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Competing in a Hyper-local Space: Picking Your Channel

In the highly localized business of animal care—encompassing veterinary services, grooming, boarding, daycare, and training—the right marketing strategy plays a crucial role in connecting with the community and driving business success. These businesses thrive on close community ties and timely service delivery, making the choice of marketing channels critically important.

The “Seven Ms” provide a structured approach to crafting effective marketing strategies:

  1. Markets: Identifying your target audience.
  2. Message Content: Determining what to communicate.
  3. Mission: Defining your business goals.
  4. Media Strategy: Choosing the right channels to reach your audience.
  5. Message Design: Shaping how your message looks and feels.
  6. Money: Budgeting for your marketing activities.
  7. Measurement: Evaluating the success of your efforts.

Focus on Media Strategy

Media Strategy involves determining the methods and locations for communication. Once you’ve pinpointed your audience, defined your message, and established the desired response, you must consider three primary categories:

  1. Owned Media: These are channels you control, like your website, social media pages, or in-house brochures. They are direct and cost-effective but may have limited reach.
  2. Paid Media: This includes paying to leverage external channels, such as Google Search ads, Facebook advertising, TV spots, or sponsorships. These channels can extend your reach but at a higher cost.
  3. Earned Media: The most credible but challenging to control, earned media involves customers promoting your business through word-of-mouth, referrals, or even media features. This is the gold standard of media, as it is based on trust and authentic customer experiences.

Each channel has its advantages and limitations, and the right choice depends heavily on your specific marketing objectives.  The Venn Diagram below can be used to think about which channel is right for your mission.

For instance, if your goal is to raise awareness among new customers, paid media might be necessary to achieve sufficient reach. However, for deeper engagement with existing customers, owned media could be more appropriate.

Integrating Media Channels

A successful hyper-local strategy often involves a mix of all three media types. The content does not always need to be unique to each channel; with the right technology, it can be adapted and repurposed to fit different needs. A well-managed strategy leverages these channels in a way that customers gradually move from higher-cost channels (like paid media) to lower-cost channels (like owned and earned media), enhancing the long-term profitability and sustainability of the business.

Vetcelerator’s Role

At Vetcelerator, we specialize in optimizing media strategies for veterinary practices, ensuring that each practice can effectively reach its local community while maximizing return on investment. Our team helps integrate various media channels in a cohesive strategy that not only attracts new customers but also builds lasting relationships with the community.

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All Paws Animal Hospital

This team is really in tune with our practice needs, and really have our best interest at hand when it comes to our bottom line. We really appreciate all their efforts form John’s team in Marketing, Drew in Sales, Lynn’s help with reports, and Mason’s expertise on new hire.

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