Market Focus - Pet Owners: It's Raining Cat and Dog Lovers
Admittedly many people would have laughed at this type of problem a few years ago, says Mott. “Some Web sites used to mock pet tech gadgets, but now they report on them.”
In the past six months, says Mott, “people have been gravitating towards home tests where they can test an animal’s breed or check for inherent diseases. If you know that your dog is part Husky, for example, then you can watch for ailments associated with that breed.”
Pet funerals, pet hospice and designated cemetery space next to the human owner are other developments in the trend toward humanizing pets. “Sometimes these announcements seem weird, but it usually doesn’t take more than a year or two before they become standard,” says Mott. “I think we’re quite early with the pet market and what people are demanding.”
Cleaning products are synergistic with pet-related items since fur and noseprints make their way into every part of a pet owner’s home. “One of the ASPCA’s corporate partners is Proctor & Gamble, and we did a cross-promotion with Swiffer, Bounce and Iams that targeted the pet audience,” Sullivan mentions.
Animal Attraction: Making the Sale
Blumenkrantz says she compiles lists in bits and pieces from cooperative catalog databases. “A lot of files don’t have a large array of pet products, but because they track things on a SKU level, you can know which people have bought, say, the collectible dog and cat plates,” she says. “We find that people who purchase a pet product are much more responsive than people who just own a pet, and if the product is something for the pet to use, such as a coat or collar, that’s better than just a product with a pet theme.”
Mott says e-mail is often the best way to reach pet owners. “We have short messages with a promotion or product news, and no images,” he says.