Pet Marketing & PR Firms: A Primer
The pet industry serves a huge, multi-billion-dollar market both in the U.S. and around the globe. As more and more people are treating their beloved pets as integral members of their families, sales of pet-related products and services have skyrocketed. In the U.S. alone, The American Pet Products Association (APPA) indicates that over 63 percent of American households include one or more dogs, and almost 43 percent have a cat as a pet. Of course, other animals such as birds, horses, reptiles and small mammals are kept as pets as well and contribute to the total market value of the pet industry.
According to the APPA, total pet industry expenditures across the globe surpassed $95 billion in 2019 and are projected to come close to $100 billion in 2020. Pet foods and treats alone are estimated to account for over $38 billion in 2020. Typical annual expenditures for individual pets are $212 for vet visits, $259 for food, $229 for kennel boarding, and $73 for grooming. Additional important spending areas are toys, vitamins and supplements, and pet surgeries.
Pet Care Today: A Bewildering Array of Products and Trends
Because of the pet industry’s explosive growth, many people are attracted to opening up or enlarging an existing pet-related business. Today’s pet business owner is encouraged by the opportunities, but also at the same time faces stiff competition and a bewildering array of products and services to learn about, and decide whether to incorporate into their business’s offerings.
This is coupled with changing trends among pet owners themselves. Many pet parents are looking for ways to make life easier for their pets, wanting them to behave more rationally and enjoy less stressful and anxious lives. For example, pet-calming products, including CBD-infused offerings, are accounting for increased sales.
According to a recent Forbes article, the following are some of the trends that are presenting opportunities in the pet industry.
- Pet Foods. Pet owners are increasingly not likely to purchase traditional pet foods. Marketing on newer pet-food types is rising dramatically. For example, eating organic bone broth is one of the latest human trends making its way to their pets.
- Private Brands for Pets. Large firms such as Amazon, down to small start-up online operations are launching private pet labels, designed to cut out the middleman’s profit.
- Pet Treats. The average dog owner feeds their pets 8 to 10 treats each day, creating numerous marketing opportunities for those in the pet retail space. Many of these treats are infused with supplements and vitamins.
- Pet-Focused Technology. As with most other areas of life, technology has made inroads into the pet industry. For example, DOGTV caters to those dogs that are left home during the day and need canine-centric viewing to keep them happy.
- End of Life Services. This is a real growth area for pets and pet owners, with a wide variety of offerings including palliative services and grief counseling.
Pet Marketing and Public Relations Agencies
Given the plethora of new trends as well as the intense competition within the industry, many pet-related businesses are looking to marketing and public relations firms to assist them in their quest to achieve increased market share. Here are a few firms that specialize in this arena with examples of what they can do for their customers:
- FWV Fetching. This is a pet and veterinary public relations and marketing company, whose major focus involves expanding their clients’ reach within the market. They provide media outreach, strategic planning, and social media marketing. They have worked with numerous clients including Pet Hub, the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and Eye Care for Animals.
- Paws PR. This firm develops pet public-relations campaigns and offers business consulting for the pet industry as well as for animal shelters. They are largely focused on helping develop integrated communications strategies for their clients, including press conferences, media campaigns, online community engagement, content for websites and blogs and promotional videos.
- Strategic Pet. Offering pet marketing research and consulting services for new companies and those wishing to scale-up to the next level, Strategic Pet has over 15 years in the pet industry with deep roots in the packaged-goods-for-pets arena. Their areas of expertise include new product ideas, labeling, and package design, marketing planning, distribution strategies, and brand positioning and repositioning.
- Pawsible Marketing. This company was started by Leslie May, a veteran marketer with over 30 years of experience, and is focused exclusively on helping owners of pet-related businesses with all their marketing needs. Her firm is specifically designed to help pet businesses grow their sales and revenue. Areas of expertise include marketing coaching, lead generation, trade show planning, online presence and strategy, and new product launches. Clients include My Clever Dog, Bio Star, Sea Pet, and Fiber for Dogs.
- Pet Business Solutions. This singularly focused company is in business to “Help pet brands tell their story”. They strive to be the leading marketing and consulting agency in the pet business. Their agency provides expert solutions in marketing, web design, e-commerce, and brand development for the pet industry. They have delivered exceptional results for diverse clients such as Figo Pet Insurance, Einstein Pet, Tick Ease, and Socially Conscious Pet Brand.
As is seen, whether a dog, cat, horse, gerbil, lizard, bird or fish, pets need to eat. Indeed, not only eat, but many pets dine on the best foods and are pampered like never before as well. Today’s pet owners are demanding much more for their pets than in yesteryear.
Because of this, the pet industry has demonstrated rapid growth and a major increase in new trends, all designed to meet the acceleration in demand. Marketing and public relations agencies for pet businesses, veterinarians and animal shelters are increasingly busy, as businesses attempt to increase their market share.