What Marketing Works?



Late last year I did a survey of 110 dog trainers on what they have tried when it comes to marketing and how well it’s worked for them.

While there are some obvious differences between dog trainers and retailers (namely, one sells services by appointment and the other sells products en mass), since both are targeting roughly the same audience, I thought a few of the takeaways from that data might be interesting and helpful for pet store owners and operators.

The survey looked at 11 marketing tactics, ranked here by popularity:


  1. Social Media
  2. Doing Demos at Dog Events
  3. E-mail Newsletters
  4. Training in Public While Wearing a Logo
  5. Facebook Ads
  6. YouTube
  7. Offering free classes or seminars
  8. Blogging
  9. Placing newspaper or magazine ads
  10. Writing articles for someone else’s website
  11. Google Adwords


Participants rated each of these tactics as not successful, slightly successful, successful, very successful or unsure.

Most relevant to retailers are the three tactics that the most respondents rated at least slightly successful: e-mail newsletters (91%), social media (87%), and Facebook ads (80%).

Also interesting, the tactic that that the most respondents rated most successful was social media—24% of those who tried social media rated it “very successful.”

So, while what retailers offer may not be exactly the same as what dog trainers have up for sale, if you haven’t given any of those three things a try, it may be worth at least testing them for your store. 


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