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Marketing Pet Meds

In: Business and Management

Submitted By einradusa
Words 699
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Marketing 331 – Pet Meds Essay
Pet Meds, an online pet pharmacy was founded in 1996 when the Internet just started becoming popular. Like many companies they saw an opportunity to keep their overhead low so they could over value to its consumers. Over the years many websites have come and gone with various levels of success. Running an Internet Business is more than throwing up a website and hoping people will come and buy from you. The same marketing disciplines are needed on the internet as in brick and mortar retailers. Plus in some ways successful Internet companies need more marketing savvy and creativity.
The distribution plan for Pet Meds is three fold. They sell on the Internet, have a call center where customers can call in, and they also offer their products through direct mail and print. This way they are targeting different types of customers, those that are net literate and shop online, those that still like to talk to someone when taking an order and those they like to look through a printed catalog and read about what they are thinking of buying. This approach appeals to many people, especially the Internet. The Internet is non-threatening without a lot of sales pressure. People can browse and compare at their leisure. One of the nice perks Pet Meds has on its website is a lot of articles so customers can become more informed on a particular disease or condition. This is a great marketing strategy. Pet owners they may be researching a disease could end up on their website.
Pet Meds offers a lot of free perks. Some of these perks are pet treats, free shipping and lower prices. They have a tough market to crack. One of their chief competitors are Veterinarians. Since many vets sell prescription medications it is very convenient for pet owners to get their medication right away. Plus many pet owners probably don’t want to offend their favorite Vet. So they have to compete and maintain profitability. Pet Meds are not cheap and a lot of the cost are the markups along the supply chain. Pet Meds has its own warehouse and ships directly to the consumer. It receives many of its meds from the manufacturers. By having its warehouse, headquarters and shipping centers in one place cost can be cut down. With an Internet site it has a broad reach to consumers it would not be able to reach through normal retail outlets. As costs increase, customers are becoming more aware of alternatives, so Pet Meds is able to take advantage of economies of scale with increased customers, and lower overhead which helps make them profitable. One interesting thing to note, as competition has increased over the years so has the amount Pet Meds has spent on marketing and advertising. From its 2012 Annual Shareholder report, expenses for advertising jumped up 11% to 30.4 million. Today they not only have to compete with veterinarian, but other online pet sites and brick and mortar sites such as Target Pet Rx.

Vertical Marketing is also something introduced in the last few years. Our textbook discusses adjusting assortment discrepancies. They use assorting by offering their customers related products such as pet food, pet vitamins and pet supplies. This benefits not only their customers but their suppliers also since they can reach a larger market.
Before Pet Meds there were not many places to buy pet medications. One bought through a Vet Hospital or their local veterinarian. Options were limited and people were stuck paying high bills. This was an opportunity Pet Meds saw and took advantage of. There were able to use economies of scale and as their customer base grew I would think they would also have more negotiating power with manufacturers to lower their prices even further.
In summary, back in 1996 Pet Meds saw an opportunity to offer people cheaper pet medications which many pet owners have welcomed. As their company grew so has their marketing strategy through free perks, consumer education, related products, and even pet insurance. While Pet Meds growth is not what it used to be its marketing strategies have helped it continue to grow.…...

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