Get Your Pet-Care Business on the Map! 6 Marketing Tips

Casey Dorman

Developing a robust marketing plan is essential to growing your business and ensuring that your services reach as many customers as possible. From personalizing outreach to adopting digital marketing strategies, there are several ways to spread awareness about your services and drive sales.

Follow these tips to effectively market your pet-care business:

  1. Get to know your customers.
  2. Optimize your website.
  3. Raise brand awareness on social media.
  4. Adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy.
  5. Develop a marketing team.
  6. Improve your net-promoter score.

Whether you own a kennel or run a dog training business, these best practices will help you gain new clients and build stronger bonds with existing ones. Let’s get started!

1. Get to know your customers.

Getting to know your target audience can help you launch an effective marketing strategy that resonates with current and prospective clients. To better understand your audience, you should:

  • Leverage segmentation. Segmenting or grouping customers based on shared characteristics, such as demographics or behaviors, can be used toinform your outreach efforts and target key supporters. For example, if you have a large portion of young clients, you might focus your efforts on social media, rather than wasting your resources on a channel that they don’t frequent.
  • Create customer personas. Based on these groups of customers, create personas that represent their level of interest and investment, so you know who you're marketing to and how best to speak to them. For instance, dog groomers might create separate customer personas for experienced dog owners and new dog owners. That way, you can ensure your marketing strategy appeals to everyone.
  • Solicit client feedback. Send out surveys via email or social media asking for more information about your clients, including what their communication preferences are and how they came across your business. Adjust your marketing strategy according to these responses to make clients feel valued and drive better results.

When you get to know clients on a deeper level, you can more confidently appeal to their interests and solicit their support through your marketing materials.

2. Optimize your website.

Your website should be central to your outreach efforts. Create a landing page with information about your products, services, prices, and upcoming events. Then, link back to this resource across your other marketing channels.

In addition, your pet-care site should:

  • Have a mobile-friendly design. Ensure elements like layout, text size, image size, and navigation resize automatically on all devices. If you use a modern CMS, this has probably been set up automatically, but it’s always a good idea to double-check!
  • Be optimized for SEO. The higher your business ranks in the search results, the more likely people are to visit your website and invest in your services. Make sure to publish relevant content that targets specific keyword phrases, such as “pet-care businesses near me.”
  • Facilitate bookings. Your website should also seamlessly integrate with your pet-care software. For example, Gingr’s pet business software offers a customer portal that allows customers to quickly and conveniently book appointments, sign required forms, pay invoices, and even see pictures and videos of their pets.

Your website should also be attractive and fully functional, meeting the needs of both you and your customer. Make sure all the key information is up-to-date and easy to find so that pet owners won’t abandon your page.

3. Raise brand awareness on social media.

With a strong social media presence, you can increase visibility for your business, spread awareness for your services, and drive meaningful results. Establish brand awareness on the following platforms and be willing to adapt to emerging social media trends:

  • Facebook: Facebook’s live streaming and story capabilities are useful for bringing users behind the scenes of your business.
  • Instagram: Show off your visual media on Instagram. Pictures of pets and their owners are sure to tug at the heartstrings.
  • TikTok: If you want to target a younger demographic, post trending video content to TikTok, such as a staff member’s day in the life.
  • Twitter: Twitter has strict character limits, making it ideal for quick updates and answering client questions.
  • LinkedIn: Post educational content and business venture updates to LinkedIn for increased brand credibility.

When searching for the best social media platforms for your business, it all depends on where your audience spends the most time and what your marketing strategy is at a given time. Once you have that figured out, you can start planning your content and pushing it live!

4. Adopt an omnichannel marketing strategy.

Once you know who your audience is and what their preferences are, you can maximize your outreach. Consider adopting an omnichannel marketing approach to meet audience members where they are and provide a unified experience that drives results.

Here’s an example of how the process could work for a kennel business:

  1. A client searches for kennels in their area and receives a paid ad about your dog boarding service.
  2. The client clicks through to your site and begins filling out the boarding registration form. However, they abandon the page before pressing submit.
  3. Using the phone number that they provided during their last visit, you send an SMS message to remind them that their registration is incomplete.
  4. The client returns to your site to complete their registration and receives an automated confirmation and thank-you email from your organization.
  5. You then use direct mail marketing to invite them to explore your other services, events, and volunteer opportunities.

When done correctly, omnichannel marketing provides customers with a highly personalized experience that helps drive sales and produce a higher return on investment. Just remember to maintain consistent branding across your digital and physical event materials as you adopt this approach. NXUnite’s guide to nonprofit marketing says that if your audience can confidently recognize your brand among these different marketing channels, they'll be more likely to remember, trust, and invest in your business.

5. Develop a marketing team.

A strong marketing strategy needs a strong marketing team to support it. For your pet business, this means both recruiting professionals who can help boost your marketing strategy and making efforts to train and retain the team you have. Specifically, you can set your business up for long-term marketing success by:

  • Hiring and promoting for marketing-related roles. Effective marketing requires a specific set of skills, including the ability to create eye-catching flyers and online ads, analyze customer behavior, and build connections with other businesses. Work with external contractors like graphic designers or check if any of your current employees have the skills you need. For instance, a cashier with strong graphic design skills could potentially move into a new role or take on additional responsibilities.

  • Creating a positive work environment. Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest marketing channels, and your pet business can take advantage of it if you have a clean store, quality products and services, reasonable prices, and most importantly, helpful and friendly staff. Employees who are able to help customers, answer their questions, and sort out frustrating situations with patience and empathy are a surefire way to get your business recommended among local pet owners and build a positive brand identity. To cultivate a workforce like this, consider how you can motivate and retain your employees. This might involve providing bonuses and gifts, encouraging teamwork and positive socialization among team members, or everyday perks like discounts and flexible hours.

  • Listening to staff feedback. Employees who are on the ground listening to customers all day are one of your most useful resources for understanding customer needs. Talk with employees to learn what they’ve noticed about customers and how you could potentially improve your business. Employees can provide insight into customers’ daily needs and pain points and then offer potential solutions based on their experiences. When you make an improvement customers have been clamoring for, let them know in your marketing materials.

Pet businesses are just as much about the people as they are about the animals. Treat your staff well to retain them long-term, start spreading word-of-mouth marketing, and make sure all customers who enter your business have a positive experience.

6. Improve your net promoter score.

90% of consumers are likely to trust a brand if it was recommended by someone in their life, even if that person is just a casual acquaintance. For new businesses, tapping into the power of word-of-mouth marketing comes with an obvious challenge: no one knows your brand yet!

However, there are ways you can get the ball rolling to make sure those who are talking about your business have positive things to say. Specifically, your business can:

  • Focus on customer service. Think about the various interactions customers have with your business when buying a product or service. Consider not just the interactions staff have with customers, but also what it’s like being in your store or navigating your website. Do they need to book a dog grooming appointment online or call ahead to arrange sitting services? When they walk into the store, is it easy to find the specialty products they need?
  • Create a positive employee experience. While you’re not selling your products and services to employees, your staff will still talk about their experiences at your business with friends and family. Give your employees plenty of positives to share, such as a supportive environment, strong animal care practices, and a commitment to giving and social good.
  • Partner with other organizations. Pets require a range of services, and chances are that your business can partner with organizations you share a client base with to drive more customers to everyone in your network. If you offer pet grooming services, see if a dog training school or sitting company would be willing to work with you.

Through these activities, more people will start discussing your business with friends and family. Be conscious that this feedback will vary in positivity based on individual experiences and specific consumers’ attitudes. To roughly measure your word-of-mouth marketing, calculate your net promoter score.

A net promoter score is a metric that weighs the number of people who are likely to say positive things about your business against those who may say negative things. To find your net promoter score, ask customers, employees, or anyone else who interacts with your business to rate their satisfaction out of ten. Individuals who give you between a one and a six are considered detractors, sevens and eights are passives, and nines and tens are promoters.

Your net promoter score is:

The image shows how to calculate net promoter score.

(Promoters - Detractors)/Number of Individuals Surveyed x 100

For example, say you survey 100 customers. 20 are detractors, 30 are passives, and 50 are promoters. Your net promoter score would then be 30%.

Take note that it is possible to have a negative net promoter score. If you find your business in this situation, refocus your efforts on listening to customers learn what you can do better to turn your detractors into passives and your passives into promoters.

Marketing is vital to the success of your business. By adhering to emerging trends, prioritizing your customers’ preferences, and making the most out of several marketing channels, you can take your business to the next level and connect with more customers.