Pedigree adoption drive, by Solomon et al., 2014, is an article that explains the achievements that came as a result of using social media marketing strategy to inform the public about abandoned dogs that were in need of homes. The Pedigree Adoption Drive used marketing websites and platforms to give support to organizations and people who work to ensure better results for the abandoned dogs in need. In this work, I aim at finding out if this type of media campaign builds customer retention and if in any case offers brand loyalty, through synthesizing and analyzing the procedures and outcomes of the Pedigree adoption drive. Also, the work illustrates some factors that can be considered when planning a social media campaign, alternative communication channels that can be used to launch a pet food campaign, as well as the best approaches for implementing the alternative channels.
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Pedigree adoption drive is a social media marketing website and platform that supports organizations and people who work to ensure better results for the abandoned dogs in need. The Pedigree Foundation, through grant programs, supports organizations with tremendous impact ideas likely to change the status quo (Castronovo & Huang, 2012). The foundation also supports significant works of small rescues and shelters. However, the small rescues and shelters, together with the programs of feeding and keeping the animals comfortable is a day to day challenge for the Pedigree Foundation. Through maintaining the Pedigree’s belief, that every dog is entitled to be in a loving home, it partners with a non-profit organization, PetRescue to improve the plight of many dogs in shelters within Australia that are put down each year due to inability to find new owners.
The Pedigree Adoption Drive program required a new campaign to create awareness for the peril of these dogs as well as change the misbeliefs that shelter dogs are not good in some way. The initiative also needed to address the fact that the number of people visiting the dog shelters was declining yearly as a result of time and geographical constraints (Hsu & Chan, 2015). The agency thus required to establish a means bringing individuals face to face with the dogs for them to find out themselves that dogs were indeed healthy and quicken bond formulation to encourage adoption.
Indeed, this sort of social media campaign can build customer retention and brand loyalty. Customer retention is critical to the growth any successful business. When it became a problem to bring more people to adopt the dogs, the initiative had to find ways to make the people see and find out for themselves the facts surrounding the dogs. Their first step was thus to establish a unique search engine that brought all the 716 dog shelters into a single database. The eased the searching of dogs, made it accessible, simple, and more fun as possible (Hsu & Chan, 2015). A series of offline and online activities were then generated to facilitate the potential owners and dogs with the use of a Facebook application, known as the Dog-A-Like, at the core, and was also supported by a mobile app. The app ensured that shelter dogs were brought face to face with potential owners thereby enabling each to find a perfect match from the PetRescue database. All of which was supported by video and experimental activities that assisted in creating an emotional bond with the target population to increase the probability of adoption. The campaign was then launched through experiential Underdog Day at a beach in Sydney. The prevalence publicity as a result of the event lured the target groups to the online activities aimed at the campaign. The apps were designed to use facial recognition software with which created an immediate emotional connection between the dogs and the potential owners. The emotional connections were deepened by the creation of an online documentary, Underdogs.
The social media campaign established consumer retention and brand loyalty with the Dog-A-Like app becoming the number one app leading thereby leading to rapid increase in the number of dogs being adopted (Hsu & Chan, 2015). The campaign has ever since been the most successful reform with over 26 million media appearances. Most critically, the increase in the number of re-homed dogs has been arrived at after the program was initiated. The achievement is attributed to the means by which the agency established an innovative and efficient mechanism to bring together the target audience and the shelter dogs. The entertaining and accessible applications created loyalty and brand affection that was indeed marvelous.
As social media continues to develop as a proven strategy for marketing, the marketing industry has realized useful and smart social media campaigns. However, a successful social media campaign is not easy to identify, execute or even plan. For any business considering a social media campaign, there are significant factors to consider to achieve the desired results. The factors include a carefully developed plan, clearly defined goals, thorough analysis, and cross-channel promotion. More details on the factors are as described below.
A good social media campaign begins with a carefully developed plan (Solomon, 2009). The program needs to be campaign specific, taking into account the overall social media strategy which ensures the goals are not conflicting. Before initiating the marketing campaign, one must clearly have defined goals, as another factor to consider. Deciding on what is to be achieved at the start of the campaign eases the analysis and measurements of the results. The social media campaign can have a variety of goals with each piece of strategy serving a clear objective. The third factor to be considered is a thorough analysis. When analyzing the success of the campaign, an individual becomes grateful having identified the critical metrics related to the objectives before time. Indeed, it is easy to benchmark signs of progress against the previous starting point. Another factor to be considered is the cross-channel promotion. Unless a person is a major brand supported with millions of loyal followers, the social media campaign is most likely to require a helping hand from other channels of marketing to attain the desired results. According to Thackeray et al., 2008, integrated marketing campaigns are represented by good social media campaigns where the efforts on social media receive support from a range of other channels. The importance of promoting the social media campaign via additional channels is a double as individuals reached through social media are reminded via other communications, whereas those who are not much active on social media also becomes informed.
Apart from social media channels of marketing, email marketing can as well serve to promote the pet food campaigns (Ryan, 2014). Each year is courted with an increase in the number of email accounts being created worldwide. It can thus be postulated that, most likely, more than half of the total population of the world will have email accounts and will probably be buying from emails. Currently, email services account for more than seven percent of all the acquisitions of e-commerce users thereby making it the second best active channel for consumer acquisition.
One of the ways to promote the pet food campaigns through email marketing is by employing the abandonment cart email series. Seemingly, there is a growing percentage of a number of online shopping carts left unattended to. A lot of potential consumers dedicate their time to browse websites, look the available products, add the products to their carts, and sadly log out despite their clear intentions to purchase. It is thus clear that some pet food campaigns fail as a result of cart abandonment.
In place of the default emails, usually sent through platforms, one is likely to obtain better outcomes through customizations and establishing better strategies. A typical approach for implementing the abandonment cart email series can be achieved through a series of three emails sent to the potential audiences after durations of time. The first email, which is sent roughly after 24 hours of cart abandonment, serves as a reminder. The email informs the target audience of an item they left in their carts. A picture of the pet food can be added as part of the message. The email can as well illustrate some benefits that come with purchasing the pet food, not forgetting a simple link to help the customer checkout. A video can as well be included to bring the target customer face to face with the pets as it is likely to generate a bind that will push the client to complete the order. The second email, sent roughly after 24 hours of the second email, acts as an objection handling. This email tends to find out the reason as to which people are not buying. Data gathered from this can be used to improve the next cart abandonment series. The third and final email sent roughly 72 hours after the second email, is sent with the aim of giving the consumer a discount. All of these emails should contain a video or a picture to aid in creating a bond and luring the customers to purchase (Maclnnis, Park, & Priester, 2014).
Social media marketing, more so those that include images and videos, has proven to create an emotional link between products in question and the target audiences. Evident from the Pedigree adoption drive, many potential owners took the homeless dogs after the launch of the online series of videos, The Underdogs. Apart from establishing an emotional attachment, the videos also created awareness of the abandoned shelter dogs. The online marketing communication matched the homeless dogs with potential owners, with whom used certain apps to run the PetResource database to find their preferred dogs.
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Castronovo, C., & Huang, L. (2012). Social media in an alternative marketing communication model. Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6(1), 117.
Solomon, M. R. (2009). Marketing: Real people, real decisions. Pearson Education.
Ryan, D. (2014). The Best Digital Marketing Campaigns in the World II. Kogan Page Publishers.
Thackeray, R., Neiger, B. L., Hanson, C. L., & McKenzie, J. F. (2008). Enhancing promotional strategies within social marketing programs: use of Web 2.0 social media. Health promotion practice, 9(4), 338-343.
MacInnis, D. J., Park, C. W., & Priester, J. W. (2014). Handbook of brand relationships. Routledge.