 years of being in the lead regarding consumer spending.

That’s a big deal!

Our team at Pet Engine think that’s due to a number of reasons, mainly:

  • Pet stores inspire loyalty unlike the vast majority of retailers (in general) and certainly over impersonal experiences that occur at big box pet retailers

  • Independent pet stores have improved their marketing strategies and tactics over time

  • Pet stores have become easier to scale and open new locations through standardized business practices and tools

Social Media Needs Purpose

So we understand that most of your growing customer base is online right? And we need to develop and utilize some new tools and strategies to make sure we’re reaching them and making that customer journey as easy as possible for them - that’s what we want as consumers, yes?

Social Media Path.JPG

All of the time and effort spent on social media needs to lead to something. Be purpose-focused. As a social media user, the last thing anybody needs or wants is useless content. At the very minimum, make your audience smile 😊

Pet Engine Marketing Content Matrix.jpg

Take a look at this content matrix. Are you being deliberate with your content, or posting without a reason?

Why is this important? Beyond the base reason of you don’t want to waste your time, here are a few more major reasons why digital and social media ad spend should factor into your pet store’s marketing strategy:


Let’s just keep in mind that as pet store owners, we can’t “do social media” just to do it. It might work, but you don’t want something that “might” work right? You want something that will work, something that’s worth your time, and worth your expense. We can help, so hit that contact button and let’s see how we can start making it work for you!

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