Not a Pet, But a Family Member: The Evolution of Pet Marketing

Pets have graduated to full-fledged family members. Here’s what brands need to know to ensure their pet product marketing is keeping pace.

Pets aren’t really pets anymore. Today, many people are more likely to regard themselves as “parents” rather than “owners” of their animals — and they want the very best for their children. Pet product marketing needs to reflect this cultural change — and brands that fail to adapt will soon fall out of favor with pet-crazed consumers.

Trending towards humanization

One stroll through a pet store or a dog park will tell you everything you need to know about how the treatment of pets in society has evolved. A generation or two ago, parents would often purchase or adopt a dog or a cat “for the children” and then provide the animal with the bare minimum level of care and attention.

Today’s pets are comparatively lavished with attention, and there are a few reasons for this shift. First, millennials have delayed marriage and child-rearing longer than any previous generation, largely due to economic uncertainty. Pets serve as “proxy children” or “starter children” for many people in this segment.

Second, the proliferation of social media has created a situation where everyone wants to document and share their lives – and pets play a major role in this. Open up Instagram, Facebook or any other social app, and you’ll be deluged with animal photos.

Pet ownership numbers have also sharply increased, rising from 56% to 68% over the last three decades. As you might expect, younger people are overrepresented in pet ownership, accounting for 62% of all pet owning households.

How the pet industry – and pet ownership – are evolving

Changing cultural dynamics around pet ownership are reflected in larger trends inside the pet industry. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the most important trends, and how pet product marketing is adapting.

  • Direct to consumer pet boxes 

 Brands have used the DTC subscription box model to great effect, as it allows consumers to feel like they are receiving a gift in the mail each month and doesn’t require driving to a brick and mortar shop. This model has been especially successful in the pet sector; brands such as Bark have experienced fast growth by shipping curated boxes of dog treats and toys direct to consumer doorsteps.

  • Elevated pet food 

The days of feeding pets undifferentiated food brands of questionable quality are over. Today, pet owners are buying pet food much in the same way they purchase human products — and pet food marketing should reflect this. Witness the recent craze over grain-free dog food, which mimics in some ways the “gluten-free” craze of the last few years.

  • TV for dogs 

Pet parents are understandably worried about leaving their animals alone for extended periods of time. Dog TV — a new network that creates dog-centric television programming – purports to solve this problem. When you depart for work in the morning, you can position your dog in front of the TV screen, where he can watch hours of programming calibrated to his interest and level of understanding.

  • Dating apps for dog lovers 

People have famously highlighted pet photos in their Tinder profiles for years, but Dig takes this to the next level. Dig is a dating app for dog lovers that helps set up canine-friendly dates. Unlike other dating apps, women outnumber men by a significant portion on Dig, which gives the app another interesting wrinkle.

Finding the right pet care marketing agency

Most pet product marketing agencies produce campaigns that are all bark with no bite. Bigeye is different – we’re a team of talented creatives, tech wizards and strategic thinkers, and we all have one thing in common: We love pets, and we’re great at producing high-level pet industry market research.

Come visit our website, and we’ll be sure to show you a few tricks to help you catalyze your next pet product marketing campaign.

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Direct to Consumer Marketing: Ignore it at Your Peril

Don’t let your business hit rock bottom before considering a DTC marketing agency who can help you achieve your marketing and advertising goals.

Direct to consumer advertising and marketing is drawing a wealth of buzz — and for good reason. The DTC model is now a priority for enterprises across the spectrum. And a DTC marketing agency is more of a need. 

Legacy retailers are selling and marketing directly to consumers to reduce their footprints and expand their digital strategies. Digitally native brands (Warby Parker, Harry’s, etc.) used the DTC model to disrupt the prevailing retail paradigm and ramp up their businesses with impressive speed.

All of this maneuvering, of course, is supported by DTC-specific advertising and marketing. Some DTC brands handle it internally; others partner with legacy agencies or more specialized boutique firms. Still more employ a combination of these approaches. 

One thing, however, remains constant: Brands that get DTC marketing right – regardless of whom they partner with – are in the strongest possible competitive position.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some smart digital strategies that brands can implement with minimal difficulty.

Offering personalized content

One of the most attractive aspects of DTC is the removal of middlemen. Brands can connect directly with their buyers, with no third party to mediate or filter the experience.

DTC brands can use this proximity to gather valuable first-party data that offers thorough, actionable insights into consumer preferences. Brands can use this data to create personalized content presented in the consumer’s preferred medium.

When it comes to leveraging data and designing content strategies, smaller DTC brands often need assistance – and the easiest way to get help is by partnering with a nimble DTC marketing agency with a full suite of digital offerings.

Developing a mobile app

Speaking of DTC marketing agencies with digital expertise, such agencies are the perfect partner for mobile app development. Small to mid-sized brands may believe that a mobile app is solely the province of big players. While that may have been true years ago, that’s not the case today.

Mobile apps give brands a direct channel to consumers.  They also provide an excellent opportunity to deepen engagement and stay fresh in the minds of consumers.  And while mobile apps are being adopted by smaller brands, they are still uncommon enough to serve as a competitive differentiator.

Using third parties to sell and market

Amazon and other large marketplaces have spawned a massive new opportunity for direct to consumer selling and marketing. By leveraging the vast buyer networks of these third parties, brands can disintermediate retailers and still theoretically reach millions of consumers.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that brands can simply list their products and watch sales accumulate. Third party sites have their criteria for how products are marketed to visitors, and these rules govern how products are shown and to whom they are shown.

Brands can determine which strategies work best for their products by pursuing continuous testing and making occasional adjustments.

The takeaway

With our team of media & analytics experts, Bigeye has the strategic savvy and digital chops to help DTC brands achieve their advertising and marketing goals. If you’re not satisfied with the traction your current campaigns are generating, we urge you to visit our website today.

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Why More Cities and Towns are Taking on Place Branding

Read why place branding has become a key differentiation strategy for cities and towns seeking to compete for a larger share of tourism dollars.

Corporations have long known the value of branding — and in the age of social media influencers, personal branding has also become routine. Yet there’s another branding category that often flies beneath the radar: Place branding.

Let’s take a closer look at how smart place branding works and why more cities and towns are engaging in the practice.

Why place branding has become a critical differentiator

Great branding tells a story and helps establish an identity. Companies use it to connect with consumers; people brand themselves for competitive positioning and places use branding to help generate tourism revenue.

Travel is now the second-fastest growing industry in the world. The travel and tourism sector generated a staggering $8.8 trillion in global revenue in 2018, generated 319 million jobs and was responsible for roughly 10% of all worldwide economic activity.

Why is the travel and tourism sector growing with such rapidity? Two reasons: First, globalization has lifted tens of millions of people into the middle class over the last decade. These people now have the resources to travel.

Second, travel has become ever more desirable. Instagram and other social media platforms have made documenting vacations a global obsession. Millennials and Gen Z prize experiences over items, and few experiences can compare with travel.

This means there is a massive – and ever growing — tourist revenue pie for cities to split. Barcelona and other major tourist hubs are dealing with an epidemic of overtourism, which has created a market opportunity for other cities and town to pursue some of these tourist dollars.

So how do these locations best compete for travelers? In most cases, through smart and well executed place branding.

How Place Branding Works

Years ago, cities and towns were competing against other regional municipalities for tourist money. Today, they have the power to market themselves globally.

There’s a problem, however: Most of the information in guidebooks and online resources is outdated and superficial. In order to draw tourists in significant numbers, cities and towns need to take a strategic and creative approach to creating a brand narrative — something that can be done by partnering with a place branding agency.

What does an example of well-executed place branding look like? Consider the case of Austin, Texas. For most of its existence, Austin was a sleepy college town with no national profile — a very junior brother to Houston and Dallas.

Austin had something that larger Texas cities lacked, however: An incredibly diverse and eclectic music and arts scene. City officials leaned into this, promoting Austin as a world capital of live music and reinforcing the city’s status as a creative hub for talented misfits. “Keep Austin Weird” became a civic mantra and rallying cry during this period.

Today, Austin is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. It hosts the massive South By Southwest festival and draws more than 50 million visitors annually.

This kind of strategic push and creative thinking eclipses the limited, catch phrase and logo-based place branding of a few decades ago — think “I Love NY” or “Virginia is for Lovers.” It shows that cities and towns need to determine what makes them special and then engage their own people, places and institutions in an effort to tell that story to the wider world. They need to go beyond the guidebook — and really think about the singular experiences that only their community can offer visitors.

In a travel-crazed world, that’s a brand story that a lot of people will want to hear.

Finding the right brand identity design company

Effective place marketing isn’t easy — it helps to have the services of a truly top drawer neighborhood marketing firm. The right agency can help your city or town develop a marketing plan that goes beyond routine local attractions and delivers the unique experiences that travelers are seeking.

Call Bigeye today to learn more about what inspired place branding can do for you.

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How to Use Video to Power Apartment Marketing

When it comes to effective digital apartment marketing, video has proven invaluable in a broad spectrum of circumstances and applications.

According to recent statistics, more than 75% of Americans now shop online. This means that, whether they are buying groceries or searching for a new apartment, consumers are responding to the ample information and dynamic features that only online marketing can provide.

The informative digital marketing authority Quicksprout reports that videos engender a 74% increase in overall understanding of a product/service when compared to still photos and, perhaps more importantly, boost the likelihood of an ultimate purchase by a whopping 64%. In fact, 80% of Internet users have strong memories of the video advertisements that they watch online, and 46% take some sort of direct action as a direct result of their video viewing.

The practical applications of video in the field of apartment marketing are virtually endless when it comes to boosting conversion rates among prospective renters. Of course, the road to these increased conversions depends on the unique qualities, deficiencies, needs, and goals of the apartment business at hand. Therefore, the first step toward using video to power your apartment marketing efforts is deciding upon the specific categories of video that you would like to immediately pursue. Here are just a few that you’ll definitely want to consider:

1. Listing / Tour Videos

The most prevalent form of apartment marketing video, the listing/tour video has proven very effective. Quicksprout cites statistics showing that listings with an attached video generate 403% more inquiries than those without. Although a virtual tour of the apartment itself is an absolute must, these videos are even more successful if they also show key aspects of the surrounding neighborhood, community, and/or city.

2. Interview / Testimonial Videos

In an interactive modern marketplace that is profoundly influenced by social media, social proof reigns supreme. Therefore, you simply cannot underestimate the value of a well-placed interview or testimonial video. Whether they are new to your community or have lived in it for years, satisfied tenants are an invaluable resource. By offering a few positive comments in their own words, your loyal tenants can become video marketing superstars.

3. Apartment Advice Videos

One of the most popular types of online video is the ”how-to.” As a result, some of the most effective apartment marketing videos offer advice on apartment hunting and/or moving process. Incorporating this category of video into your overall marketing campaign can drive conversations from an incredibly wide audience base.

4. Housing Market Update Videos

Like an apartment advice video, a video that provides information on the current housing market in your area can easily lead to a conversion. This is especially true if the information provided casts your apartment rentals in a particularly light.

5. Brand Promotional Videos

When it comes to centering your apartment marketing campaign, nothing works better than a good brand promotional video. Typically a bit longer than the average real estate video, your brand video can root your entire website and/or social media page in a central message that demonstrates your company’s unique approach and style.

Tips for Making Effective Apartment Marketing Videos

After determining the type of video you would like to make and the audience that you would like to reach, it’s time to start planning. Critical questions to ask during this phase include “who and what will your videos feature” and “how will this video attract/keep the attention and ultimately lead to conversions.” Whether you choose to produce videos yourself or hire experienced audio/visual professionals, you would be wise to keep a few industry best practices in mind. These best practices include…

1. Aim for Instant Impact

The typical viewer will judge your video within the first few seconds, so you must make an immediate positive impression. This means creating videos with high production values that scream “I am worthwhile” from the onset. Remember: customers have nearly endless options when it comes to watching videos online.

2. Keep It Brief

Research has shown that viewers overwhelmingly prefer shorter videos to those that are longer. Don’t test the attention span or challenge the time commitment of your audience. Generally speaking, a two-minute video is ideal for most forms of real estate marketing.

3. Avoid Auto-Play Videos

Most people simply don’t appreciate a video that begins blaring at them the second that they visit a particular webpage. Allow viewers to choose exactly which videos they might like to view on your website or social media page and click on these videos at their leisure.

4. Motivate Viewers to Take Action

To increase your chances of making a conversion, you should include essential information such as agency logo and contact details during both the introduction and conclusion of each video. (Remember that the modern consumer may only watch your video for a few seconds!) To drive conversations among viewers who make it all the way to the end of your video, consider integrating a clickable lead capture link or “shop now” button directly into the video frame itself. You should also take the time to include a compelling call-to-action that directs viewers to visit a particular online destination and/or enter lead information.

To learn more about the benefits of video

A full-service real estate digital marketing agency and an incubator for forward-thinking industry techniques, Bigeye has developed countless creative uses for promotional video. Contact us today and let us show you all the ways that you can boost conversion rates with video.

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What Cryptocurrency Means for the Conventional Banking Sector

Bitcoin is disrupting the banking sector by creating enormous interest among institutional investors, creating a need for smart FinTech strategy for brands.

2018 was a tough year in the cryptocurrency space, as the value of Bitcoin tumbled from $20,000 to below $4,000. 2019, however, has been a different story, with the market rebounding and cryptocurrencies becoming a core part of institutional FinTech strategy and banking strategy.

So what does the future hold for Bitcoin and the financial sector? 

How Bitcoin went from novelty to banking industry disruptor

Bitcoin, the world’s most popular digital currency, began life as a hobbyist pursuit. Created roughly a decade ago by the anonymous developer Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin was designed to be peer-to-peer digital cash. People could send it to each other with no bank or third party needed to validate the transaction.

That’s because Bitcoin transactions are validated not by a bank, but by a technology called blockchain. When one person sends Bitcoin to another, the transaction is confirmed by a miner. This miner isn’t a person with a pickaxe and persistent case of black lung, but rather someone who uses computing power. When Bitcoin transactions are made, miners use powerful computers to compete with each other to solve complex cryptographic puzzles for a small transaction fee. Whomever solves the puzzle first validates the transaction, which is then recorded on the blockchain – a public ledger that can’t be changed. 

That’s Bitcoin in a nutshell – and you can see why the technology is so transformative. Instead of waiting several days to have a bank clear a transaction, a Bitcoin transaction is completed within ten minutes, in most cases. Other cryptocurrencies with a higher degree of centralized control can confirm transactions almost instantly.

Here’s the irony: Bitcoin was created and later developed by a band of misfit programmers who were entirely outside the financial system. Yet today, cryptocurrency adoption is being pushed forward by the financial services, marketing agencies, and companies that Bitcoin promised to make obsolete.

Why institutional adoption is driving market growth

Bitcoin’s price rebound in 2019 has been driven, in part, by the movement of institutional money into the cryptocurrency space. A few years ago, most legacy financial firms were bearish on cryptocurrencies -Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase famously called Bitcoin a “fraud” that governments “would crush.”

Today, Dimon has reversed his position and is pushing his firm headlong into the space. JPMorgan Chase has launched their own cryptocurrency. Facebook, too, recently announced plans for their own cryptocurrency, while Google and Amazon both have significant partnerships with cryptocurrency projects.

Why the abrupt about face? As with any radical new technology, skepticism abounds early – “magic Internet money” created by a person named “Satoshi Nakamoto” seems almost too far-fetched to believe. Then, once people grasped the fundamental innovation Bitcoin offered, the financial services sector began to view cryptocurrencies not as a joke, but as an existential competitor.

And that’s where we are today. Cryptocurrencies hold the potential to radically transform how the banking sector operates. Using the traditional banking system, the fastest way to get $10,000 from New York to California is to fly it in a plane. In a 21st century hyperconnected world, that seems absurd.

Cryptocurrencies makes such transactions instant, as there is no need to wait for third parties to validate that the money being transferred is actually there. That’s the reason cryptocurrencies have become a core part of banking FinTech strategy – and why we’ve likely only seen the very earliest stages of what could be the most significant technological development since the Internet.

The takeaway

Brands in need of FinTech marketing services should consider one question: Does my FinTech marketing agency have the necessary domain knowledge to provide us with truly informed, high-level digital marketing for financial services?

At Bigeye, we understand FinTech strategy and cryptocurrency on a much deeper level than most financial services marketing agencies. When it’s time for your next campaign, we urge you to contact us and find out why Bigeye is so much better.

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How Slack is Making Product Marketing Addictive

Here’s what brands can learn from the companies and product marketing agencies that know how to sell products and design experiences at the highest level.

Slack, the social workplace messaging platform, has drawn lots of favorable notice in advance of its $23 billion IPO.  If you’ve used it, you understand why Slack has grown so popular. The overall experience is sticky in the extreme, encouraging near constant use. You don’t have to work at a product marketing agency or specialize in consumer marketing to recognize what an effective job Slack has done by integrating clever marketing with a deeply engaging user experience.

So how exactly has Slack been so successful? Let’s take a closer look.

How Slack uses clever copywriting to create highly addictive user experiences

If you’ve spent any time on Twitter in recent years, you’re familiar with a certain brand voice: Clever, self-deprecating, irreverent, but not offensive. In other words, the voice that many popular fast foods brands use on social media and featured in many startup marketing campaigns.

Slack uses its own version of this voice in its product, but deploys the voice strategically. The company understands that users have varying levels of receptivity to a lighthearted tone. After all, who wants to deal with jokes and puns when struggling to figure out an onboarding process?

Instead, Slack uses jokes and whimsical visualizations during so-called “end stage” or “empty stages” of the customer experience. These are pages or screens that don’t require any copy to help a user progress toward a goal — a “thank you for registering” page, for example.

While Slack takes a clever approach to copywriting, the company also understands that it’s important not to go overboard. Sara Culver, Slack content and design manager, listed a few of the company’s copywriting rules at a recent marketing seminar: 

  • Don’t make the user feel guilty. Anyone who has ever been asked to download an e-book or sign up for a newsletter is familiar with the standard guilt trip: The “yes” button includes language along the lines of “I want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity!” Meanwhile, the “no” button says something like “sorry, I’m not interested in subscribing because I want my competitors to put me out of business.” These guilt trips are annoying, alienating and defeat the purpose of using clever copy.
  • Voice continuity. It’s extremely off-putting to read copy associated with a product and have the language veer from voice to voice. Stick with your brand voice when creating product copy and users will be much more comfortable, and receptive to what you are saying.
  • Use active prose and eliminate repetition. Good product copy is lively and engages users from a slightly different angle than what they are used to. It also avoids repetition, which is clunky and unprofessional.
  • Great copy enhances product marketing but can’t make up for poor UX and/or functionality. Even the most clever and compelling copy won’t alleviate the stress users deal with when confronted by poor UX and confusing or inoperable functionality. 

What the right product marketing agency can do for you

If you’re looking for direct to consumer advertising and other creative services, you should have one key priority: Finding an agency that can deliver consistently compelling campaigns and strategy.

At Bigeye, we know the power of well-executed product marketing. If you’re looking for a product marketing agency to help you create the kind of sticky and hyper-addictive copy favored by Slack, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.

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