4 Marketing Lessons I Learned from My Cats

by Mistina Picciano on June 22, 2011

Whether or not you’re an animal person, you’ve probably seen studies touting the positive psychological benefits of pets. But, have you encountered many articles on the business lessons to be gained from our furry friends?

At any rate, I hope you’ll find these tips moderately useful, if not mildly entertaining.

  1. Mix it up. If you buy canned food by the case, you know that cat food companies don’t offer variety packs. You get 24 cans of the same flavor. Not a problem when your felines love Turkey & Giblets, right? Our darlings start off with enthusiasm, but soon, only half the can disappears. A few days later, the ungrateful wretches ignore the moist mass entirely. Don’t let familiarity breed contempt when it comes to your marketing. Like two-day-old turkey, free-falling open rates and site traffic stink.
  2. Grab their attention. Cats, unlike clients and prospects, typically don’t have hundreds of stimuli vying for their attention at any given moment. These beasts are, however, likewise governed by the law of inertia. Placing a cluster of strings and feathers in front of them may not lure them from a warm windowsill. But when that same cluster dangles and bobs just out of reach, few cats can resist the instinct to chase. In marketing, we have to identify those emotional hot buttons that will wake up our audience and inspire them to give chase.
  3. Give ’em what they want. This tip may seem to contradict #1, but stick with me for a sec. Yes, after eight years, my babies have trained me so I know what they like and what they don’t. I’ve also figured out what really stokes their feline fires. In our household, opening a container of bonito flakes brings the babies from the far reaches of our home, clamoring for the treat. If you’ve stumbled upon a similarly effective secret weapon in your marketing, work it—but not too much.
  4. Bond with them. I’ve seen felines over the years that barely interact with owners. Sometimes they’ve been abused or have otherwise missed out on the socialization that creates an affectionate pet. Our cats were spoiled since birth and crave human attention. The little girl even enjoys dancing. (YouTube video to come.) Years of quality time create a rewarding experience for both pet and owner. Just as many of the best client partnerships often deepen into close friendships, forged by long-term respect and trust.

Please, please, please share any sales and marketing tips you may have picked up from the non-human members of your family. We’d especially love to hear about cold-blooded pets, like fish and turtles.

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