Creative Marketing


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I recently asked several retailers about topics they’d like to hear more about in the pages of Pet Business, and almost every one seemed to be interested in finding out creative new ways to market their businesses.

Many have already done a lot in that arena. They’ve taken business cards to local vets, pet sitters, obedience trainers, shelters and other pet businesses in the area. They have websites and blogs, and they twitter. They have customer loyalty programs, follow industry news and product releases and constantly update the goods they carry to reflect trends so that they have what their customers want.

Working for Pet Business, I am in a position where I hear about some interesting ways that different retailers are attempting to promote their business. I’d like to take this opportunity to share a few of them with you:
 
One retailer I spoke with regularly runs VIP (Very Important Pet)  gift certificate giveaways on her website. She has customers submit pet photos and chooses a winner. She says this create buzz about the store and pet owners love seeing their pets posted on her site; but she also says that winners generally come in and spend more than just the gift certificate, so it helps her generate profit too.

Another retailer runs a large annual dog event at a local park. This year, for the first time, they actually SOLD booths at the event and made money off of other pet businesses that were interested in participating. She said that they get a very good turnout and that the event really promotes her store in their community. While this is a large undertaking, it is an example of a unique idea to promote a pet store.

I spoke to one retailer about an effort she underwent to create a ‘buy local’ program in her community. She and several others from her local small business bureau even managed to get the local paper to create a ‘buy local’ page, advertising local businesses. Make sure you know what your local small business bureau is doing to promote small businesses in your area – and if they aren’t doing anything, get involved!

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