Tuesday, September 29, 2009
HOW MUCH IS THAT DOGGIE IN THE WINDOW?
Walk pass any pet store that sells animals and most of the time, you’ll see that the owner of the store has put the cutest puppies or kittens in the window. It’s good marketing strategy and it works. But what about the rest of us who want to advertise puppies for sale, stud dog services, or dog related items? Where do we go to advertise something? Where is there a market for what we advertise? Competition can be tough especially with today’s economy. People undersell other people just to make the sale. Believe it or not, there are more places to advertise than ever before. You just got to do a little research.
For those who can afford it, advertising is a dream come true for these select few. When money is no object, then selling what you have to offer comes easy. Most people don’t have this option. So let’s say you do have the extra bucks to put out for advertising. Probably your best audience for selling your litters or offering a dog at stud is your breed magazines. The German Shepherd Dog Review is a monthly magazine put out by the German Shepherd Dog Club of America. This is a “who’s who” of the German Shepherd community. It is definitely the place to be seen when you are advertising your dogs. Years ago, many people (myself included) would advertise our litters in this magazine by taking out a full page ad. Sometimes if they were older puppies, breeders would put in an ad with the pups pictures as well as their pedigree. I don’t see very many breeders advertising this way anymore. Mostly what I see in this magazine is stud dog ads as well as brags of show and obedience title winners. Ads in this magazine and others like it are very expensive, but no where else will you get the same type of attention to what you are advertising as you will here. This is for the serious student of the breed who is looking to reach like type of people.
Next to the breed magazines, advertising on the internet has become very popular. No where else will you attract as many people as you will here. There are all sorts of dog related websites where you can advertise your puppies and studs usually for a small fee.
Also if you own your own website, you might get people to contact you through this method.
One of the best (in this writer’s opinion) and cheapest ways to advertise your dogs is belonging to dog related e-mail lists. There are a gazillion lists that you can sign up for. Do be aware of the individual list rules as far as advertising is concerned. Some allow it and others do not. So check up on this before you sign up. Obviously those who can accept photographs of your dogs are an added bonus. Some that come to mind are, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org There are many others that will allow this as well. Just ask around and you’ll get some recommendations. The reason that I like these lists for advertising purposes is that you have a ready made audience from the people who belong and read these lists. Plus the best part of all is that it is FREE ADVERTISING! What’s not to like about that?
Other places to advertise on the internet are social gathering places where literally hundreds of thousands of people will be able to see what you have to advertise. Places like “Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter” come to mind. These places are a great way to network what it is you are looking to sell and to get yourself known through other German Shepherd owners and newcomers as well. Once again, this is free advertising.
Obviously we all know that you can advertise in your local newspapers. Sometimes if you live by a big city, it might be wise to utilize that newspaper for your ad as well. I used to live about an hour and a half away from New York City, and occasionally I would advertise in the New York Times which is much more expensive than your local newspaper, but most of the time, it paid off.
Other places and ways to advertise are: your vet’s office (his bulletin board) or just let him and his staff know you have puppies for sale, pet store and grocery store bulletin boards, car bumper stickers (have one made and advertise your kennel), custom make a t-shirt advertising your kennel, wear a hat or cap with your kennel’s logo on it, business cards with you kennel name, advertise in your clubs show catalogs, futurity catalogs and of course the National Specialty show catalogs. Join a dog breed club and talk up your “stuff.” Advertise in their newsletters. Join the parent club and advertise on their website. When you go to a dog show, it’s very smart advertising to make yourself an album with pictures of your dogs or new litter or your stud dog. Make sure you have plenty of pedigrees available. Also tell your dog’s handler that you have a litter or stud that you want him to talk about. If your handler loves your dog, this can be a great way to get the word out. And naturally, the good old fashioned way to advertise is “word of mouth.”
So there you have it. These are just some of the ways you can get out to the public that you have something that they may be interested in buying. Make no mistake about it…..no matter how much of a well known breeder you may be, advertising is still important. Because there are so many people who are doing the same thing that you are, you must keep your name foremost in people’s minds. Pick up the Review and you will still see these people advertising their dogs. Joan Ford told me one time, that even though most people in the breed knew who she was, she still had to advertise her dogs or they begin to forget about you.
Advertising rates: Zero, zilch, nadda, nothing right on up to thousands of dollars.
My rating: magazines: (4), internet: (3), personal web-sites (3), e-mail lists: (4), newspapers: (4), clubs: (3), catalogs, newsletters (3), all others (3)