Found this posting on http://bunnyjeancook.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/is-owning-pet-better-for-your-social.html#more and although it relates to American pet owners I wondered what thoughts you had on the report.
Myself I'm torn. Social networking through Winnie's Dog Blog has bought me friends around the world and I do tend to go to them with questions about Monkey's behaviour and to share tales.
Whereas walking Monkey the Greyhound has introduced me to so many neighbours who I would not have seen if we weren't out and about.
- While advancements in digital technology and increased popularity of social
networking have made their mark on and offline social interaction in recent
years, it seems some Americans have more faith in a pet to help their social
According to new research from Mintel, almost half (47%) of pet owners
believe owning a pet is better for your social life than social networking
But it seems there is still a place for digital marketing and
social media when it comes to the nation's pet owners. Some 16% of pet owners
claim to be interested in technologies that can enhance relationships with their
pet and over one in ten (12%) say that they use social media to learn about
pet-related products and services.
Meanwhile, 28% of respondents in
Mintel's research claim to receive online or promotional discounts for
pet-related products and 17% say that they would like to receive pet-related
promotions that they can redeem using their phone.
"Whereas the pet shop owner used to be the prime touch point to
find out how best to care for their pet, social media has become the new way for
pet owners to explore and share experiences around their pet," noted Gabi
Lieberman, social media analyst at Mintel.
"Further, as people take a
renewed interest in their own diets, we're seeing them pass along their own
concerns about food ingredients, creating a market for gluten-free, vegetarian
and vegan pet foods."
And it is Millennial consumers who are most engaged
with pet-related technology. Today, 17% of Millennial pet owners have a
pet-related app on their smartphone or tablet, a figure that falls to 9% for all
Additionally, 27% of that generation would like to receive
promotions and coupons for pet care products that can be redeemed via their
phone and one in four (26%) are interested in technologies and innovations that
foster a stronger pet-owner relationship.
"Millennials particularly tend
to welcome the idea of integrating technology with their pet relationship
experiences, especially as people seek to gain celebrity status not just for
themselves, but for their pets as well," Lieberman added.
push toward making pets celebrities has further pushed the power away from the
brands and into the hands of consumers, brands are finding creative ways to
integrate these Internet celebrities into their own marketing campaigns as a way
to extend their reach."
Moreover, Mintel research found that pet owners
would rather spend their leisure time taking care of their pets instead of
watching TV or surfing online, as just 7% said they would rather zone out in
front of the TV or spend time online instead of with their pet, and only 6%
would prefer to own the latest electronic device over their pet.
are becoming very creative with their social media campaigns, using gimmicks
like dogs on skateboards, celebrity endorsements and online cat awards to
attract the attention of pet owners," said Lieberman.
"It's one of the
few categories where brands aren't actually marketing to the end user, and
they're tapping into something very personal for people, so they have to be
creative, and social media really allows them to do that."