Last Updated: March 29, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage

As the owner or manager of a pet care business (dog daycare, boarding kennel, groomer, etc), you've probably spent a good amount of time and money trying out various marketing techniques to help drive more customers to your business. Be it newspaper advertising, Google Ads, sign spinners, you name it. Have you, however, thought about doing any grassroots marketing?

Grassroots marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on building relationships with potential customers and spreading the word about your business through personal interactions and local outreach. It’s a great way to reach out to new customers and build your brand in your local community. It's a great way to get the word out about your business while also not breaking your bank account in the process. Most grassroots marketing ideas don't take too much money to get going and they can have long-term benefits even after the fact.

Enough jabber. Let's get to business. Here are some creative and effective grassroots marketing ideas for dog kennels, groomers, and daycares:

1. Partner with Local Pet-Friendly Businesses

Partnering with local pet-friendly businesses such as pet supply stores, veterinary clinics, and dog parks can help you reach new customers and build relationships with the local pet community. Consider offering discounts or promotions to customers who visit your business after stopping by one of your partner businesses. If there's a pet store in your city, you NEED to be offering some type of collaborative joint promotion plan. Perhaps your dog daycare clients get a 20% discount at the pet store and any clients of the pet store get a free day of doggie daycare. You'll want to contact the business owner and have a sit down meeting to discuss how you can create a mutually-beneficial promotion strategy for both businesses. Once you've got it up and running, you'll hopefully see a new stream of clients coming from the pet store and the pet store will see an increase in sales from your clients doing their purchasing there.

2. Host Pet-Friendly Events to Attract New Clients

Hosting events such as adoption days, meet-and-greet sessions with dogs, or dog-friendly social events is a great way to engage with potential customers and build your brand. You can partner with local pet-friendly businesses or organizations to co-host events and reach a larger audience. Perhaps once a month, you can offer a free "pet playtime" for potential clients. If people are interested in your business, they can use this free event as a way to get to know your business, and you can use it as a way to build relationships with new potential clients. In the pet industry, people want to trust their service provider before leaving Fido for the weekend. By creating these relationships at your pet events, you might see an increase in more people using your other services.

3. Give Back to the Community

Giving back to the local community is a great way to build positive relationships and spread the word about your business. Consider hosting a food drive for a local animal shelter or donating a portion of your profits to a local pet-related charity. It might seem counter-intuitive to be giving away your profits, but it's a great way to build your brand. Let's say that you give 10% of your profits to the local animal shelter. You'll be helping the animal shelter stay in business and provide a great service to the community, and you'll also generate a lot of goodwill that could eventually turn into more revenue. Some pet owners prefer to spend their money with businesses that are doing good, and knowing that you are giving away part of your profits to the local animal shelter is definitely going good. The animal shelter will also actively tell new pet owners about your business. If someone adopts a dog from the shelter, you best believe that the shelter will tell them about your business if they're ever in need of boarding, daycare or grooming services.

4. Utilize Word-of-Mouth Marketing to Spread the Word

Word-of-mouth is one of the most powerful marketing tools available. Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews on social media, Google, and other platforms. You can also incentivize customers to refer their friends and family to your business by offering a referral program. Starting a referral system is quite simple. You just need to have a way to track who is referring clients and how much you're paying out for each referral. Let's say that for every referral that someone sends to your dog daycare, you give that person 3 free days of daycare. If that new client pays for at least three days of daycare, you've paid off the money "lost" in the referral payout and now you have a new client as a result. It's a win-win.

5. Create Content that Educates and Informs

Creating content such as blog posts, videos, and social media posts that educate and inform potential customers about the benefits of using your dog daycare or kennel is a great way to build your brand and reach new customers. Consider creating content that addresses common concerns or questions that potential customers might have about dog daycare or kenneling. If you're a grooming business, you could create free content on how pet owners can take care of their pet's coat between grooming appointments. These can be simple videos that you post on your business's Facebook page. Your clients will enjoy the content and Facebook will also reward you with more time in newsfeeds, because Facebook likes content creators.

6. Participate in Local Events

Participating in local events such as pet parades, festivals, and farmers’ markets is a great way to reach new customers and build relationships with the local pet community. Consider setting up a booth or providing a demo to show customers what your business has to offer. At our local parade, you can make a small payment in order to get your float added to the parade. If you're a dog daycare business, ask some of your clients if they wouldn't mind lending you their pets for the fair. You can ask the local middle school if they have any students that would be interested in walking one of these dogs during the parade. The kids' parents will be happy to see their child in the parade and you'll get your business out in front of a bunch of new potential clients.

7. Offer Special Promotions

Offering special promotions or discounts is a great way to attract new customers and incentivize repeat business. Consider offering a discount for first-time customers, a referral program, or a loyalty program for repeat customers. Many business owners are against promotions or discounts, because they think that they're going to lose money in the process. However, if you run the numbers, giving out discounts can actually increase your revenue.

As you can see, grassroots marketing is a creative and effective way to reach new customers and build your brand in your local community. By utilizing these tactics and focusing on building relationships with the local pet community, you can grow your business and reach new customers.

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