Guest post by Celeste Lindell
I've been a blogger since 2004 and I also work in advertising, so I've had a front row seat for the evolution of the intersection between social media influencers and marketers. As an attendee of the early BlogHer conferences, I watched as sponsorships ballooned from one year to the next, particularly as brands began to appreciate the purchasing power of moms.
Now that I'm involved in the BlogPaws community, I can see the same thing happening with brands and pet bloggers. However, we're still in the early stages and I foresee that a much wider swath of brands will come to realize just how valuable pet owners can be as consumers.
Let me hit you with some numbers. According to the 2011-2012 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey, 62% of U.S. households (approximately 72.9 million homes) own a pet. Contrast that with the latest Census figures, which reveal that only 46% of American households have children under 18 living at home. So if moms were the go-to consumer before, think about the potential of pet parents!
Right now, most of the brands marketing to pet owners are those that have products that the pets can use directly. However, any pet owner can tell you that those are just the tip of the iceberg of pet-related spending.
Sure, I've spent hundreds (let's be honest, thousands) of dollars on litter boxes, food dishes, collars, toys, dog clothing, blankets, pet furniture, cleaners, treats, special food, the perfect litter, and all kinds of other obvious pet things. However, I have spent many times more on things that aren't as apparent.
Hardwood, slate and tile floors throughout the house? All in service of cleanliness in a cat-filled home. Leather couches? Claw-proof and impervious to becoming fur-coated. Wooden blinds? Not as climbable as curtains. For most pet owners, animals are family members. They are factored into the lifestyle of the household in ways that are more far-reaching than it may seem at first glance.
I predict that smart marketers and brands will soon be viewing pet owners in a new light. Move over moms, we need to shop for our fur babies!