Broadly speaking, customer segmentation is a way of grouping customers based on shared characteristics. This probably sounds a little dry and could leave you wondering how it fits in with your pet business marketing strategy. Well, we are going to delve a little deeper into what customer segmentation is and how it could help you. Read on to find out more about this often-underused marketing tool.

What is customer segmentation?

As briefly mentioned, customer segmentation divides your customer base into subgroups. These groupings could be created on broad characteristics like age, gender, or geographical location.

Alternatively, you might divide them into more specific categories such as the pets they own (e.g. dog owners, cat owners, hamster owners), whether they are new customers, regular customers or dormant (inactive) customers or their communication preferences (email, postal or text).

The reason segmentation is important is that not everyone is at the same stage of their customer journey. A first-time customer may need a different set of information and marketing techniques, compared to a returning customer. Customer sub-groups will also have different interests, depending on their pet and its life stage, and also varying spending habits.

How is customer segmentation useful for my pet business marketing strategy?

By dividing your customers into categories, you can work out the best ways of targeting them with your marketing. Customer segmentation can lead to a much more successful campaign which will be reflected in an increase in your sales and revenue. A blanket campaign will not be able to talk to people as well as a specifically written piece, that is focussed on a topic that the customer is actually interested in.

Customer segmentation also makes your marketing budget stretch further. For example, there is little point in spending your hard-earned money on leaflets or emails that promote a new brand of dog food to cat and rabbit owners, as well as your intended dog owners. Not only will this waste your cash, but you could risk these customers unsubscribing from your marketing altogether. Receiving irrelevant content is one of the main reasons that customers unsubscribe and will mean that you are unable to reach them so easily again in the future.

Where do I go from here?

So hopefully you understand a bit more about what customer segmentation is and why it’s important, now we need to look at some practical ways of putting it to good use. Some simple things you can do when looking at your pet business marketing strategy include –

How did they sign up to you in the first place?

Look at how the customer first engaged with your business, for example, was it via an online purchase or an in-person event? This will allow you to tailor a more personal welcome email, which is an important part of bonding with your new customer. Welcome emails also generate more long-term engagement and most people expect to receive one.

Targeting inactive customers

Customers that have subscribed to your marketing but are no longer active can be targeted. These campaigns can help get customers back through your doors or to positively engage with your website. Using special offers or promotions as an incentive can be a good way of doing this. If these tactics fail, then a subsequent gentle email asking if the customer is still interested in receiving your content can allow them a way to unsubscribe, meaning you can spend your marketing budget on more active customers.

Engage with your active customers

A different approach will be needed to engage with loyal and active customers. You could establish a reward scheme to give them discounts based on their spending habits, ask them to review your business to boost your presence online or offer them unique products or services first to recognise their status as a ‘VIP customer’.

Focus on pet age groups

One way of marketing to specific groups of owners is to focus on the age of their pets. Have you got certain products or services that are aimed at elderly pets for example? By only contacting owners with pets aged 8 and over, you will be more likely to succeed with your campaign than by pitching these things to everyone. You can use this idea on all of the different life stages so that you write bespoke bits of marketing for each group of customers.


Hopefully, this blog has inspired you to tackle your marketing strategy and you now understand the importance of customer segmentation. Our simple suggestions are just the starting point, there are lots of other ways you can group your customers and tailor the way your pet business engages with them. Your digital marketing campaigns in particular will benefit if you move away from a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, with research showing better outcomes when customer segmentation is utilised.

Dr Rebecca MacMillan

Dr Rebecca MacMillan

Rebecca is a companion animal vet who has always had a passion for writing and client communication. Since her graduation from the Royal Veterinary college in 2009 she has gained a wealth of experience in first opinion small animal practice, in both clinical and managerial roles. She has been writing for The Veterinary Content Company for three years, and has experience in SEO, content writing, marketing, and veterinary business development.