Does Free Pet Media Work?
Researchers Confirm that Free, Niche Magazines Should be Key Players in Marketing Plans
"Public place distribution can and frequently does enable advertisers to reach a larger body of readers who are involved, demographically qualified and responsive to their advertising message."
"Public place readers are as likely to be buyers or influencers in most product categories as compared to subscribers."
"The reason freely distributed, special-interest publications are growing so rapidly is their ability to penetrate hard-to-reach demographic target audiences...Savvy marketing professionals know this."
Distributors, Retailers, Treatmakers, Vets, Pet Services! What They Say!
"Dr Neil's has advertised with Urban Animal since the second issue and in every edition since. As a wholesaler who distributes a vast array of products, we traditionally purchase a large amount of advertising space, and divide it between the products we want to promote.
We see Urban Animal in any number of retail stores and vets, and use copies in our own promotional activity.
We have been very pleased with the responses to our advertisements in Urban Animal, with calls directed back through our Customer Service team, and this is why we plan to continue including Urban Animal as part of our marketing mix well into the future."
Michelle Mayvald, National Sales & Marketing Manager for Dr Neil's
"I have been advertising with Urban Animal since the very first issue in October 2004. Since then, I have advertised in every issue--except perhaps one.
The reason is simple: Urban Animal has proven to be the most widely read animal-lovers' publication I have ever advertised in. I have received more calls regarding my product from this publication than any other publication in all our six years of operation.
Many of the enquiries come from readers who have copies of previous issues, or from a copy someone has given them, or one they have found, and many of the readers use the publication as a reference guide. It appears they just never know when they are going to need an article, product, advice or service. Its wide circulation, large number of outlets and subscription options mean that if my potential clients never visit a vet or a pet shop, they are still likely to come across this magazine--and then use the information in it.
Urban Animal keeps pushing the envelope with hard-hitting, relevant articles which invite the guardians for animals to enquire, stay informed, and get facts--not marketing advertorial. It's a publication that I feel looks out for the animals, not the dollars, whilst building brand awareness in the animal community"
Luciana Callaghan, Sassy Treats
"Less than a year ago, we set up our dog shop "Bowhouse" at Bondi Beach. We had no profile and limited ad budgets, which we chose to put entirely into print advertising.
The bulk of the money went to local publications in Bondi. However, having seen and liked Urban Animal, I was sufficiently impressed to place a small ad in it very shortly after Bowhouse opened. That ad worked sufficiently well for us to take out two ads in the next edition - one for our store in Bondi, the other for our online store. Again, results were sufficiently strong for me to upsize our advertising in our third edition, and we've been delighted by the results.
Not only does UA have strong distribution to our core audience in our key market, but people actually read it, take note of its contents, and most importantly, talk about it. Having previously worked in media and advertising, I know how difficult it is to have a well-targeted and effective campaign, especially when you have very limited budgets.
I can honestly say that our spend in advertising in UA has been a great investment: the right environment, a credible and authoritative publication, and very cost-effective. For that reason, we are now channeling a much higher proportion of our print advertising budget to UA at the expense of other publications.
I would say that it's the best investment in advertising that Bowhouse has yet made, and it has been a factor in our strong and continuing growth."
Terry Horsfall, Bowhouse
"Mavlab are manufacturers of veterinary pharmaceuticals and pet products. We found one of the key advantages to working with the Urban Animal team over the past 3 years being the wide distribution of the publication through veterinary clinics and pet retail outlets through Sydney and other vital areas of distribution in NSW - our key markets. It has been especially advantageous to approach UA for any spare copies that we put into our puppy packs distributed via "Puppy Parties". This is what I call value-added advertising!! UA is a unique format, with always interesting and unbiased, pet-passionate reading between the covers. We will continue to gain benefit for new product launches and seasonal targeting of products with U.A."
Mark James, Business Manager NSW/ACT for Mavlab Pharmaceuticals
After setting up our pet friendly accommodation, the next step was advertising. My first choice was to place an advert in 'Urban Animal' magazine. This is because 40,000 copies are distributed in and around Sydney, and reach our target market; animal loving people. The advert was published just prior to opening our accommodation, and for the first six weeks of business, was our only advertising. Based entirely on our advert in 'Urban Animal' we had many enquiries and full bookings for the first six weeks! In fact, our property manager has never received so much interest from one advert!
We are very happy with the response of our advert, and can definitely recommend advertising in 'Urban Animal'.
Satisfied customer, and regular reader, Cara Karl, Jervis Bay Dog Stays.
Advertising... who wants to spend money on it? Not us.
Advertising... who needs it? Unfortunately, all of us who are in business. We want customers, which means we have to attract people to our business.
We have tried many different types of publications, as well as direct mail, some with no response, some with very little response, some with regular response, and Urban Animal fits well inside the last group. We receive many phone calls and inquiries direct to our website that we are able to attribute to the Urban Animal ads.
The phone hasn't rung off the hook, but it just gives us a steady number of leads that our sales people are able to convert into customers.
Would we like more customers? Yes, please...that's why we continue in Urban Animal.
Stuart Groves, Back Seat Buddy
I have and continue to recommend advertising in Urban Animal to all my animal network businesses. I used to advertise in other animal magazines but now only advertise in Urban Animal and Yellow Pages, and I'm thinking of dropping Yellow Pages!
I've found that due to the professionalism and ethics that Phil and fellow associates project, I have many referrals from pets as therapy volunteers from our ads which has helped to develop our program into offering many more pets as therapy visits per year to health care facilities.
Phil has gone out of his way in the past, to help me not only with advertising but in other supportive ways. He appears to genuinely care about our program and its success and development.. I've never experienced that with other publications. We love Urban Animal!!
Velma Violet Harris, Program Manager for Velma's Pets As Therapy
A few weekends after Pig In Mud launched into the pet industry just over 2.5 years ago I met Phil Tripp, publisher of Urban Animal magazine. Phil approached us at local pet outing, and welcomed us to the industry, offering to assist in any way. From then on, we became privy to bigger and better opportunities to promote our products. Although we had no budget for advertising, Phil continued to keep in touch, and shared his experience and insight, helping to guide us down the best paths to get our company and, specifically, the Pet Patio Door, noticed in the industry. He often called to let us know of upcoming events, and who to contact to get involved.
Three months after meeting Phil, we finally approached him (now, there's a twist) to ask if we could advertise in his next issue. That's when we learned that it's not only Phil but his entire team at Urban Animal who truly believe in their magazine and its role in educating the public. I am continually impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of everyone I've dealt with at Urban Animal.
Since that time, we've taken out junior pages, full pages and back covers in the past 10 issues of the magazine. Sydney pet stores now tell us that customers come in asking for Pig In Mud products by name. Because of Urban Animal's wide distribution network throughout pet stores, vet clinics, any and all pet expos and council pet days, and now even BigW - anyone who owns a pet and who has ever been to these outlets is now familiar with Pig In Mud and our products.
Not only that, but a big bonus has been the number of pet stores that have contacted us to carry our products, based on seeing our ad in Urban Animal - stores from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and just about everywhere in between. I believe the distribution is wider even than Phil claims, due to the number of issues distributed through pet expos, and then passed around between readers....
In fact, when we go to pet expos, we always take plenty of copies of the magazine to pass out to visitors to our stand. At our last Melbourne & Sydney Pet Expos, we went through literally hundreds of issues, and even ran out down in Melbourne! The magazine is a proven hit with absolutely anyone who owns, cares for, or loves animals.
Advertising with Urban Animal was our first, and is our most consistent advertising venue - and the returns speak for themselves! In fact, you could say we're as happy as a Pig In Mud.
Dianne Aitchison, Pig In Mud
When we booked our first ad in Urban Animal I was doubtful... Sure, it looked good, read well, and I very much liked the attitude of the publishers regarding junk food/treats, but we'd spent thousands advertising in other publications for little/no response.
Right from the day the magazine hit the streets we had new customer enquiries & sales, plus our web stats rose dramatically. We now take two ads in each issue and continue to enjoy good success...my thanks to Phil, Lisa and team for a great magazine!
Sharyn Hall, dog-e-treats
Even over the phone I could tell Phil Trip was a character. Like his personality his magazine, Urban Animal, adds colour to our reception reading. The articles cover a wide span of issues and provide us with the perfect medium for promoting our services. They leave as fast as they come, so we know we are getting to an interested client base. The University of Sydney's Veterinary Hospital has advertised in Urban Animal for several years and will continue to do so. Happy? You bet!
Craig Lord, Business Manager University of Sydney Veterinary Teaching Hospitals
Urban Animal has proved to be a fantastic way for us to let potential customers know about our dog training services. The magazine is a focused, targeted means of communication and continues to offer new and interesting stories and information to the animal-loving public - which is important as it keeps people interested in reading each and every edition of the magazine and has proved invaluable for our brand awareness and business-building. We've advertised with Urban Animal since the very first issue and will continue to do so, given the great results we've seen for our business!!
Julie Adams & Trudi Thorpe, dogLOGIC Dog Training
Animax Photography has been on board Urban Animal from the first day I was approached by Phil and Lisa to photograph the cover of their new cross-pet magazine. Thinking this would just be a fun creative experience (getting the animals together), I wasn't expecting much more.
I have watched Urban impressively go from strength to strength and it is now Animax's main source of advertising. As the magazine has grown, we have seen a marked increase in interest and sales all telling us they found us in Urban. We can tell the day the mag hits the stores as calls and hits on our website increase dramatically.
Being a free publication it reaches a huge demographic and gets us to as many people as possible. Clients often comment on the quality of the articles and read the magazine cover to cover. Urban has done an outstanding job of creating a high quality, great-looking, respected magazine that achieves results not just for themselves but for their advertisers as well.
Danielle Lyonne, Animax
Being a small business, it was difficult for us to afford large-scale magazine advertising but Urban Animal makes it possible for any size business. Every issue of the magazine looks fantastic and because it is a free publication, we can reach a larger cross-section of customers across a variety of locations.
Over the year we have been advertising with them, Urban Animal put us in touch with new retail and wholesale customers, particularly vet clinics and retail stores.
Phil and Lisa really know their stuff and we are happy to continue advertising with such a great publication.
Rebecca, The Puppy Patisserie
As a new entrant in the organic pet food business, I have been really impressed by Phil and Lisa's professionalism and enthusiasm. We have received a whole lot of positive information in the pet industry from them, and ChewChew has drawn great attention since we started advertising in Urban Animal magazine.
Our organic pet products need to be promoted to the public to understand the importance of what quality food can do to your pets. Urban Animal certainly did a wonderful job for us with their wide influences in the pet community. After all it is a lucky thing that Phil and Lisa with their magazine has helped the pet industry working closer and creating much happier lives for our 4-paw friends.
Naoko Okamoto, Chew-Chew Quality Pets Food
"Words can't express what a valuable experience working with Urban Animal magazine has been. Phil really knows what he's doing and consistently makes sure that as advertisers we feel valued and included. With its wide circulation and variety of readers, Urban Animal has been our most successful avenue of advertising to date."
Elise Phillips, J. Leutenegger
"Sometime back now I was approached by this gentleman in a very loud Hawaiian shirt at a Pet Expo, and on introducing himself I was convinced I was dealing with another "all-knowing American". How wrong I was!
After 10 minutes I realised I was talking to a very committed, enthusiastic and ethical man who was trying to assist me with the difficult task of marketing our range of pet products. My time is valuable and I can honestly say Phil, through his conduit Urban Animal magazine, has achieved outstanding results for me in driving our message about the TROY range of pet products.
His knowledge has assisted in the positioning of our products to the decision makers, namely the vet nurses and pet shop assistants. Of late we have used the Urban Animal Magazine to launch a specialist new product, Troy BIOBOOST. I was amazed to be fielding requests from vet nurses within three days of the launch of the issue.
I feel TROY has achieved value for money both from Phil's knowledge and the quality presentation of his magazine."
Ian Saunders, General Manager, Troy Laboratories
HomeoPet have been in the market for several years in Australia, however, have not been able to advertise direct to consumers due to restricted regulations at this stage.
When we had the opportunity to place a notice for Anxiety Trials in Australia, we placed the ads in the national and local papers and other media. HomeoPet recruited 300 pet lovers and their animals to participate in veterinarian run trials. We easily were able to measure the success of each ad by recording the source. Overwhelmingly it was around 48% of the 300 participants came from our ad in Urban Animal.
Having a clear outcome from this quality magazine ensures that when we are able to advertise in the future, Urban Animal will be at the top of our list!
Peita Charman, HomeoPet Australasia
Nutrience has been advertising with Urban Animal since it's very first issue. The reasons to begin with, was Phil's ethical approach toward pet food quality and the un-bias nature as to how these foods were portrayed, plus, the magazine was FREE to the public, so every issue gets taken home by a pet lover! Fast forward and the magazine has continued to shine light on the reality of pet food ingredients and educates consumers on how to understand what's in the bag/can/roll. It's refreshing to involved with a publisher that puts pet food education ahead of advertisers dollars. Well done!
Kim Baird, Nutrience General Manager
When I first started my business Dog Rocks 4 years ago I met Phil and Lisa at the PIAA Pet expo at Geoff's shed in Melbourne. They instantly booked me up for advertising in Urban Animal (being very good sales people) and I have advertised with them ever since. I have found out of all the varied advertising I have done Urban Animal is the most reliable (I have had the most customer feed back) and affordable. Then when I started Goldfish Rocks I had the same feed back from readers of Urban Animal. I am a small business and am very choosy where I spend my advertising money. Thanks Phil and Lisa, I look forward to a long and happy association!
Andrea Roberts, Managing Director of Dog Rocks
Going back a while, I was speaking to a Caribbean-shirted gentleman named Tripp re his Urban Animal mag for our product Urine-Off. After quite a few ads in the magazine, we have been very happy with the results received.
Late last year Urban Animal helped us to promote our new two litre refill bottle of Urine-Off and the promotion through the magazine was very successful. We feel we have had good representation in a great magazine.
Rick Street, Sales Manager for Start Bio-Solutions
"I like to use Urban Animal for advertising our Petshop, because that way we can address exactly our clients, who have pets at home. The magazine is available in all the pet shops as well as vets, so our ad is likely to be seen by many customers. We find the content of the magazine very interesting and useful to our clients, that's why we like to promote the magazine."
Hans Schmidl, Owner Edgecliff Pets