Tuesday, February 14, 2017
This week, owing to my love of all things robots and pets, I decided to take a look at the Petzi Treat Cam, a curious Internet of Things device that allows pet owners to communicate with, watch, and actually dispense treats to their pets via a mobile app. Let’s consider some of the potential methods of market research that the company might have used when developing and launching the Treat Cam. Because their product is not an essential item for pet owners, but instead a luxury that is, let’s face it, geared directly at alleviating pet owners’ guilt and anxiety for leaving their pets home alone for long periods of time, Petzi may have made use of U.S. Census Bureau maps and data regarding income levels, age range, and employment. It’s possible that more families own pets than single people, so Petzi might have consulted census data maps to locate the best cities to push the Treat Cam, for example. Petzi Treat Cam is expensive, so marketers would want to target a group that has enough disposable income to afford such a device. Typically, tech-savvy Millennials are most likely to engage with a mobile app designed to connect you to your pet while you’re away from home, so investigating age-related census data would by critical. Finally, since the Treat Cam is intended for use while away from home, Petzi marketers would likely want to target a region with high employment rates. All of this data is secondary market research, but Petzi might have also employed primary market research in the form of interviews, for example, to asses whether or not their product would be appealing to customers. For purchase options, aside from online ordering, the Petzi Treat Cam website features big box stores like Best Buy and Petco, and offers an interactive map that displays locations near your zip code where you can buy their products.
“We are good doggos”:
Regarding the video element of this week’s blog, the first visual concept that I came up with was a sort of lo-fi animation featuring memespeak, which might appeal to other pet lovers and could easily be shared across social media platforms. I initially wanted to show how creating a short video and sharing it can help generate leads for companies. Unfortunately, my vision was a bit too lofty for one week’s preparation and I ran out of time. I settled instead for drawing a few sketches and assembling an animated gif in Photoshop, which you can take a look at here:
Because most Petzi Treat Cam users will likely be dog owners because dogs respond more to training, human visual and vocal cues, I thought it would make the most sense to feature dogs in my little sketch story. (Plus a nod to Party Cat.) In their advertising Petzi also reflects a dog bias, which illustrates that they have clearly done their own research about who would be most likely to want to try the Treat Cam. More secondary marketing research data can be found on sites like the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
If Petzi itself were to create a (much, much higher quality) video like this and then share it across social media sites, such a tactic would be an example of an opportunity for Petzi to generate inbound leads. Creating funny or interesting content that follows internet trends like riffing on popular memes situates the brand as current and comes across as less intrusive as traditional push marketing techniques. Even better, those sharing the content end up acting as advocates for the brand, even if they don’t actually wind up purchasing the product itself.
Petzi reinforces this social aspect of their marketing practice through their own social network app. Anyone can download the app and look at pictures of pets using the Petzi Treat Cam or other Petzi products, and here again, the same lead generation process can be witnessed.