As a pet store owner, do you ever feel like you just can’t get a hold of why some types of marketing work and others don’t? Or it’s a bit muddled as to what’s working and what isn’t? Or, perhaps most importantly, why some marketing strategies and tactics work for your pet store and others don’t?
We get a lot of this with our clients, and to be honest it’s a testament to our clients that they are asking these important questions, seeking to learn more about their pet business, their marketing, their consumers and customers, and ultimately looking to improve on what they’re doing. Here at Pet Engine Marketing, we love that kind of attitude and so we’re excited to launch a new miniseries that will take our readers a little bit deeper into our pet store marketing mindset and philosophy.
This series will go some way towards answer some of the questions above, or tackling big “why” and “how” and “what” inquiries when it comes to pet store marketing in the digital age. We’ll try to make them pretty short and sweet. For further, in-depth information, you should just hop on a call with us!
Pet Store Marketing
Mindset & Philosophy
We’re NOT Winging It, and You Shouldn’t Either
This is perhaps something that we lean on pretty frequently. We are not against originality and creative solutions - definitely not. We love a financially lean experiment that we can learn from. But most of what we do are tried and true traditional strategies and tactics that work for bigger retailers in the pet industry and other industries. We didn’t invent the wheel and we don’t want to reinvent it - we just push it harder and faster.
Marketing is Food, NOT Medicine
This is a big one that sometimes our pet store owners forget about. Marketing can’t be treated like a medicine to be taken when the business is “sick.” In other words, if sales are down, or there are less customers by the third week of the month than last month, the appropriate response isn’t to “do some more marketing.”
Marketing is food. It’s the regular, sustained nourishment that gets your pet store where you want it and keeps it there. Your pet store needs it throughout the day, every day. Sustained, well-funded marketing, even when the pet store is already “successful” by any measure, is a principle taken from Fortune 500 companies that we adhere to. Can’t let off the gas just because you’re ahead.
While inexperienced businesses wait until they’re starving to start looking for nourishment, the more savvy pet store owners eat regular, healthy meals throughout the day, keeping them strong and thriving day after day, month after month, year after year.
Budget Like You’ll Never Stop
The most successful companies in the world engage in nonstop, vigorous marketing efforts. Just think about the world’s biggest brands - Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, etc. Their marketing budget is set in concrete - if they are going to have to cut expenses somewhere, it won’t be in marketing. There are a few major reasons why they do this, and why as a pet store owner your pet store marketing strategy and budget should be similar:
The Marketing/Fitness Metaphor - Marketing is like fitness in the sense that once you’re “in shape,” it’s easier to maintain that level of fitness than it is to “get in shape.” For our pet store owners that like going to the gym, have you ever taken a few weeks off of the gym for a break or a vacation? How much harder is it to get back into that routine? How tough is it to lose a few pounds that you picked up? To take it back to marketing for your pet store, it will get harder to restart the marketing engine rather than keeping it going consistently and making incremental gains over time.
Marketing Gives You Options - Having “enough” business simply isn’t enough. If you’re actively marketing, there should always be more demand for your offering than you can actually meet. This gives you the option to focus on your best, most profitable (or most enjoyable) customers, and to have a waiting list ready for when times get slower.
Marketing Gives You Security - Marketing creates business. You may have lots going on right now, but will it still be there in six months? A year? Three years? Smart pet store owners don’t leave their future up to chance; they’re planting seeds now that they can harvest next season.
Marketing should be your pet store’s constant companion day in day out. Don’t start because things aren’t going the way you want them to be, but rather engage in strategies with tactics that work and do it consistently.
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