The target market of the Furbo Dog Nanny is young professionals aged between 24 and 35 years, who own a dog or dogs and live in an urban set-up. Critically, an ideal consumer profile would be of a 26-year-old woman living in an apartment in New York. The woman works all weekdays and is in middle management. She has one dog that she locks in the house when she is at work. It is prudent to note that the target audience’s needs are for their pets to be safe, properly engaged, and well monitored while they are away at work.
One can argue that Furbo’s concept supports this need because it offers pet owners an artificial intelligence-supported system that uses video and audio alerts on the mobile phone to engage with both pet and owner. It is critical to note that pet owners believe that the pet is part of their family, therefore, want the best for them. One point of difference that represents a competitive advantage for Furbo is the fact that all information is saved in the cloud. Secondly, the data is in real-time with no structured delays.
Furbo Dog Nanny is an artificial intelligence-supported system that provides real-time information to the dog owner through their phone and further uploads all content on the cloud in a bid to ensure the safety and monitoring of the pet while the owner is away from home.
Integrated Marketing Communication Mix Strategy
Furbo Dog Nanny can explore both traditional and digital approaches to advertising and reaching its target audience. Camilleri (2018) notes that advertising is the promotion of goods or services to a large viewership for purposes of attracting sales. It is critical to note that traditional advertising is pegged on the mass distribution of information as opposed to direct communication with the identified target group. On the other hand, digital advertising can be highly customized to reach the customer profile described earlier primarily.
The company must consider all aspects of advertising because it affects market offering via reach. The only way to reach the target is through one form of advertising or the other.
Critically, advertising also affects the positioning of the company in the market. Chitty et al. (2018) note that market positioning is often based on three things. These are several sales, brand visibility, and brand reputation. All these can be managed through proper advertising. It is important to note that advertising is also tied to other marketing mix elements beyond promotion. For example, it affects brand equity, which impacts quality, which in turn affects the whole industry on pet wellness. Importantly, the consumer decision-making theory is pegged on various elements, including the ability of the client to trust the brand that has been advertised.
There are two ways in which the advertising tool can be used to support the objective of Furbo Dog Nanny. The first is through media strategies, where the company will create adverts and use the proper channels to reach their target audience. As mentioned earlier, there are two ways this can be achieved – through traditional and digital approaches. This strategy can be measured through access ratings and inquiries. Secondly, the company also has to consider messaging.
Blut, Teller, and Floh (2018) note that different types of advertisements require various messaging based on the platform that is being used and even the target. For instance, an ad that will be highlighted on a social media platform such as Twitter has to be different from that featured in the newspaper due to issues such as the number of characters. The component of messaging can be measured using the attrition and response rate metrics. Critically, the aspect of advertising ties to the needs of the target market, who might not be aware of the existence of such services.
It is important to note that Furbo Dog Nanny should take advantage of digital advertising to reach its consumers due to its profile. The stated target consumer is often online, meaning that they consume a significant percentage of their information from different internet sites. Camilleri (2018) explains that this age group or consumer profile, in this case, is often on social media and even consumes daily news from social media platforms. The company, therefore, should develop social media platforms and hire a manager for the same.
Content management is critical in ensuring engagement with the consumer. Camilleri (2018) notes that such an arrangement also encourages feedback, which can be used by Furbo Dog Nanny company to enhance their services further. All activities related to advertising must be tied to the company’s objectives. This will help the management improve the bottom line while at the same time also promoting quality enhancement. Because Furbo Dog Nanny has developed a messaging approach that shows the beneficial nature of their product to the well-being of the dog (pet), the company must use the same process in their advertising.
Personal selling is one of the most common marketing approaches. Antczak and Sypniewska (2017) explain that this approach involves having one on one selling pitches with one’s clients. Often, this means that a company has to send representatives to meet and engage its target market. It is a common practice in supermarkets where brand agents wait in the aisle and try to convince buyers that come to that specific aisle to choose their products.
It has been successful in this manner because the supermarket approach directly targets an audience that is interested in similar products, hence, their effort to go to that specific aisle. It is important to note that one of the advantages of personal selling is that it allows for the inclusion of the human aspect of marketing. Blut, Teller, and Floh (2018) note that word of mouth is still considered the most effective approach to marketing. Personal selling is pegged on the human aspect that word of mouth is also founded upon.
There are numerous reasons why Furbo Dog Nanny should employ personal selling as part of its marketing activities. Graham et al. (2019) explain that families or individuals who keep pets often want the best for them as they are part of their families. It is crucial always to get the right services and goods for their pets.
One way of ensuring that services and goods are remarkable for their furry pets is through proper engagement with the brands that offer the same. Personal selling often encourages selling agents to meet the consumers at their most comfortable places, therefore, homes, parks, in their offices, malls, and so forth.
To ensure the consumers trust the brand, the sales agents should be well informed about the needs of the pet and even interact directly with the pet to further establish trust. It is critical to note that pet well-being falls highly in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. Antczak and Sypniewska (2017) rightfully argue that although one of the best approaches in marketing, personal selling can be time-consuming. This is because the consumer has to trust the brand and the communication being pushed out. Such trust affects positioning in the market. It also provides a different market offering compared to competitors.
Personal selling should be used only after mass advertising of the product has occurred. This is because people tend to believe things that they have seen before (in the form of advertisements on television, social media, or even the newspaper) compared to those that have not been advertised (Deri, Davidai & Gilovich 2017).
One strategy that can further enhance personal selling is remuneration through virtual points that can be redeemed to buy pet food. Ideally, this would mean that the company gets into a partnership with a common dog food brand or even a pet store that will allow for the redeeming of pet food using the acquired virtual points. This solution meets the target market’s needs as it looks at the pet’s overall well-being, including nutrition. It is recommended that this approach be measured for success or otherwise through both sales average and lead response time. The latter is critical because more people will need more than one interaction to buy the brand.
Digital marketing is one of the most common ways of promoting a business in this day and age. Martinelli (n.d) explains that one of the advantages of digital marketing is that it is cost-effective. This is not all, as the approach also allows the company to reach more people within a short period compared to personal selling. As mentioned earlier, the target market selected can often be found engaging online.
In fact, as Blut, Teller, and Floh (2018) note, there are numerous online communities and groups on social media for dog lovers where owners share ideas on how to keep their pets safe and fully monitored while they are at work. It is critical to note that these communities offer an excellent platform for digital marketing for Furbo as it directly affects the target market.
Digital marketing is critical in market offering as it also affects brand image. This is because many consumers first interact with brands online through social media (Chitty et al., 2018). Using Porter’s five forces theory, it is arguable that the industry can easily accommodate new entrants. Therefore, companies in the pet business have to come up with creative and viable strategies to boost their competitive edge.
Critically, digital marketing can help Furbo Dog Nanny capture a significant percentage of the target market and enhance the company’s positioning. Critically, digital marketing will help Furbo Dog Nanny also achieve its objectives by improving its digital footprints. As stated earlier, the company will upload all the materials and footage to a cloud that is accessible to the pet owner. This can also be easily linked to the digital marketing strategies that will help boost the brand.
Specifically, the company should have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik-Tok profiles to engage with their potential clients. Further, Furbo Dog Nanny should also have a robust and interactive website that provides more information than any of its clients might need. This helps a consumer who has found the brand online trust it due to the extensive information available. It is also vital that the company encourages reviews from previous clients on their pages.
Camilleri (2018) notes that studies that are read online often help consumers decide whether to purchase a brand or not. Critically, in the implementation of this strategy, it is crucial for the management to also respond to any queries and concerns that might be highlighted through these social media platforms. Importantly, this strategy can be measured for success using inbuilt social media and website analytic tools such as Google and Twitter Analytics and Facebook and Instagram Insights.
In conclusion, Furbo Dog Nanny has the potential of capturing a significant percentage of the market if a proper and viable marketing strategy is implemented. One element in marketing that is often overlooked is the importance of identifying the right audience for a service or product. The identified target audience is professionals who have a dog or dogs and are also working.
Furbo Dog Nanny must focus on the primary target audience and align marketing strategies with the same. An implication of this is that the company will fully understand its main consumer and use strategies that support more engagement with the client. Further, the company will be in a better position to remove any pain points that might affect the consumer journey.
Further, Furbo should consider using both traditional and digital approaches to marketing its products. An implication for this is that the company will be able to target its primary consumers while also informing the larger public about its product. However, it is also recommended that the advertising should lean more on digital approaches because this is where the primary target audience gets its information from.
Therefore, it can be argued that an implication of this is that Furbo should also include a digital communications policy in their company strategy. Another substance is that the firm has to consider hiring a social or digital media manager to ensure they take advantage of these platforms.
Critically, personal selling is also essential for the Furbo brand. This is because many pet owners prefer a personal relationship with the brands they introduce to their pets. Therefore, having an agent selling the brand meet with potential clients can help them trust the company more. However, management must train the sales agents in the products and proper interaction with pets and their owners.
An implication of this is that the company will have to spare funds for such intense training of all its sales agents, and to some extent, other employees that have to deal directly with clients. Additionally, one can argue that another implication of the same is the extensive use of time to establish trust and a personal relationship between the company and its clients.
Antczak A., & Sypniewska B. A. (2017) Personal selling in the service sector as one marketing promotional tool. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan.
Blut, M., Teller, C., & Floh, A. (2018) ‘Testing retail marketing-mix effects on patronage: a meta-analysis’, Journal of Retailing, 94(2), pp. 113-135.
Camilleri, M. A. (2018) Integrated marketing communications. Cham: Springer.
Chitty, W. et al. (2018) Integrated marketing communications. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning.
Deri, S., Davidai, S., & Gilovich, T. (2017) ‘Home alone: why people believe others’ social lives are richer than their own’, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113(6), pp. 858–877.
Graham, M. T. et al. (2019) ‘Are millennials really picking pets over people? Taking a closer look at dog ownership in emerging adulthood’. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth, 11(1), pp. 1-5.
Martinelli R. (n.d) The evolving world of public relations: beyond the press release. State College: The Pennsylvania State University.