Word of Mouth Marketing Saved My Puppy

By admin July 24, 2018


saved my puppy

By Danielle Nesmith

Have you ever met a little creature that is just so adorable and full of love he can put a smile on anyone’s face? Well, that’s my dog Ziggy, or Ziglet as we like to call him.

When I started thinking about getting a furry friend, I excitedly talked to other pet owners about my momentous decision. This was my first dog to care for all on my own and people were generous with tips. A family friend told me I had to buy pet insurance. I thought she was joking until she shared the story of her precious fur baby needing an emergency surgery. She was so relieved she didn’t have to decide between an $8,000 medical bill or losing her animal.

Luckily, I listened to her.  Five months after I got Ziggy he was diagnosed with Parvovirus, a dangerous disease with a 50/50 survival rate. I was so grateful to her for the story she had shared and my resulting purchase. I didn’t have to think twice about having him hospitalized for three days and luckily Ziggy has been strong and healthy ever since. WOMM saved my puppy!

To this day, I continue to share that story with friends, family members, and even strangers. Ziggy is six years old. This is why Word of Mouth Marketing is so powerful. Pet insurance, something I thought was a gimmick or a joke, actually saved my puppy’s life, but I only paid attention because someone I knew had shared a story with me. I never would have purchased pet insurance simply from watching commercials.

3 WOMM tips for Pet Brands:

#1 People Connect with Stories, not Ads 

In fact, 76% of people don’t trust ads at all. To overcome that, it’s important to take a more authentic, direct approach. Pinpoint what makes your brand stand out. Why is your product or company better for pets and for their parents? In other words, why is your story relevant to their lives? Carve out that story and share it.

We know that pet parents have tremendous buying power. A $1B Halloween dog costume market segment proves that. Additionally, consider that connecting with those pet parents means connecting with influencers that have countless opportunities to share stories and are willing to spend a great deal on their beloved animals. There is plenty of downtime at the dog park, waiting at the vet, or at the groomer. Find ways to share your story in an interesting way.

#2 Own the Details

It’s all in the details. If you utilize top quality protein in your dog food, zero in on that as opposed to generally sharing that your food is “delicious” or “the best”. Influencers, those 10% of the population intrinsically motivated to share stories, thrive on being in the know and it’s those specific types of details that are so talkable. You want a story that is compelling; details make it so. People are four times more likely to purchase something when its referred by friends. Get people talking! If you can reach even one influencer that will generate over 40,000 conversations in a year. More than just an Instagram post, this is a movement.

#3 Be Authentic

Almost as important as identifying your story is sharing that story in an interesting, authentic way. Connect with people on a genuine level. Here’s an example of a problem, an authentic solution, and how to spread that solution in a genuine way. My brother’s Pitbull mix often suffers from skin flare ups that can be very painful and are quite common. This is a specific problem that is relevant to many Pitbull mix parents. Most don’t even realize they have options when it comes to making their pets more comfortable. Find the groups that would benefit from the solutions you offer. If you sell a hypoallergenic dog bed that will keep these dogs more comfortable, their parents will shout that from the rooftops. Here are some ideas:

  • Focus on Pitbull mix meetup groups and bring some beds.
  • Have a team member visit an adoption event at a shelter where there is always an abundance of Pitbull mixes.
  • Have that team member give a dog bed to each person that adopts that type of dog that day. Explain that he or she may encounter this particular issue but will be equipped to handle it with this new bed.

Those genuine connections will open up many conversations, which translate into lifelong customers. Define your story, own the details, and be authentic. That is what gets people talking, then purchasing. It even saved my puppy.

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