Pet specialty agency, Four Paws PR, has launched in Sydney to service the massive pet industry with an annual revenue of $8 billion and growing. It has continued to grow during the GFC, ranking 117 out of 498 industry sectors well ahead of wine manufacturing and not far behind copper ore mining.
Four Paws PR was established by pet owner and lover, Louise Lees, who has over 25 years experience in media and marketing. Lees saw a major opportunity to utilise her love of pets and passion and experience in media and marketing.
“I own and love pets and this is such an exciting market, it has evolved into so many aspects of our lives especially as we increasingly view pets as a valued member of our family,” said Lees. “We want to provide PR services to pet related companies but we also want to provide specialist advisory services to nonpet
With over 63% of Australian homes owning at least one pet, brands can’t ignore this major market. If they don’t accommodate pet owners in their advertising and product development then they will miss valuable opportunities” continues Lees. There’s the massive spend on food, veterinary care and accessories. But this has expanded as pets now have their own Facebook page, Twitter account, there are day care businesses, pets travel with us, eat organic pet food, lounge on luxury furniture. Lees believes this offers major opportunities for brand extensions.
The automotive industry is ahead of most others and it should be considering that 16 percent of Americans buy cars with their dog in mind and the data is very similar in Australia. “Marketers have to get out of the mindset of how they may view pets. Owners have a completely different attitude and marketers have to get into the pet owners mind to be able to reach them effectively” says Lees.
Women are the main carer and purchaser for pets and Lees says that when marketing to women pet owners, it's important to remember they are a community, a unique community. Typically, the major carer of the pet is female, married with
children, living in the suburbs and most likely employed.
Research of over 80,000 women surveyed, over 80 per cent spend more on their dog than on their partner. "Women in this community are as emotionally attached to their pets, for the most part, as other women are to their children. Their dog is just like a kid to them,” says Lees.
Four Paws PR is launching the first ever Greyhound Awareness Campaign in September to increase the community’s understanding of the true nature of the Greyhound. “Greyhounds are Gorgeous” Month is running from 1 to 30 September
nationally with the objective of increasing the level of Greyhound adoptions and fostering.
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