Ensure consistency when addressing your target audience!
Ensure consistency when addressing your target audience!

If you read my post about my fun 2009 so far, you might recall that I mentioned a neurotic dog that had chewed out of the back yard, which prompted us to buy a very nice dog kennel to ensure she was home when we returned.  After breaking out of the back yard numerous times (she has only missed a few boards on her chewing rampage and seems to always chew one of the old ones, so we have almost entirely replaced the fence!) she decided that it was so much fun that she would start “tasting” the wood inside.  Let me start with the fact that she has NEVER chewed stuff in the house before, so it is typical for us to leave her inside when we are going to be out late, or if it’s too cold outside or if she is sleeping soundly when we are getting ready to leave.  BUT, for some reason, our move to a new house, the addition of a toddler and  perhaps a loose screw caused a huge shift-every time we returned home we would find new destruction on the frames around doors, teeth and claw marks in the doors themselves and much to my husband’s dismay-chewed shoes!  We have 3 dogs, so we weren’t 100% sure it was THE dog until we saw her paws and damaged gums-a dead give away.  This led us to question what we could do, aside from KILLING her each time, to calm her down so she didn’t feel that we were deserting her.  All of her chewing indicated that she had separation anxiety.

In walks WALKYDOG!   Ok, it didn’t literally walk in, but our neighbor suggested it as an easy way to take my son out in our Burley bike trailer AND take the dogs for a run while still being able to have both hands on the bike handles.  This thing works like a charm and I highly recommend it if you have the same issue of needing to get your dog out for some exercise.   The reason it was created was, and I quote:  “specifically developed  for the biker to guide the dog in complete safety – by keeping both hands tightly gripped on the handlebars” .  What better way to get all the energy out of our dogs, so I was telling a friend about it and went to the walkydog website to copy the link and meandered over to their FAQ’s page.

That’s when I saw it…this is a product that is marketed to people that are seeking a way to exercise with their dog in a SAFE manner!  But right there in black and white, item three: It allows the biker to perform other activities like smoking, answering a mobile phone, etc … (always keeping in mind, of course, street regulations and common sense!);. It struck me as super odd that the THIRD reason to buy this product is so you can perform other activities, like smoking and answering your cell. These are the best reasons they could come up with?  I don’t know about you, but I prefer not to smoke when I’m huffing and puffing on a bike ride and I don’t see how it’s a good idea to be chatting it up on a cell phone instead of paying attention to the road!  While these reasons might be true, I can’t imagine that it is THE reason that someone will buy this product!

So, what is my point?  Here it is…make sure you have a detailed description of your target audience and then develop a marketing plan around that idea and stay true to that throughout all of your marketing collateral. If you are promoting a fitness product, take into consideration the healthy lifestyle of your potential customers and don’t use non-healthy habits in your marketing pitch!  If the Wild Web Women were on this marketing team, we would have provided a marketing intervention and shifted away from these two reasons-either one could kill you!

NOTE:  No dogs were harmed in any way during the frustrating and expensive eating experiences, regardless of the owners desire to do so.  Bella is enjoying her twice daily runs beside the bike and is so tired when she comes home that all she wants to do is cuddle up with her dog buddies and sleep!

4 Comments

  • I cal this the Doggy Dragger. I worked at a bike shop that sold a similar product. Occasionally a biker would go on one side of a pole and the dog on the other side of the same pole. Well you can guess how that turned out for everybody.

    Be careful out there.

  • Thanks for the advice Scott! We always watch out for poles. Another fun one is when there is a squirrel or bunny on the opposite side of the bike…that makes for some America’s Funniest Home Video moments as well!

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