In the digital marketing industry, it is very important to know what your brand stands for. Marketing is a double-edge sword whereas one wrong move can send your brand to no man’s land. Thus, it is crucial for digital marketers to make their brands shine by finding the unique points of their own or through following new trends. This is also to separate their brands from those with a bad reputation, especially in the pet food industry.
Food advertisement in the pet industry is like in human’s food industry. With the same dish, different brands can recreate them differently and receive different feedbacks for it. For example, there are five restaurants selling burgers. But news delivered lately shows that one of these restaurants is making burgers from sick cows – bringing down the reputation of the following four restaurants as a domino effect. Similarly, any negative revelations about a single pet food brand can largely affect the pet food industry as a whole. Customers might feel reluctant to buy pet food and change to other methods to feed their pet or buying imported pet food from other countries – both cases that will affect negatively your business. Therefore, it is important for digital marketers to recognize this risk the moment their brand is on the market to prepare for counter-measurements.
Like a virus outbreak, the quicker you are to detain it, the better. Rather than wait for the negativity and doubts on your products to pass, digital marketers should quickly respond to this matter by addressing these concerns in a public statement. If the pet food’s reputation were to go down for a certain aspect, for example, a bad substance that was claimed to commonly be found in pet food, it is better to revise your products to make sure they are not involved in these claims and clarify yourself first. Marketing executive Caterina Bassano said that research shows “that companies that respond to leads within an hour, are 7 times more likely to convert leads to sales” and “as much as 50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first.”
In a competitive environment with many pet food brands dealing with the same crisis, the first to respond will surely catch the public’s attention. The attitude in which digital marketers deliver this response is important as well. It should reflect professionalism and put the customers’ needs and their pets first. By being the first to react shows that your brand has little to hide, as well as edging over your competitors regarding public interaction and response time.
When marketing, with the knowledge of the pet industry’s domino effect, digital marketers should prepare themselves a safety net for the brand if it were to go flying. Promoting reliable sources to why your product is safe helps customers feel more at ease when purchasing. In the case of pet food, two sources that regulate the quality of pet food’s ingredients are The Association of American Feed Control Officials and The Food and Drug Administration.
Pet food is only safe for sale with these approvals, but customers might not be aware of this standard. Although pet industry companies might think of this as common, it is a digital marketer’s job to specialized these norms that might not be clear to people outside the industry. By mentioning who approved the products and why they are legitimate might be hard due to the complex content. But if digital marketers can convince customers of this authority while making it concise and informative, the brand will grow with much better notoriety than those who couldn’t.
This is one of the keys to build trust, and even more so in the pet industry where customers’ feedbacks can reflect strongly on the reputation of the brand. Being transparent means to be as clear and concise as can be so your customers can understand more than just the surface of the problem. It is to explain the problem, not sugar-coating too much of the downside, and also admitting to areas that you may not fully understand rather than trying to cover it up with unchecked facts. Transparency in digital marketing will help you earn customers’ respect, also portraying the brand’s professionalism in a way that will benefit the company in the long run.
In the time of crisis, it is a tool to mitigate negativity on your brand and prove that you can be trusted. It allows us to tell our own story, not what the public or your opponents might think. Furthermore, being transparent allows digital marketers to take a proactive approach in educating customers about the product’s value and making process. By utilizing this, marketers can build trust much earlier to counter any crisis and competitors that may arise in the future.