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Setting the right context for veterinary marketing

By MWI Animal Health

Reaching pet parents at those 'aha!' moments
client recommendations

Sometimes, veterinary marketing centers too heavily on the product or service instead of the client. When pet owners feel bombarded with confusing messages that don't speak to their specific concerns, traditional marketing can miss the mark.

Context-driven marketing aligns opportunity with resources to anticipate clients' needs. Think of it as conversation starters that introduce important veterinary products and services — without the icky, hard sell.

Treating present-day needs

You stress the importance of preventative care — such as core vaccines and flea, tick, and heartworm treatments — to pet owners. And they are listening. Twenty percent of pet owners said they have committed to taking their pets for checkups more frequently after the pandemic. Increased visits can lead to better pet health and stronger customer relations.

Those vaccine appointments bring the proper context to discuss pet preventative care plans. Though pet health insurance covers catastrophic or unexpected medical bills, a pet wellness plan covers routine, preventative care. These plans offer monthly payment options to spread out the cost of products and services. This single fee simplifies expenses for the pet parent. With no surprise costs, they can budget better.

Your veterinary practice can partner with a preventative care plan vendor to create customized offerings based on your specific services and animal population. When clients bring their pets for routine checkups or immunizations, that's the right context for discussing the benefits of preventative care plans.

Besides making routine care more financially manageable for your clients, offering a pet care plan can boost compliance and practice revenue. Premier Vet Alliance found that pet owners who were not enrolled in a plan bought only one-third of the recommended flea, tick, and heartworm products. Those medications need their full dose for maximum effectiveness, so skipping them could put pets at risk.

Clients who enrolled in the plans are more likely to come to their veterinarian for medications and skip third-party services. This improves both your cash flow and your relationships with customers. In fact, pet owners enrolled in wellness plans went from a mean of 3.3 visits per year to 5.5 visits per year. More visits mean more opportunities for veterinary marketing conversations and more chances to educate pet parents on their animal's well-being.

Looking to the future of pet care

The latest innovation in pet healthcare is stem cell banking. Just as parents can bank stem cells from cord blood in case of future health problems for their children, pet parents can bank stem cells from reproductive tissue that would otherwise be discarded after a spay or neuter procedure.

Therapies derived from canine stem cells have shown promise in treating dogs with osteoarthritisdry eye, and kidney injuries, among other ailments.

This procedure is easy and requires no extra work for you at the time of the spay or neuter appointment. However, the right context for marketing this service is during preliminary discussions about spaying or neutering. Clients need to sign up and initiate the process with the stem cell bank before the appointment. So, your communications on the topic must begin before that appointment is on the books. Can you create veterinary marketing messages that would speak to the benefits of the service?

You already have a captive audience. Millennial and Gen Z pet owners in particular are more likely to trust their veterinarian over other sources for guidance on pet products and services. They are also an audience that is ready to take out their credit cards. In 2020, Americans spent $31.4 billion on vet care and product sales. That includes routine veterinary care, surgical procedures, pharmaceuticals, and non-food products sold at veterinary clinics.

From a business perspective, working with a stem cell banking service provider is a revenue-making opportunity for your veterinary practice. You can charge a collection fee to clients, plus there's potential to make money performing the stem cell therapies in the future.

Putting everything in context

Anticipating pet owners' needs and targeting your veterinary marketing efforts based on the proper context leads to positive results. Take advantage of a veterinary practice communications system that enables you to reach clients before they come to the clinic. If a pet parent is overdue for an annual wellness visit, you can send a personalized email reminding them to schedule the appointment. Oh, and did they know the practice offers a pet care plan that would cover that wellness visit?

Personalized and responsive marketing improves the customer experience, increasing satisfaction, and ultimately, loyalty. Marketing doesn't need to seem intrusive. Weave marketing conversations into everyday client interactions.

Promote your pet care plan

Combine the strength of Premier Pet Care with the marketing power of AllyDVM to reach the right clients