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How PetFlow Cornered the Pet Food Industry

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You may not have heard of PetFlow.com yet, but if you have a pet, I’m sure you could use their service. How many times have you hated to run out and have to lug home a 30 pound bag of dog food? If you answered yes, then you might as well already be a customer of PetFlow, as they offering a full pet food delivery service. What’s even more important than their service, is how they got to where they are today and already doing over a million a month in business, in just a little over a year of going live.

Let’s breakdown the success of PetFlow and what you can learn from their company.

The Pet Industry

Step 1, find a niche that works. Outside of your family and kids, if you have a pet, they are your life. More people are spending money on buying food, toys and medical needs for their pet than even themselves! Here’s a mind blowing stat for you. While the rest of the world’s economy is in decline, the pet food industry is rocking. In 1994, over $17 billion was generated from the pet food industry, jump forward to 2011 and we are not seeing a $50 billion in annual spending. How’s that for a massive increase in spending within a niche that just doesn’t seem to stop growing.

A Little Internet Marketing Background Never Hurt

Step 2, stick with what you know. Before you start ripping your hair our and thinking of how great the pet food delivery concept is, and that it’s something you should have started, you also need to know that PetFlow was started by two extremely smart and talented guys, Alex Zhardanovsky and Joe Speiser. Since we are all in the internet marketing space, the names might already ring a bell, they were the guys who started Azoogle, which then was changed to EpicAdvertising. Using proceeds from their 40% sale of Azoogle, they put forth the idea to create PetFlow, and then put their marketing genius and connections to work. It wasn’t easy to convince the dog food brands to jump aboard a pet food delivery service, as many have failed in the past, but the guys at PetFlow were able to do it, and are now killing it in the pet food industry.

Incredible Ad Campaigns & Marketing

Step 3, what worked for one campaign, might work for another. As mentioned, the guys who started PetFlow have a vast background in internet marketing, as well as a decent amount of advertising dollars to promote the company. Using both of these tactics, the company can get right in the customers face and make them almost have to take advantage of pet food delivery right to their home. From online pet food coupons, offline flyers, over 200,000 fans on their Facebook Fan Page and search/banner marketing that would make any marketer jealous, PetFlow is top dog when it comes to advertising in the pet industry.

Cute Puppies and Kittens as Your Spokesperson!

Step 4, get the customers attention. What are some of the best ways that brands in the pet industry are selling their products, through the use of cute puppies, kittens and animals of course! Using this same concept, PetFlow has been able to incentive their ad campaigns and service to get right in the face of their customers. If you are visiting a web site or looking through a handful of flyers, how you are not going to stop and look at the cute animals that are begging for your attention. A true marketing tactic that seems so pure and innocent, yet works so well.

There is a lot we can learn from PetFlow, as well as a service nearly all pet owners can use. The principles mentioned above can be applied to any business model. Find and create a service that is needed, then build it and market around the customer. Through the use of amazing ad copy, online coupons and relating to the customer with real pets and animals, PetFlow has found success that will last them for many years to come.

During Recession, Marketers Turning To Social Networks

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In today’s economy, I’m fairly sure just about everyone has been feeling the pinch.  When it comes to bigger companies, one of the divisions that I’m sure has been struggling, is the marketing division.  How do you advertise your product to people who are struggling with their own financial issues, without spending more money than you can afford?  That is the question plaguing a great deal of companies today and they are finding answers in unlikely places.

Those “unlikely places” are getting far more likely in today’s day and age.  According to new reports, marketers are increasingly turning to social networks to reach their potential clients without blowing huge sums of money they just don’t have.  According to a new study by WhitePaperSource, when over 900 of the leading marketers were asked about their marketing habits:

“…more than 88 per cent of the business establishments are using social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to reach out to their clients and further enhance their exposure beyond the conventional reach using other traditional means.”

What’s more, this is actually a pretty new thing.  Of those that responded, almost 2/3 of them have only been turning to social networks in the last few months.  While there are definite positives and negatives to employing this time of marketing plan, it’s clear that it’s a style of marketing that is getting huge and needs to be addressed.  On the plus side, it is Free.  On the negative side, it is, as noted, fairly time consuming to update and more importantly, monitor community and social reaction to your brand.

The study showed that those that have taken the plunge are actually seeing surprisingly great business returns.  Traffic has been up, exposure has been spread and business increased.  Again, a great idea if you can afford the time to deal with the brand you are spreading.  So, all of you in the marketing world, sound off…has social networking helped your business or brand?  Are you turning to social networks?

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