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Who are the best pet marketing agencies?

best in google search results
Google searches for generic “best”

Chances are good that you’re reading this because you searched for “best pet marketing agencies” or something close to it (“pet advertising,” e.g.). That would make perfect sense; though your situation is personal and specific, it’s much easier to start big and narrow from there. This is the way that many of us have learned to start an internet search for what we don’t yet have answers for (note the image shown here, which shows the steep incline in usage for the word “best” in pet products and services searches over the last 14ish years).

Having served as a marketing partner to pet products and services companies private and public, established and startup, consumer and B2B, we’d love to ask you some questions and listen to your answers and then help determine whether we’re the best pet marketing agency for your situation, so please reach out to us as soon as you can. In the meantime, here are a few baseline criteria that we’ve committed to as a “best pet marketing agency” (firm/partner/etc).

Make the “Humanization of Pets” Mean Something

It’s not enough to talk about “the humanization of pets.” This alone doesn’t mean much in a practical sense. Everyone in the industry knows that human food (and many non-food) trends tend to show up in the pet category mere months later; not everyone knows what that means for business. As not only a pet marketing agency but, by our founding, also as a food marketing agency, we have our pulse on what those trends are, and given our background in B2B marketing, we also have insight into which human nutrition trends have the ability to cross over.

Pet Food Feasibility Study

For example, we’ve helped our pet partners forecast supply issues, like anticipating the lowered availability of domestic pea protein due to trends in and demand for dairy milk alternatives. We’ve delivered feasibility studies and situation analyses and white papers; currently, we’re investigating the rise and role of the permanent underclass, particularly as it relates to pet products in dollar stores. We’ve discussed the crossover potential for meat-alternatives, even as Americans are projected to set records for meat and poultry consumption (2018 might be the Year of the Vegan in human nutrition, but we don’t anticipate an explosion in vegan kibbles!) We’ve used our experience in the health and wellness industry to anticipate pet product trends related to botanicals like turmeric and to life-stage issues like obesity and aging, including arthritis concerns, bladder/UTI issues, and diabetes in pets. We have relationships with chefs that can give us insight into value-added surplus products (VASPs) in foodservice and what that might mean for pet foods and treats. And we keep up to date on the M&A world (like Cargill’s recent acquisition of Pro-Pet) by setting search alerts and reading trade pubs, which is a valuable part of being in the industry.

Walk a Mile (+/- 100) in Our Own Shoes

Between Global Pet Expo and SuperZoo alone, our team must have logged 100 combined walking miles at pet industry trade shows last year. We invest in attending these shows not only to support our partners (from tactical support like trade show booth and video design to sales support like networking and introductions) but also to educate ourselves. Whether attending large shows like the aforementioned or mid-sized shows like Petfood Forum, we believe that qualifying as one of the best pet marketing agencies requires hitting the pavement (and the oddly cushioned trade show carpeting) and being part of the pet industry.

It’s Great to Adopt; Also to Adapt

pet adoption strategy and tactics
Adoption initiative we developed and implemented for FURminator

Over our 15+ years as a company, we’ve listened to our partners (and to those who chose to partner with others) describe their needs and frustrations alike. As a result, we’ve adapted, reconfiguring and improving our own business model to be more meaningful (for instance, our strategists work daily and directly with our clients rather than through account managers). Which means that despite our mid-level size, we’re able to offer a comprehensive range of services, from product development to packaging, web design to SEM, brand naming and logo design to Salesforce lead nurturing and Amazon storefront design and implementation for pet bed brands, grooming products, supplements, and pet industry technologies; but more importantly, we’re able, due to our business model, to do all of this (unlike this sentence) with focus and efficiency. We’d love to tell you more about this on a call, but the key takeaway is that if you’re looking for more than just some production work, you need a partner who’s set up specifically to function as an efficient, external marketing arm of your own company, no matter the size.

Must Love Pet Shelves

Any marketing partner worth its salt will love pets, will obsess over them, and will have them in its office. We do all of that. We absolutely love our pets. We will likely love your pets. But we also love pet shelves. We always linger a few extra minutes in the pet aisles; we make detours to check out the pet treat shelves even if we’re shopping only for milk and eggs; we surreptitiously take photos of new products and interesting packaging whenever we’re at the store; we talk with independent store owners about trade shows and ask questions about what their customers are asking for.

In short, the best pet marketing agencies don’t merely love pets; they also love pet shelves, and that’s something you should ask any potential pet marketing partner about! We hope you’ll ask us about that as soon as you’re ready to talk.

Jeremy Huggins is a MarketPlace alum. He oversaw our creative and writing teams, led naming projects, and ensured that all of our brand development work is thorough, thoughtful, and meaningful.